Notes and Thoughts - How to Win Friends and Influence People
October 16, 2020
What follows below will be both a summary of the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, and some of my thoughts about the content of the book. I’m just going to go straight through because that’s how I took these notes.
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain “arouse enthusiasm by encouragement and praise”
- Give honest and sincere appreciation
- Arouse in the other person an eager want -> think about what they want
Attacking people is one of, if not the, quickest way to get people not to like you. This is another way of saying you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Which follows into the next part of making sure that praise is legitimate rather than something made out of whole cloth. No one likes to be lied to even if it’s about something good. The last entry in this part is about putting yourself in the shoes of the other person to get them to like you. You want to understand their desires. Generally being an empathetic person is cool.
- Be interested in others
- Remember names
- Be a good listener. Get other people to talk about themselves
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
- Make the other person feel important
This part starts off like the previous ended with an insistence that other people matter. In this case it tells you to be interested in them. The second tip is to smile more. This feels a tad fake, but I wholeheartedly agree that people should smile more. Remembering names is another tip around being interested in others. If you can’t bother to remember someone’s name, then you clearly aren’t genuinely interested. Getting other people to talk is a great way of having a conversation if you’re like me, and are terrible at speaking, but it is also a great way in general to engage with people. Even more so when you are interested in what they have to say. Flowing into when you do talk to talk about things that person finds interesting. People like the things they like, and they like talking about the things they like, and they like talking about those things with people that like those things. And lastly, the final tip is about considering the other person’s feelings. People like to feel good about themselves. .
- Avoid arguments
- Respect other opinions. Never say “you’re wrong”
- Admin when you are wrong
- Be friendly
- Ask questions to get a “yes, yes”
- Let others do most of the talking
- Let the other person think it is their idea
- See thing from the other person’s point of view
- Be Sympathetic
- Appeal to nobler motives
- Dramatize your ideas
- Throw down a challenge
Avoiding arguments goes back to the very first part of this book. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. Most likely if you are arguing with someone, then you are doing one or multiple of those things. Don’t do it. Respecting other opinions is not the same as agreeing with those opinions. Generally, a good idea to not say “you’re wrong”, but there are limits to this that hopefully you’re not going to have to deal with in regular conversation. Admitting when you’re wrong is a good sign of humbleness which a lot of people value. Being friendly goes very well with everything else in this book so far, and maybe should have been towards the front. Asking questions is a great way to have a conversation both in terms of directing a conversation, promoting understanding, and clarifying points. Let others do most of the talking is something I mentioned previously, and this book agrees. Which leads to the next point by letting the other person think it is their idea. Maybe this book is structured with similar points spread across different parts to promote this idea of getting the reader to think it was all their idea. Maybe I’m just paranoid. Putting yourself in another person’s shoes; there is that idea again. I would add be empathetic in addition to sympathetic, but once again the book stresses being concerned with another person’s feelings. Nobler motives, grand ideas which you should dramatize, and challenges. People like to climb mountains, best their competition, and do big things. The last fourth of this part is about lofty castles in the sky.
- Begin w/ praise and appreciation
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing others
- Ask questions instead of giving orders
- Let people save face
- praise people more
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
- Use encouragement. Make fault seem easy to correct.
- Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
The last part starts with more praise. Highlighting mistakes indirectly is very similar to asking questions, and not directly telling people they are wrong. Talking about your own mistakes is also a mirror to admitting when you are wrong. And once again another Asking questions tip. Leading people through questions. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain, no direct assaults on the other person’s image of themselves is what saving face is about. And again praise. Talking people up so they act the way you want. Encouragement. This has been the twin of praise throughout this book. And lastly, making people think what they want is what you want them to do.
This book is a giant collection of tips and tricks on how to get along with people, and ultimately get them to do what you want. Some might see this as a tad manipulative, but there is a feeling that the author wants the readers to be genuine in deploying these tips. That or I misread.
A lot of these can be grouped together differently rather than the above book order. Below are some of the major themes.
- Be positive
- Don’t be negative
- Consider other people’s feelings
Written by Carl Lloyd. He spends his time playing with technology, and learning new things.