Dale Carnegie famously pointed out that you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
Although Dale Carnegie died in 1955, his work in personal development lives on. His classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1937 and is considered the grandfather of all ?people skill? books since then.
Because of his great understanding of human nature, his books and fundamental teachings are just as popular today. In fact, the title of his book is so widely used as a phrase, that some people who say it that may not even know where the phrase ?how to win friends and influence people? comes from.
Here are his six principles in making people like you:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
I think we?ve all met someone that pretend to be interested in you but you can sense that they really aren?t. There doesn?t seem to be anything genuine about these types of people. We tend to label them ?phoney.? This is probably one case where fake it until you make won?t work. So, how do you become genuinely interested in other people? You?ll want to ask them questions. Learn what they do, what they like. Everyone likes to talk about him or herself. Get them to talk about their dreams!
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Not much to add, here. When you walk into a room with a smile on your face, you might as well be carrying a people magnet.
- Use a person?s name.
Remember that a person?s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Just like in the old romantic movies: ?Oh, John… John!? ?Oh, Mary, dear Mary!?
- Be a good listener.
Encourage others to talk about themselves. When you do this with a sincere and genuine interest in the other person you cannot fail to encourage that person to feel appreciated and valued. This is a key trait of anyone who has mastered people skills.
- Talk in terms of the other person?s interests.
Again, this principle stresses making time to listen to others to find out what is of interest to them. Let their interests guide the direction of the conversation and you will enjoy a solid rapport that encourages friendship.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
This cannot be faked for long. Look for the good in others and respect other viewpoints, beliefs and lifestyles. Even ones that do not make sense to you. This flexibility is important if you are to respect the other person.
His last three points, tie into the first. How to win friends and influence people is a book that reminds us that anything you do from a place of fellowship will have a good result. He uses this fable to prove his point:
The sun and the wind were arguing about who was the strongest. The wind pointed at an old man. The wind said that he?d prove his strength by getting the man to remove his coat. He blew and howled and blew some more.
The old man clung to his coat more than ever. When the wind finally gave up, the sun came out from behind a cloud and shone brightly. Soon the man was wiping his forehead and removing his coat.