<-- home

Notes of the Book How to win friends and influence people

This is a collection of notes I extracted from this classical: How to win friends and influence people.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do.

It takes character and self-control to be under-standing and forgiving.

“A great man show his greatness by the way he treats little men.”

A millionaire said “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess. I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise”.

Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost, drink in the sunshine; greet yours friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; an then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. We became like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

The policy of remembering and honoring the names of his friends and business associates was one of the secrets of Andrew Carnegies’s leadership.

Eliot himself was a past master of the art of listening, Henry James, one of America’s first great novelists recalled: “Dr. Eliot’s listening was no mere silence, but a form of activity. Sitting very erect on the end of his spine with hands joined in his lap, making no movement except that he revolved his thumbs around each other faster or slower, he faced his interlocutor and seemed to be hearing with his eyes and his ears. He listened with his mind and attentively consider what you had to say while you say it. … At the end of an interview the person who talked to him felt that he had his say.”

One of the greatest listeners of modern times was Sigmund Freud. A man who met Freud described his manner of listening: “It struck me so forcibly that I shall never forget him. He had qualities which I had never seen in any other man. There was none of that piercing ‘soul penetrating gaze’ business. His eyes where mild and genial. His voice was low and kind. His gestures were few. But the attention he gave me, his appreciation of what I said, event when I said it badly, was extraordinary, you have no idea what it mean to be listened like that.”

Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Talk in terms of other person’s interests.

Little phrases such as “I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind as to — ?” “Won’t you please?” “Would you mind?” “Thank you” - little courtesies like these oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life - and, incidentally, they are the hallmark of good breeding.

In a Nutshell - Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

You can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.

Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only rises barriers. Ty to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding.

We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we are wrong, we resent the imputation and harden our hearts. We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, but our self-esteem which is threatened. The little word “my” is the most important one in human affairs, and properly to reckon with it is the beginning of wisdom. It has the same force whether it is “my” dinner, “my” dog, and “my” house, or “my” father, “my” country, and “my” God. We not only resent the imputation that our watch is wrong, or our car shabby, but that our conception of the canals of Mars, of the pronunciation of “Epictetus,” of the medicinal value of salicin, or the date of Sargon I is subject to revision. We like to continue to believe what we have been accustomed to accept as true and the resentment aroused when manner of excuse for clinging to it. The result is that most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.

I judge people by their own principles - not by my own.

There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one’s erros. It only clears the air of guilty and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error.

When we are right let’s try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong - and that will be surprisingly often, if we are hones with ourselves - let’s admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. Not only will that technique product astonishing results; but, believe it or not, its a lot more fun, under the circumstances, than trying to defend oneself.

Principle - If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

Principle - Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

Principle - Let the other person that the idea is his or hers.

Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Any fool can do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people even try to do that.

“I would rather walk the sidewalk in front of a person’s office for two hours before an interview”, said Dean Donhan of the Harvard business school, “than step into that office without a perfectly clear idea of what I was going to say and what that person - from my knowledge of his or hers interests and motives - was likely to answer.”

I don’t blame your own iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.

Principle - Be sympathetic with other person’s ideas and desires.

Principle - Dramatize your ideas.

Principle - Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

Principle - Ask question instead of givin direct orders.

Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by cause someone to lose face. The legendary French aviation pioneer and author Anthoine de Saint wrote: “I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes . What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”

Principle - Let the other people save face.

Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.

In short, if you want to improve a person in a certain aspect, act as thought that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics. Shakespeare said “Assume a virtue, if you have it not.” And it might be well to assume and state openly that other people have the virtue you want them to develop. Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make prodigious efforts rather than see you disillusioned.

Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and ending with a critical statement. The problem could be easily handled by changing the word but to and.

Principle - Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

The first think to learn in intercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of being happy.

I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

That’s it, I hope it will be useful for others as well it is for me.