Recently I read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This is one of the best-selling books on how to improve our relationships with others. And when it comes to building relationships, Dale Carnegie is a superstar. Warren Buffett says he has only one diploma in his office and it’s from the course he took with Dale Carnegie when he was 20 years old. If we want to achieve success in life we need to learn how to deal with people. John D. Rockefeller used to say, “The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee, and I will pay more for the ability than for any other under.” In this summary, I’ll share with you three key lessons that I learned from the book.
Key Lesson #1: To have a great impression smile and use people’s name
A simple smile can go a long way and it’s all you need to make a great first impression. There’s that famous quote about how actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.’ Smile is the easiest action you can take to make others instantly like you. Happiness doesn’t depend on outside circumstances, but rather on inward attitudes. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything that you do. Even when we’re talking on the phone, our smile comes through in our voices. Also, make sure to ask for people’s name and use it in conversation. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Dale Carnegie says, “Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage.” From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as you deal with others. So the next time you meet someone, make sure to smile and ask their name and use it frequently in the conversation.
Key Lesson #2: The most interesting person is the most interested one
People usually think that for them to look interesting, they need to talk smarter and share great stories. But this is totally wrong. In most cases, you don’t even need to talk to be interesting. What you need to do is to put the attention away from yourself and on the other person. Give other people your full attention. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Don’t interrupt them, become genuinely interested in other people. A good question to ask when someone shares something with you, is, “Tell me more about it.” Make people feel important with curiosity and Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. I saw Lewis Howes in one of his videos say, “the most interesting person in the room is the most interested one.” Follow this advice and you’ll be amazed at how many people will say things like this about you: “That guy was so great to talk to, what an interesting person.” Ask questions that the other person will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. Remember people are way more interested in themselves than you and your problems. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.
Key Lesson #3: Show respect for the other person’s opinion
Most of the time when people are sharing something and we think they’re wrong, we are so quick to jump and let them know they are wrong. We should never tell people that they are wrong. It will only offend them and insult their pride. No one likes to be humiliated. They will also be less likely to change their minds and will never want to agree with you. When someone makes a statement that you know is wrong and you know that you are right, never say “You’re wrong,” instead say: ‘Well, now, look. I thought otherwise but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.’ This will make them more likely to consider your point of view. Never argue with people. Use a little diplomacy and make your life a bit easier. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly and Let the other person save face. And if you’re not sure you’re right, try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view and be sympathetic to their ideas.
So in summary, to be able to deal with people you need to focus on the other person and think in terms of their interests. Have a gentle smile and use their names often. Be interested ask questions and always respect their opinions even if they are wrong. Use these simple tips in your daily interactions with other people and you’ll see your relationships instantly improve.