How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Cameron

Well-Known Member
I read tons of self help books and one of my all time favorites is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends & Influence People. My mother gave me this book back when I was in college and I've been using the principles I found inside my entire life. Needless to say, I'm very highly regarded and especially loved among friends and family. Okay, kidding. I do forget to use the principles every now and again, but that's why I have reread the book a number of times. And since it's one of my favorites, I thought I'd give you a breakdown of what it's about. In this thread, I'll summarize each chapter so you can get a gist of what Dale says and see what's been all the rage through the years (consider this thread the Dale Carnegie Cliffs Notes). After all, the book has been in print since 1937 and I'm sure it's still some sort of best seller. If it isn't, it deserves to be. In today's world, I feel like this book should be mandatory high school and college reading, if for nothing else than to inject a bit of politeness back into society. If everyone followed what's shared in this book, the world would be a wonderful place indeed.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Part One - Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Chapter 1 - "If You Want to Gather Honey, Don't Kick Over the Beehive"

The chapter starts off by describing the escapades of Two Gun Crowley and Al Capone. Apparently, both of these men, as terrible as they were, regarded themselves as kind-hearted victims. The same is true for Dutch Schultz, a gangster affiliated rat, as Dale describes him. Dutch also thought he was a benefit to society, helping people and only doing the right thing. As a matter of fact, almost everyone in Sing Sing prison can and has articulated why they were wronged, why they shouldn't be behind bars, and why they did what they did to land themselves behind bars. I'm sure they all have very good reasons. In typical Dale Carnegie fashion, all of these examples lead to a general point. The point is this: if these famous, or infamous, criminals think of themselves as good people just doing what they need to do to get by, how to do you think the average person out there on the sidewalk feels about themselves? Do you think they blame themselves for things that go wrong during the day? Do you think they blame themselves for the bad that happens around them? Or for the wrong things they do? Probably not.

When dealing with people, the trick is to find out how they regard themselves and the world around them. How they think of other people. You'll go far in human relations if you approach others this way. When was the last time you scolded someone and got the result you were looking for? Perhaps you got an immediate result, but I bet it didn't last long. Sure, you can change someone's behavior in the short term by threatening violence or punishment, but over the long term, you want real change. And that can only come from a change of heart. Dale Carnegie teaches us that by learning how a person ticks, we can deal with the person on their own terms. That we shouldn't criticize people, condemn them, or complain to them. It's much more fruitful to figure out where they're coming from and to understand their points of view. Only then can you motivate them to change their behavior for the better.

Principle #1 - Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 2 - The Big Secret of Dealing with People

What I'm about to tell you is a truism. It has been forever and it still is today. Especially today when people have more options than they ever have had. The truism is that there's only one way in the world to get someone to do something. That way is to make them want to do it. I know, you're probably thinking that there are many other ways to get people to do things, but those ways most likely have to do with force or coercion. It's sort of like paying taxes. We do it, but the only reason we do is because we have to. We don't go out of our way to do it and we're not thankful for doing it. And I don't see many contests out there where people challenge each other to do a better job at it. For the long term, the best way to get a job done well is to somehow find someone who wants to do it well. Or, find out why they might want to do it well and work from there.

To discover why someone might want to do something well, you'll first need to get inside their head. Now, many a psychologist has studied the human spirit and many a psychologist has deduced that we as humans really only have a few wants. These include health, money, sex, food, sleep, well being for our offspring, and a feeling of importance. Did you see that last one? What was that about? I personally can agree with all the needs that came before it, such as sex and sleep, but what's with the feeling of importance?

I used to work for an insurance company in Atlanta, Georgia. Allstate Insurance to be exact. My job was a pretty good one, but it had the tendency to get boring at times. And when I got bored, I didn't work to my greatest potential. Actually, I hated being bored and I began looking for other jobs when I was. The managers knew this, so they developed a reward scheme. They introduced contests among the employees and challenged us to challenge one another. They set goals for us and if someone in our cluster was a top performer, we were given a gift certificate, $50, or some other type of prize. While those things were nice, they wouldn't have meant much in isolation and solitude. What I mean is, sure, we the employees would have been thankful for getting a little extra for doing a good job, but we wouldn't have written home about. What we did write home about though was the fact that at the monthly meetings of the entire department, we the winners were recognized publicly. And our department consisted of approximately 100 people, so that meant a lot. After this reward and recognition system was introduced, I believe that not only performance, but also employee moral improved. I actually noticed it among coworkers and one fellow and I competed between each other almost constantly. We were the real go-getters in the office.

There are two things you have to remember when dealing with people. The first is that berating them and trying to force them into doing something rarely works. And not only that, that type of behavior also causes resentment and will do more damage than good in the long term. If you want to get along with people and win them to your way of thinking, find out what they're good at and encourage them. Nurture people's talents. Find their successes and show how valuable they are to you and others. Show your appreciation like the managers did with the employees at Allstate Insurance in Atlanta. Georgia. Those managers didn't tell us that they'd fire us if we didn't like our jobs more and if we didn't produce more. They knew we'd all quit if we were treated that way. What they did was genius. They knew, by the mere fact that we had passed the screening process and had already been hired, that we were a talented bunch of folks. All they had to do was coax some motivation out of us to turn a somewhat boring job into a competitive exciting one. Their tactics worked and I'll remember them forever.

Principle #2 - Give honest and sincere appreciation.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 3 - "He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World With Him. He Who Cannot Walks a Lonely Way."

"Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire." Remember that. This entire post revolves around that saying.

If you're over the age of 15 years old, you've most likely gone on a job interview. I want you to imagine the interview going like this:

Company: Hi Johnny, tell me why you'd like this job.

You: Well, I'd like to buy a new motorcycle. I also have a lot of bills to pay. My girlfriend says she'll throw me out if I don't start bringing home some money. I also want to buy myself a new gold necklace and a few other things.

Company: Well, that doesn't help us much. It doesn't seem as though your motivations are in the right place.

I don't think the job interview will go very well for you. Why not? Because you didn't mention one thing about the company or how you'd help them. Why would they hire you? To give you money? Would you simply show up to get a paycheck? The company may have been around for a while and may have seen dozens of your type. If you were the hiring manager, would you hire you? I doubt it.

Let's do this little skit again. This time though, let's change thing up a bit.

Company: Hi Johnny, tell me why you'd like this job.

You: Well, I drive by your place every day because it's near my house. I've noticed what you do here and I've come to learn about your operation. There are a few areas that I think might need updating. It'd be good for business. I have experience in exactly what you produce. so I'd be a good fit. If you hire me, you'd pay nothing for training, since I already know what I'm doing. That saves you money. I believe that with my experience, I can increase your sales by at least 75%. That would cover my salary, which would only be a small portion of that increased income. I'd cost you nothing and position your company well for years to come.

Company: Now that's music to my ears Johnny. You're hired.

Do you notice the difference? In the first example, all Johnny spoke of was his own wants and needs. In the second, he spoke of the company's. It was smart of him to speak only of the company's needs because really, that's all the company cares about. It could care less if Johnny wants a new gold necklace. Now, if we break this down even further to discuss the desires of the hiring manager himself, he may have been teetering on losing his own job because sales were down for the company overall. If that were the case, Johnny's experience and promises to increase sales would affect the manager personally. He'd be able to continue paying his mortgage and all his bills. His life would remain stable. That's motivation enough to hire the applicant.

The lesson here is simple. As nice as some people are, they truly don't care about you or your wants and needs. What they care most about is their own. Even if they claim that they care of your well being, what they actually care about is your well being and how it impacts them. Not to sound crass here, but that's the truth. So, since this is true, why not tap into that natural part of the human psyche? When you ask a girl or a guy to go on a date, you wouldn't say, "Hey, I really want to go on a date with you. It would improve my life immensely." What you'd rather say is, ""Hey, you should really go on a date with me because it could improve your life immensely." Your goal would be for the girl or guy to want you, not accept the fact that you want them. It's simple psychology.

Principle #3 - Arouse in the other person an eager want.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Part Two - Six Ways to Make People Like You

Chapter 1 - Do This and You'll be Welcome Anywhere

This may be the most important principle in the entire book. It's true, I swear it is. I know it is because for one month, when I was 22 years old in college, I practiced and put this principle in action for an entire month. The result? People loved me. I'm not boasting here either. People genuinely appreciated being around me. I paid them attention like they've never been paid in their lives and they couldn't get enough of it. It was incredible to watch.

I have a friend who lives far away. We used to live near one another, but I moved to a distant land. We still keep in touch and I like him a lot. There is one facet of his personality that could use some work though and that facet is the fact that he's more interested in himself than he is in other people. And it shows. I mean, we're actually all more interested in ourselves, but we won't win any friends advertising that. When I used to speak with him while we saw each other face to face, he had a habit of only talking about himself. And now that we talk only over the phone, he continues to only talk about himself. While I do love him and I'm sure he means no harm, his self centeredness does get annoying at times. I sometimes wonder why I talk to him at all. The primary problem is, and this is going to sound like I'm complaining, but he doesn't make me feel as though he values me at all. I know he does because he's done things to show he cares, but the fact that he's shown little interest in my points of view during our conversations has taken a toll.

Have you ever experienced something like this? Where someone you speak to talks about themselves too much? If you have, you surely know what I'm referring to here. Now think about this: If not paying attention to someone's point of view and feelings has a negative effect, how do you think actually paying attention would be perceived? That's right, whomever you speak to would feel valued and would want to continue the conversation and relationship in general. Dale Carnegie uses the example of a dog in his book. When you come home from school or work and your dog greets you at the door excitedly and selflessly, you love that dog as much as you can. The dog never asks for anything. It just wags its tail, jumps about, and is truthfully happy to see you. Humans should emulate some of these traits. They'd get far if they did.

Back when I was in college trying out my "paying attention to people" experiment, I was sure to ask how the person I was speaking to was doing. I'd ask them about their trip, their day, what they had plans to do, and anything else I thought they had going on at the moment. They were only too happy to talk about themselves. But unlike my friend who talks about himself without being asked, these people talked about themselves because they noticed my interests in them. There's a big difference. One just wants to hear himself speak while the other is answering valid questions. I highly recommend you give this a try. The next person you come across, ask them how their day was. When they answer, go into detail about something and question them about that. Show your interest in what they say. Follow up and continue asking. Be sure to avoid interjecting your own experiences and points of view during the conversation and see how it goes. You'll be shocked at the results. The person to whom you're speaking will likely walk away impressed with your conversationalist style. They may even compliment you or praise you to others they interact with. To get ahead and to obtain the favor of others, you need to pay them attention and show interest in their lives. People love talking about themselves and it should be your job to encourage that. Miracles will happen if you do.

Principle #1 - Become genuinely interested in other people.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 2 - A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression

Do you prefer to be with people who are charming or not charming? Do you think someone can be charming without smiling? That's a tall order for sure. What does a smile mean, anyway? Well, according to Dale Carnegie, if you smile at someone, it means that you like them. You're happy to see them. They make you happy. That's a wonderful expression to use to captivate someone and to win their affection. Even strangers can warm hearts by smiling at other strangers. There aren't many facial expressions that can do that.

Think of all the people who have gotten ahead by smiling. Actors, politicians, husbands, and wives. Do you think the road would have been paved as smoothly if these people hadn't used their winning smiles to get ahead? Sure, they may have gotten ahead, but it would have been much more difficult if they scowled all day to those they came across.

Think about one example of how a smile can lighten an entire mood. This example should demonstrate just how powerful a smile is. You have a newborn baby and are ready to show him off to the world. He's lying on his back in his crib and when your friends and family lean over to ooh and ahh at him, he gives everyone a huge toothless grin and begins to laugh. Just imagine how contagious that would be and imagine the reactions of everyone in the room. I bet they'd start laughing too. Now if the baby cried, things would certainly be different.

When you smile at someone, it's almost guaranteed that they'll smile back. Try it. Go ahead and smile at the next person you meet. See what happens. It's helpful to run small experiments like these. Scowl at one person to gauge their reaction and then smile at the next. You'll see how much easier life could be if you smiled most of the time. If you think about it, what's the harm? Smiles are free. They brighten people's days. They can even brighten your own mood. What takes virtually no effort can remain in someone's memory forever. It's good for business. You get the idea.

Principle #2 - Smile
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 3 - If You Don't Do This, You Are Headed for Trouble

Let's think for a moment. What's the first thing people do after they graduate medical school and become doctors? Yes, that's right, they put a "PhD" after their name. I've even seen people do this after they earn an MBA. John Smith, MBA. To me, adding an MBA after a name is a bit silly, but to others, they're proud of what they've earned and they want to feel the importance of what comes with that title. They want to tell others about it too. After all, we all enjoy feeling important and if we can add a catchy abbreviation to our name, then so be it.

The thing is, many people add those abbreviations. There are many doctors and many MBAs. What makes the person who's showing off those letters so special? Well, there's only one of them. That is, there's only one John Smith, MBA. There may be others with that name and title, but only one unique human being with it in John's mind. Himself.

Let's do another exercise. Let's focus on a person's name now. A person's first name, to be precise. I invite you to read through the following example:

Me: Hi. How are you today? I hope you're well. How is your family? What are your plans for the rest of the day?

Them: Oh, I'm good, thank you. My family is fine. I'm going to the mall.

Pretty generic, right? The conversation we just read through is about as exciting as a stale cracker. Let's try this again:

Me: Hi John! How are you today? I hope you're doing well John. Say John, how's your family doing? The last I saw them they were all preparing to be astronauts. Did they ever get off the ground? What have you got going on for the rest of the day John? Mind if I join you?

Them: Wow! Hey, I'm doing great. My family is actually doing pretty good. They just returned from a trip to the moon. I was planning on going to the mall this afternoon. Would you like to join me?

Now that's a little better. Do you see how I infused the name "John" into the latter conversation? How do you think that made John feel? By not including someone's name into a conversation, you're essentially making the conversation a generic one that can be applied to anyone. You're not making the person you are speaking to feel special. Have you ever considered how much in love with a person's name the owner of that name is? After all, most people are given only one first name each and they've known that name their entire lives. I can't even begin to imagine the connection people have with their names.

Think about going on a date with someone. At the end of the date, you lean over and say, "I had a really great time." Sure, that's nice. But what if you said, "Jessica, I had a really great time." What's the difference? It's obvious, isn't it? In the second case, you're speaking directly to Jessica and she knows it. There was no laziness on your part. You're identifying her and using her name to ask her a pointed question. As a quick tip here, it would also be helpful if you looked her in the eyes, but that's for another time.

Don't believe that people love their names? Let's consider how many things around the world and beyond that are named after people. We have buildings, colleges, guitars, inventions, stadiums, planets, boats, roads, places, libraries, museums, concert halls, and so much more. So the next time you speak with someone, be sure to use their name during the conversation. They'll likely see things more favorably than if their name hadn't been used.

Principle #3 - Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 4 - An Easy Way to Become a Good Conversationalist

Are you aware that if you engage in a conversation with someone who does all the talking, that person will consider you an excellent conversationalist? Yes, even though they talked and talked and talked, that person will have had a good time and will consider you to be one of the best they've ever conversed with. Why is this? Well, it's because people much prefer to do the talking than do the listening. And when given the chance and when someone finds an attentive ear, they'll gladly oblige. It's an ego thing. The more someone feels as though someone else is interested in them, the more they feel important and qualified to educate and entertain that other person. We humans are certainly interesting creatures.

What does it really mean when one person listens attentively to another? It means that the one person finds the other interesting. Interesting enough to focus all their attention on them. It's very flattering to be listened to and not many people experience such a feeling. And when the person who's listening plays a part and prods the other on with questions and comments about what they're saying, all the better. That means that the listener isn't just being polite, it means that they're taking an active interest. Can you imagine? How do you think you'd feel if someone were hanging on your every word and prompting you to tell them more? It would feel great and you would certainly appreciate the person you were speaking to for being so gracious and interested.

Now, there's an art to being a good listener. If you begin to practice this technique, you'll quickly learn its rewards. When listening though, be sure to ask the right questions. The ones the speaker will enjoy answering. Be attentive. Find things you're genuinely interested in and focus on those things. Ask them to tell you more and to discuss some of their accomplishments. Everyone loves telling others about how they've achieved "such and such." It's also important to realize just how important we all are to ourselves. Imagine being stuck in traffic for a half hour. To you, that would be the worst thing in the world. Say you heard on the radio that there was a massive earthquake somewhere far away. Would you care about that earthquake more than the traffic you're sitting in? Probably not. That's exactly how important each of us feels we are. It's all about perspective.

When dealing with someone who has some sort of an issue, it's critical to let them talk themselves out. There's no reason for you to interrupt because you've got nothing you could add to whatever it is they're dealing with. The simple art of listening can produce powerful results. Whether you're dealing with a boyfriend or girlfriend, an irate customer, or someone giving you a job interview, the more you pay attention and ask about the other person's story, the more they'll find you and yours appealing.

Principle #4 - Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 5 - How to Interest People

If you want someone to like you - I mean, if you really want someone to like you, you'll find out what their interests are and have a good chat with that person about those interests. Some people, such as Theodore Roosevelt, would go so far as to stay up late the night before hosting a guest to read up on the other person's interests. Once he found out what they were, he'd learn as much as he could about them. Can you imagine how effective this was in terms of the other person showing sincere gratitude? Let's say you were going to meet with Roosevelt tomorrow afternoon. Right now, he'd be learning all about what makes you tick. When tomorrow comes, here's how it might go:

Welcome to my office. I'd say it's not to shabby, but enough about that. So, I hear you're into model rockets. Is this true? Yes? I was once looking for a hobby and a close friend of mine suggested model rockets. He loved them and wanted to share that love with me. Oh, you love them just as much? Fascinating. When I looked into them, I discovered that both the breadth and depth of the hobby as a whole were enormous. It may have been above my head. What was that? You can teach me what I'd need to know to get started? Why I'd appreciate that. I have much to learn and having a teacher such as yourself would be quite the benefit.

Just imagine your reaction, or anyone's reaction for that matter, to the interest Theodore Roosevelt showed in a hobby of yours. That's nothing short of incredible. You'd be putty in his hands after he complimented you in such a manner. By him showing interest in something you're interested in, he's essentially validating your good taste and that's something to hold in very high regard indeed.

What's the benefit of talking in terms of someone's interests? Well, it's actually two-fold. First, you can potentially make a close friend during the endeavor and second, you might actually learn something. Think about that for a moment.

Principle #5 - Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 6 - How to Make People Like You Instantly

No matter what you do when dealing with people, if you follow this one all-important law of human conduct, you'll easily make friends and win people to your way of thinking. It's not a tough law to learn or to conform to either, and that's the best part. All you need to do is to make the person you're dealing with feel important.

How do we follow this law? It's easy. When dealing with someone, take a good hard look at who they are. What their interests are. Where do they derive their own sense of self worth and importance? Do they own an automobile that they enter into car shows? If so, a good start might be to ask them how they managed to build such a stunning vehicle. And where they learned all the knowledge and skills necessary to build such a machine and enter it into the shows. "How do you know where the shows are? How do you know how to enter the car? Isn't all of that confusing?" The person you're speaking to will puff their chest out with pride and gladly explain it all.

What if someone were an avid stamp collector? If they were and if you were trying to get them to like you, you would probably want to start with discussing how the person got started with the stamp collecting, how they learned all they knew, and how they keep all of their prized stamps safe and secure. That conversation would surely take up half the afternoon and they'd love you for it.

Back when I was a kid, I used to go to the mall to try and get free food in the food court. As a teenager, I was always hungry, so the more food I was able to get my hands on, the better. There was one restaurant I particularly liked and I would shmooze my way to loads of free "sample" food every time I stopped by. How did I do it? Watch this:

Hi there! I smelled your delicious cuisine from all the way across the food court. What's on the menu? Oh really? That sounds out of this world. I sure would love to try some of that but as you already know, I'm sort of broke. Just a small sample? Okay. Boy, that's delicious. How did you learn to cook like this anyway? Is it hard? I'd love to become a cook of such skill when I'm older. I'm sure people would adore me if I were. Do you cook for your family like this? I bet your food is their favorite. Another sample? Oh okay. You're spoiling me!

And on and on. You get the idea. When it comes to someone's cooking, there's no higher compliment than gobbling their food up, praising it immensely, and then asking for more. You have to remember the praise though because that goes straight to their heart. That type of praise is rewarding like nothing else.

Remember this: when you talk to people about themselves, they'll be more than happy to keep the conversation going. Very few people on earth have the patience or interest to listen to someone else speak about themselves. If you were to be one of the minority, you'd stand out and those you wish to win to your way of thinking would be knocking down your door. Take an interest in them. Find out what they're good at. How did they get that way? Almost anything anyone really enjoys on a deep level has taken practice and skill to master. Delve into that practice and skill. Even when it comes to mundane jobs, the person you're engaging with has decided to make that part of their life. Find out why. There's got to be something that makes them stand out from their peers. Learn about that and discuss it with them. And make them feel as important as they should for being so good at what they do.

Principle #6 - Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Part Three - How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

Chapter 1- You Can't Win an Argument

Have you ever thought about what happens to someone's ego when you prove them wrong? It's badly bruised and they resent you for "educating" them. It's a terrible thing to do - prove someone wrong. The reason for this is because it's not entirely known if you can actually prove them wrong in the first place. When someone believes something, they believe it because they've, for some reason or another, chosen to believe it. When you counter their belief with contradictory information, the natural reaction is for them to anchor in to their belief even more and hold steadfast to what they initially thought. They'll come up with supporting information, they'll give sources, they'll argue until they're blue in the face and what's the result after you argue with them to correct them? They'll never want to speak to you again. Even if, some time in the future, they discovered that they've erred. They'll still likely not want to speak to you. It's a natural human reaction to being countered. For some reason, we need to discover things for ourselves and then tell others about them. It takes an exceptionally open minded person to accept that they've made a mistake and to correct it in front of you.

When was the last time you watched someone walk away from a heated political argument saying, "Boy, the other side made some valid points. I think I'll switch over." I mean, really? How about never. The reason for this is because once someone ingests information, their brain processes it. If it's something they're not interested in, it gets spit out. If it is something they're interested in, it becomes part of who the person is and part of their world view. This is why people cling so dearly to their beliefs. Because they've become part of what makes up the person. If you waltz in there and attempt to tear part of a person away and replace it with a new part, you're going to be in for a rude awakening.

They say the best way to win an argument is to avoid it. That's true, but if you're really interested in enlightening someone or correcting them, you'll need to be especially clever. I remember back when I was a kid, a friend's father told me about a documentary he saw about lightening. He claimed that lightening actually travels from the ground up, as opposed to the other way around. That didn't make sense to me because all of the lightening I've ever seen had seemingly traveled from the clouds down to the ground. Did I try to correct him? Of course not. I knew that wouldn't be possible. The mere fact that I'm telling you this story right now is testament to how zealous he was about his position. After a bit of research, I learned that lightening in fact travels in both directions, but it's just difficult for us to see it due to its speed. He failed to mention this and to my friend's father, it traveled in one direction and one direction only.

So, if I were bent on "educating" my friend's father, how would I go about doing it? I certainly wouldn't tell him what I found and then inform him that he was only partially correct. That wouldn't go over well. His personality didn't allow for that. I'd have to think about what made him believe what he believed in the first place. He watched a documentary, so I know he trusts certain sources. It would probably be best to somehow secretly lead him to another more accurate source of information, but that wouldn't guarantee success. I'm not sure there is a right answer here, but the closest I could hope to get would be to somehow introduce him to a trusted source that was more thorough than his last. My point is, my arguing with him wouldn't work and would only arouse resentment. Letting him learn for himself would be the much better bet.

The point of this post is to teach you to avoid arguing or trying to change someone's mind directly. You'll never make friends doing that. Avoid arguments altogether or lead people to sources where they can learn for themselves. Why? Unfortunately, this is just the way we're wired.

Principle #1 - The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 2 - A Sure Way of Making Enemies - and How to Avoid It

You may think it, but you better not say it. Never tell anyone they're wrong. This is actually a really great chapter in How to Win Friends & Influence People because it's so very spot on.

When was the last time you've been right more than 50% of the time? To answer this question, you'll most likely proclaim, "I'm right much more than 50% of the time." To that, I ask why you aren't fabulously wealthy. I mean, if you're right even 51% of the time, you should be playing the markets on Wall Street or sitting at a casino all day. Just one percentage point over the failure rate would skyrocket your wealth in unimaginable ways. Well, to that you may say, "Well, I'm kind of shy. I don't really put myself out there to take those kinds of risks." To that, I wonder why you're not more outgoing. You surely have become familiar with how right you are. You think you'd be telling people all over the place what to do.

My point here is that we aren't right nearly as much as we think we are. And since this is the case, where do we get off telling others they're wrong? What we should actually be doing is listening to the points of views of others and learning more. If we're especially proficient at something and we can share that knowledge, we can always use a bit of humility and generosity to offer our help. If it's not wanted or needed, then we can walk away.

Let's pretend that you're at your friend's house and they're about to cut a big piece of plywood with a circular saw. Right off the bat, you know they're going to screw it all up and completely ruin the board. Do you jump in and say, "Stop! You're going to mess it all up!" Probably not. If you do, you know you're going to have a fight on your hands. After all, your friend is the one with the saw in his hands and he's most likely given the cutting process some thought. A more amiable approach would be to say something like, "Oh wait, before you start. I just finished watching your favorite home improvement show on TV and learned a new way of doing this..." Dale Carnegie says that if you plan on proving your point, you're best to do so in a manner where your target doesn't even know you're doing it. He says to do it so subtly, so adroitly, that the person to whom you're speaking has no idea that you've just corrected them. Now that's some good personal relations advice.

Furthermore, let's think for a moment about what your goal is when telling someone they're "wrong." Is it to make yourself feel good? Probably not. Is it to change the behavior of the person to whom you're speaking? Yes. That's it. So, if knowing that telling someone they're wrong closes them to your way of thinking, why would you do it? Wouldn't it make more sense to be diplomatic and let the person save face? I think so.

Principle #2 - Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say, "You're wrong."
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 3 - If You're Wrong, Admit It

I've already covered how one of the most important things to a person is the feeling of importance. If we prove a person wrong, that feeling is hurt. As stated above, it's not a great idea to tell someone they're wrong, but it's also not a great idea to act as if their opinion or position doesn't matter. Allow me to offer you an example to illustrate.

Back when I was a boy in elementary school, I'd oftentimes look out the window to avoid listening to my teacher teach. I wasn't fond of being in school and I had a very vivid imagination. While I looked out the window, I imagined playing kickball and zooming my Matchbox cars around the tree roots and black top. It's a wonder I ever learned anything at all, with all the looking out the window I did.

One day, my teacher caught me not paying attention. She said, "Cam, please pay attention and stop looking out the window. Your lessons are important." To this, how did I reply? "I don't want to pay attention. You're boring and so are your lessons. I'd rather be outside playing kickball. I hate being in school." Do you know what this response earned me? It earned me some writing on the chalkboard after class. "I will pay attention and not look out the window." I had to write this 100 times. My mother also got a call at home. I was also forbidden from going out for recess after lunch for a week. I really should have kept my mouth shut. Hindsight is 20/20.

Can you imagine if I hadn't said what I said to my teacher? What if I had replied instead, "I'm sorry, I was just distracted by something outside for a moment. Trust me, I'd much rather listen to what you have to teach. I learn a lot from you. It won't happen again." While a third grader isn't likely to schmooze like that, you get the idea. My teacher would have been much more understanding if I had replied properly as opposed to as I actually did. Let's analyze my teacher's reaction and why she reacted in such a way.

By me responding with disinterest and in a rude manner, my teacher's ego took a hit. She may have taken offense personally. She may have wondered why I didn't want to pay attention to her lessons. She may have felt as if she wasn't good enough to compete with whatever it was going on outside. It could have been any number of things. Whatever it was, I basically said, "Hey, you bore me, but what's outside the window doesn't. It wins and you lose." I think we all can agree that that's an awful thing to say to someone and something like that will certainly win us very few friends.

I was wrong to look out the window when I shouldn't have. When I was called out, I should have emphatically admitted it. By admitting when we're wrong, we essentially take the fight out of the other person. "You're wrong!" they claim. "I totally agree." I say. And then they agree with me because there's nothing left to talk about. It's genius.

There's an old proverb that goes like this: "By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected."

Principle #3 - If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 4 - A Drop of Honey

Let's say that your car has been vandalized. You suspect it was some local teenagers because adults rarely engage in this type of activity. In an effort to discover who damaged your vehicle, you shout at the first teen who walks by your house. You yell, "Hey you! Get over here! I want to ask you a few questions!" How do you think the teen will react? Will he say, "Certainly sir. How may I help you?" Of course not. The moment he senses your attitude, he's either shocked or angry. Just as angry as you are. When was the last time you received help from someone who was angry? Probably never. That's why you don't tick people off before asking them for favors.

I remember a time back when I was going to community college. I was taking a Spanish language course and I was failing miserably. I just couldn't seem to align my learning style with my professor's teaching style. I spoke with my mother about it and I said, "I'm just going to tell my professor that I hate the class, but that I need to pass. So if there's something I could do, some extra credit, I hope she'll give it to me. I just need to get out of this class with a D." My mother asked me, "Cam, what's this professor's native language?" I replied, "Spanish, why?" My mother said, "How do you think this woman will feel if you go up to her and tell her that you hate not only the way she teaches, but her native language as well?" "Hmmm..." I thought. "Good point."

The next day, I approached my Spanish professor and said, "I was wondering if I could speak with you about something. I want to let you know that I absolutely love your class and I love the Spanish language, but I'm afraid I'm failing at being a good student. I would love to find a way to pass your class, but as of yet, I haven't done very well at that either. I was wondering if you could help me." You should have seen the look on my professor's face. She looked up at me with those big Peruvian eyes and put her hand on my cheek. She really did that. She put her hand on my cheek and said, "Oh Cam. I'll do anything you need to help you pass. Don't worry sweetheart. I'll help you. The entire class will."

Can you imagine if I had gone to her with what I had originally intended to say? It would have been a disaster. My professor didn't have a mean bone in her body, but she would have been hurt if I had insulted her like I had planned to. And she may not have been as inspired to help me out either.

What's the lesson here? If you want something, don't be a jerk to the person you want it from. Use your brain. Consider the person's feelings. Pour oil on the gears of your relationships, not sand. Butter the pan and on and on.

Principle #4 - Begin in a friendly way.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 5 - The Secret of Socrates

If you've ever been up against a really good salesperson, you'll have walked away thinking you just made a friend. They're just about the most agreeable people you'd ever meet. Why? Because they know how to both agree with you and get you to agree with them. They don't know what the word "no" means and having you say that word is the furthest thing from what they want. When someone says "yes, yes" there aren't many obstacles in the way, but when they say "no, no," there are. Attempting to move a person over the hurdle of a no is a difficult feat. They've practically dug their heels in and moving them won't be easy. But if you keep them saying yes, they'll loosen right up and begin to trust you. It's just the way the mind works.

"So how are you today, good?"

"Yes, I'm very good."

"Nice weather out there, isn't it?"

"It sure is."

"Let me guess. You just want to take a quick look around. No pressure. No commitments. On your time and at your pace. Have at it."

"It's like you read my mind. I'm simply here to learn about the car models you offer."

"That's fine. If you have any questions, come on back and ask, won't you?"

"Yes I will. That's very kind of you."

The trick is to allow whoever it is you're speaking to to set the pace and to allow them to become comfortable with the conversation. We live in a skeptical society and rightfully so. There are liars and cheats out there who would love to take you for everything you've got. Remaining a support person who hangs out in the background, rather than a hard hitter, can be much more fruitful in the long run. As Dale tells us, there's an old Chinese proverb that goes like this: He who treads softly goes far.

Principle #5 - Get the other person saying "yes, yes" immediately.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 6 - The Safety Valve in Handling Complaints

I'll admit that I've got a bit of a problem. When it matters, I talk too much. The reasons for this are plentiful and they range from me loving the sound of my own voice to me thinking that I'm smarter than everyone else. I mostly suffer from this syndrome when it comes to my close personal relationships. With my spouse mostly. She asks a lot of questions and after our conversation is finished, I walk away having learned nothing. I talk way too much and I don't like it. It doesn't have the effect I want.

Imagine getting into a heated argument with your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend - whomever. Usually during heated arguments, there's loud talking, shouting, talking over one another, and so forth. Do these shouting matches ever produce the desired result any of the participants want? No. They really don't. What usually happens is that both parties shout over one another until they have nothing left to say. Then they part ways and let their anger fester until someone makes an apology. The underlying reason for the argument is rarely addressed and it's for this reason that couples seek therapy. Because the therapist acts as a moderator so each participant has an opportunity to be heard. Many problems in this world can be solved if people would simply listen more.

In this chapter, Dale offers a few different examples of how relationships can be enhanced tremendously when one person lets the other do the talking and vice-versa. It's a listening problem we have. Not listening creates resentment and long term festering. No one wants this, but really, not many of us know we're guilty.

If you brag to your friends, stop it. If you boast about your accomplishments more than you should, stop it. If you don't listen to the concerns of those who are closest to you, stop it. Give others a chance to express their own accomplishments and concerns. You'll be better for it. You'll learn and those to whom you listen will appreciate you even more.

Principle #6 - Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 7 - How to Get Cooperation

This is an excellent tactic for getting all around cooperation, even with a tough crowd. I had an excellent manager years ago at a company for which I worked and he'd use this trick constantly. Once it's put in place, there's really no way to get out of it, nor would you want to. It was your idea, after all. I actually use this one quite a bit in my own life in the classes I teach as well as in my personal relationships. It's pretty awesome.

What is it? Let me explain by way of an example. First though, let me explain why you might want to do something like this.

Think about this question for a moment: Why would you want to do something that someone else suggests? They don't know you as well as you know yourself. They might not know your ambitions or intentions. They might not know how large or small your ego is. If the person you interact with is constantly coming up with ideas and trying to ram them down your throat, you'll eventually resent it. You won't want to participate any longer and any amount of efficiency and synergy will evaporate. In situations like this, it's much better to think harmoniously and to get along. The following will show you exactly how to go about it. It's much better to grease the wheels when something needs to get done than the alternative. Having the other person think they came up with the idea is an excellent maneuver.

I remember way back when I was on my high school football team. Some years we had great players while other years we only had marginal players. The reason they were marginal was because they were somewhat lazy. There was a lot of pushback when it came to some of the warmup drills, with one player being especially vocal about his disapproval.

My coach caught onto what was happening. Because of the one player's complaining, he was "infecting" the rest of the team. Because he was so loud about how he didn't feel like doing the exercises, some of the other players began complaining that they didn't "feel like" it either. Our practices were degrading into complain-fests and our lack of ambition and professionalism showed in our game losses. They were piling up.

During one practice, my coach pulled the vocal player aside. He spoke with him as his equal. He said, "Jeremy, I need your help. You see how our losses are piling up and I'm not sure what to do about it. The other players look up to you and I think they'll follow your lead. I was recently reading about how strenuous and efficient warm up drills were the key to winning football games and I'd like your input on it. Can you take the guys for a few laps around the track and then get back to me with a plan for what to do? Thanks buddy. I sure do appreciate it."

I'm sure you can guess what Jeremy suggested when he got back from the laps. Yes that's right, he suggested that the team begin doing some proper warmups and he even volunteered to lead them. And by the way, the coach's tactic of having Jeremy lead the team for a few laps was also part of the plan. By having Jeremy become a leader and then by having him offer input into a plan for success, he completely transformed Jeremy from being a victim of exercise to a stout proponent of it. An evangelist, if you will.

This type of thing is also perfect for business. The same dynamics oftentimes occur in offices and during meetings, it's critical that management hand off projects and assignments to others. The key is though, get input from those others before handing these things off. Steer the conversations so it seems as if they were the others' ideas. Works like a charm.

Principle #7 - Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 8 - A Formula That Will Work Wonders for You

Much of what we learn in How To Win Friends & Influence People has to do with simple manners. I know that seems lost at times, but you'd be surprised at how well graciousness does when employed. We're not animals, after all. We're humans and we should act with great deference to one another.

A wonderful tactic that will greatly assist you in generally getting along with others in all aspects of your life is to stop and listen. Learn about the other person and attempt to find out that person's story. Why do they do the things they do? Where do they come from and how would that place affect their current perspectives? How might you understanding these things enhance your relationship with that person?

I remember a case of me not learning about a person and how it greatly diminished the potential of a relationship with that person. It wasn't until I wised up and gave him a chance that I was please to learn about the wonderful personality he had.

Back in business graduate school, there was a man in my class who I found slightly annoying. He had an odd voice and he sat at the front of the room persistently. After every question from the professor, he would raise his hand in an effort to answer it first. To me, he was trying too hard. He wasn't "cool." He was nerdy and I didn't think I had the time for him. I was a fool.

My opinion of this man lasted about half the semester. I allowed his actions to bother me to such a degree that I wanted nothing to do with him. I wished he wasn't in the class, just so the rest of us could move on with our lessons. It wasn't until I broke through my poor attitude (perhaps because of this book) that I approached him and introduced myself. He was all too eager to meet me. I usually sat in the back of the classroom and we had only seen each other in passing. He hadn't approached me during he semester either.

After talking with this man for some time, I learned that he grew up in a very poor family and that he had some learning disabilities. His mother had recently passed away and by the graciousness of the university, he was granted admission to the graduate program. Because of the challenges he faced, he made a promise to himself that he would break the chains of poverty that his family had endured and that he'd graduate with honors. His goal was to land a good job after graduation and to live a good life. I had no idea about any of this and I felt foolish for my previously poor attitude. For the remainder of the semester, the man and I greeted each other enthusiastically and any time someone said anything negative about him, I defended him earnestly. I became his biggest fan.

Do you see what my ignorance cost me? A relationship with an outstanding and interesting person. In business, the same type of negative attitude might cost me opportunity and money. By not understanding other people and learning about what makes them tick, we go in blind, left to deal with our own egos and pride. Neither of those things ever made anyone a better person.

Principle #8 - Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 9 - What Everybody Wants

Sympathy is huge among we humans. If you think about it, much of what we tell others is to get a reaction out of them and if what we tell them is of a negative nature, we're oftentimes looking for some type of sympathy. Why do we do this? I'm not exactly sure. It could be because we're looking for camaraderie or solidarity. Perhaps it's because we're looking for some type of importance. Something like, "Oh, look at John over there. Poor guy. He just told me about his ill aunt. Let's try to be a little nicer to him today." So many of us enjoy being treated as special that we'll do almost anything to reach the place we like to be.

Of course, the craving of sympathy can go too far and those are types of situations we'll save for another time. What I'm referring to in this post is a normal amount of sympathy each one of us looks for and needs an many of our relationships. Sympathy shows us that we care about others and that they care about us. Without sympathy, we're an unfeeling and uncaring bunch. No one wants to live in a world like that.

Let's walk through a quick example. Read this and think about how the child must feel after the conversation.

Child: I just tripped and skinned my knee. It hurts soooo bad. I can't take the pain anymore!

You: Oh get over it. I saw you fall and it didn't look bad at all. I've tripped and had injuries ten times as bad as what you have right now and I didn't cry. Grow up.

What do you think the child's reaction will be to you after you say what you said? Probably not great. He may resent you for a very long time after saying something like that to him. Now, if you said, "Oh man, you took quite the spill. Is your knee okay? I see that you skinned it." You'll most likely get a very positive reaction from the child. All he was looking for was a bit of attention and it really didn't take that much to give it to him. Again, human relations is about being attentive, polite, and caring. If you can be these things on a daily basis, you'll go far with others.

Interestingly enough, adults look for the same type of sympathy as children do and they'll gravitate towards those who give it to them. When you see that someone's crying out for attention, try to understand where they're coming from. They may simply be down one day and are feeling vulnerable. If this is the case, show that you care and try to understand what the person is going through. It's during these tough times that real friends are made. While everyone else remains uncaring, you have the opportunity to hold steadfast with your positive attitude.

Allow me to offer one more example before wrapping this post up. In some (most) cases, the sympathy you can offer has nothing to do with someone craving attention or being down and out. Oftentimes it has more to do with occurrences that happen on a daily basis.

Man: (Just stepped into the street) Holy cow! Did you see that car? It almost hit me! What a jerk!

You: Actually sir, I saw that you stepped into the street just when the car was driving by. It's your fault you almost got hit.

Do you know what you're going to find yourself in if you say that to someone? That's right. A fight. A better response would have been, "Boy, you sure are right. These cars drive far too fast these days. Someday, someone is going to get hurt." If you said this, you wouldn't exactly be lying because you didn't mention the man's case specifically, even if it was his fault for stepping into the road. By showing sympathy, you're showing solidarity and that means a lot when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

Principle #9 - Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 10 - An Appeal That Everybody Likes

J.P. Morgan said, "There are two reasons for a person doing a thing: one that sounds good and the real one." You know as well as I do that what we like to think of and what we like others to think of are those reasons that sound good. In the book, Dale Carnegie calls these things the "nobler motives."

I have a friend who recently opened up a local hardware store on a close by Main St. I happen to know this friend very well and we've discussed his reasoning for opening the store quite a bit. His reasons are, unequivocally, to make money. He loves money and he loves everything money can buy. He saw an opportunity for a hardware store in the town in which he now operates, so he opened the business. The thing is, I'm not sure even he's aware of the real reason he opened the business. Whenever anyone asks or interviews him, he says, "You know, I love helping people. I've lived nearby for decades and I saw the need for a hardware store. If people can find a use for what I sell, then all the better. I enjoy being a useful part of the town." But really, it's all about the money.

If you were a local radio station salesperson and you were to approach this man to attempt to have him buy radio ads to run on your radio station airwaves, what approach tactic would you choose? Would you say, "Hello sir. Would you like to buy some radio ads? They'll make you tons of money." Or would you say, "Hello sir. Would you like to buy some radio ads? They'll inform many potential customers of your existence and those customers will stop by to purchase the items they need. You'll be helping them, along with the community, time and time again." Personally, I'd go with the second option. It sounds more noble and my friend is more likely to associate himself with something like that. Even though he loves money, he wouldn't want to sound like that's all he's after. Again, he truly thinks he's in it to help people.

So what's the moral of this story? When attempting to persuade people into your way of thinking, help them sound more noble. They want that. Don't go after the real reasons for things. Go after the ones that have a better public image.

Principle #10 - Appeal to the Nobler Motives
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 11 - The Movies Do It. TV Does It. Why Don't You Do It?

This chapter is all about getting your message across to your intended recipient. It's about bringing your ideas to life. It's about making your point in three dimensions as opposed to one. Let me explain.

I watched a YouTube video some years ago about the overpopulation problem that plagues the earth. Basically, too many babies are being born in certain countries, which is leading to poverty, extreme discomfort, and mass migration issues. The host of the video explained the problems to the audience and the audience listened. I listened. I believed the man, but I wouldn't have stood up from my seat to tell someone about it. To me, I was watching just another man talk about just another problem.

That is, until the man illuminated a huge screen located at the back of the stage on which he stood. On the screen, there was a graph that led up, up, and away. The graph showed how many people were being born and how many immigrants were being displaced due to poverty and hardship. That graph got our attention. And so did the ladder the man pulled out from backstage to climb to the additional heights the graph climbed. At first, we thought the graph only climbed as high as the top of the screen. It wasn't until another screen appeared and the man began climbing the ladder some more. In all, the graph (and the man) climbed higher than two screens combined and then some. The audience and I were shocked. We were in awe. Interestingly enough, the same exact information was being conveyed to us as was before, but the host's added dramatization brought it all home. At first, I wouldn't have repeated what I learned to anyone else, but after watching that man climb that ladder, I repeated it many times. And I'm sitting here typing it today. That's how effective his demonstration was.

So what's the point? In life, you're going to try to get your point across and many people aren't going to listen. It isn't until you add some flair and drama to what you're trying to say that you'll get the attention you seek.

Principle #11 - Dramatize your ideas.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 12 - When Nothing Else Works, Try This

Do you want to know when I got in the most trouble when I was a kid? It was when someone said to me, "I dare you." That's right. I rarely turned down a dare and many of the things I did then were the dumbest of my life. I'm not actually sure why I did much of what I did. I think it had to do with the challenge that someone posed to me. They were essentially saying, "I'm not sure you can actually do this. You'll need to prove it to me."

Do you know that as adults, we are willing to take on just as many dares as we used to when we were kids? It's true. They're just not called dares these days. They're called "challenges."

I used to own and operate a tree care company back when I was younger. I had a crew of men who worked for me and this crew would sometimes get lazy. I'd have to poke and prod them to stimulate their work ethic and sometimes that wasn't the easiest things in the world to do. These were top notch guys though. I knew they could work, but in the beginning, times were rough.

Back when I first hired some of my crew, I'd resort to tough tactics to get the most production out of them. When they slowed down, I'd yell and scream and at times, I even threatened to fire them. Of course those things worked up to a point. That is, until I turned around or had to leave them behind so I could go to another job. At times like those, they'd simply revert back to their lazy ways. I learned quickly that tough tactics didn't work very well.

One day, I cut down an enormous willow tree. Lying on its side, the trunk must have been four feet tall. I knew that it would take all afternoon to cut the tree into pieces, and actually, that's all the time we had. I booked a full schedule and we wouldn't be able to make it back the next day to finish up. We had to get the job finished that day. But how? My men were worn out. They didn't seem to have it in them.

Instead of berating and yelling at the guys like I normally would have, I did something much more simple. Much more straightforward. When it came time to cut the tree trunk up with my six foot long chainsaw, I set an example and threw down a challenge. I started the saw, very dramatically looked at my watch and set its timer. Then, I made the first cut. When I was though, I placed the chainsaw down on the ground and stopped my watch. I yelled out, two minutes and thirty six seconds! I then walked away without saying anything else to work on other things.

What was the result? You would have been surprised. You should have seen the guys vying for the saw, practically climbing over one another. When one got hold of it, he yelled to the others, "Time me!" Before I knew it, the log was all cut up and I had multiple reports of how quickly each one had done their job. They even told me of the winner, not that I had even posed a challenge. It worked like a charm.

Basically, by timing myself cutting the log, I had posed a challenge. These guys are true winners by nature, but they sometimes need a bit of prodding. Apparently, I figured out the system and had used that type of idea time and time again. I was happy, they were happy and I even set up a reward system based on the idea.

So what's the point? When it's important to get something done...

Principle #12 - Throw down a challenge.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Part Four - Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Chapter 1 - If You Must Find Fault, This is the Way to Begin

A barber lathers a man before he shaves him. Remember that. A dentist injects Novocain before he drills. Remember that too.

Imagine how you'd feel if someone walked up to you and said, "Boy, you really screwed that up. What in the world were you thinking?!?" You'd feel pretty crummy, wouldn't you? I sure would. If someone is trying to change the behavior of someone else, why would they begin a criticism with an insult? Why would they put the person they're attempting to change in a defensive posture? Why would they say something that instantly closes the person to any type of amiability? After all, the goal is to change them? Why throw sand in the gears? That's not good people skills at all.

I use this tactic with my spouse all the time. After all, I live with her, love her, and we both try to bring out the best in each other. The thing is, seeing each other so much sometimes leads us to laziness in our interpersonal relationship. We're not always on our toes, but most of the time we are. Let me give you an example of how I might deal with something she does that I feel should change. I'll make this up completely.

Let's say my spouse has a bad habit of tracking snow through the house every time she goes outside in the winter and wears her big boots. I obviously wouldn't want the snow tracked around inside, so I'd have to come up with a way to get her to change her behavior. I probably wouldn't want to say, "Hey, stop bringing so much snow in! You're making a mess and it's really ticking me off!" If I said that, there would be hell to pay. She might stop tracking snow, but I'm sure she'd find some other annoying thing to do, just to get me back and to teach me a lesson. The lesson would be, "Don't talk to me like that, you jerk!" So realistically, I'd have to think of something much more smooth and elegant to say. What do you think of this?

"You know, there aren't many people out there who care so much about their feet getting cold like you do. With all the negative consequences of frostbite and chilled extremities, you certainly do know the best way to protect your feet. Those boots you wear are pretty awesome."

Good so far. I'm feeling it.

"Sweetie, I need your advice. We sometimes track snow inside after going for our winter walks. Do you think that snow damages our floor at all? Do you think we should be extra careful and leave our boots outside altogether, just to make sure we don't get any snow inside?"

And I'd leave it there. Do you see what I did? I first gave her a compliment for wearing such great boots and then I asked her for advice. She really has no choice but to stop tracking snow indoors. If she continues, she's basically saying that she doesn't care about the floor, which I know she does. The ball is in her court and I've done my job well. I was crafty and didn't insult her at all. Now that's the way to deal with people!

Principle #1 - Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 2 - How to Criticize - and Not be Hated for It

Criticizing people is a tricky business. Some people say that we shouldn't criticize at all. To them I ask, "Then how do we ever get anyone to change?" People break rules and misbehave all the time. They don't work to their fullest potential either. They take shortcuts and don't give us what we pay for. Should an entirely agreeable society trump having things the way we ought to have them? I don't think so. Of course there's a place for criticism, but we do need to be careful with how we critique. While our goal is change, we certainly don't want to distance people even further from that goal. We need to use what's called, finesse.

Let me give you an example here, just to demonstrate what I'm talking about. Let's say your son is doing great in French class, but doing horribly in math class. What would you say to him to encourage him to spend extra time on his math? Would you say, "Son, you're awesome and French, but you're horrible at math." No, you probably shouldn't do that. Why? Because the moment the second part of that sentence comes out of your mouth - the part after the "but" - your son will see through the fake sincerity of the first part and take offense at the entire sentence. That's a quick path to nowhere. What should you have said? How's this: "Son, you're doing great in French class and I think you'd do even better in math class if you put the same type of effort into it as you do with French. Do you see the and in that example? That's right. All you need to do to keep both parts of the sentence positive is to change the but to an and. And then change some things around in the second half. You get the idea.

When criticizing people, you always need to be careful. You never want to come right out and say that they're doing poorly at something. The trick is to keep the person's spirits high while offering them suggestions. Granted, this type of thing takes some practice, but if done correctly, it'll work wonders with winning people to your way of thinking.

Principle #2 - Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
 

Cameron

Well-Known Member
Chapter 3 - Talk About Your Own Mistakes First

People like those who are humble. I've always been told that a little humility goes a long way. Even if you're attempting to project strength and power, that projection is more effective when others can relate to you. And no one is perfect, so all the projection of power in the world won't go very far if people don't believe it. You can't lie your way through leadership.

Let's pretend that your goal is to correct the actions of another person. They're doing something incorrectly and it's inhibiting their progress. Whether it be personally, recreationally, or professionally. It doesn't really matter. If you were to walk up to that person and tell them that they're doing the thing wrong - flat out - they may accept your criticism initially, but resent you for it in the long run. Like so many other lessons in this book, it's about being polite, thinking of the other person's feelings and reaction, and softening them up so they accept the criticism more easily and change their behavior.

I teach martial arts and trust me when I say this; many students tend to screw things up many times before becoming proficient with them. It's only natural. So, if it's natural to screw things up as a student and if I've been teaching for years, why would I berate or criticize the students for doing so? Shouldn't I be more understanding, especially since I used to screw things up myself? Shouldn't I consider the effect of my criticisms? Wouldn't it be more effective to bring some comfort to my students by telling them about how I used to be the biggest screw up of all? If they hear that I wasn't very good back in the beginning, perhaps they'll be motivated to keep on trying. If I can do it, surely they can too.

The trick with changing people's behavior is to bring them a level of comfort. You need to knock down the walls of resistance and telling others of your own mistakes before telling them of their own oftentimes works wonders.

Principle #3 - Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
 
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