How to Win Friends and Influence People covers a lot of ideas. A good way to understand the book is to learn the general principles underlying the book. Then we’ll cover a checklist for two common situations: 1) how to approach arguments, 2) how to give feedback and change someone else’s behavior.
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If you’re reading this book, you probably want to change your behavior. But changing your behavior is hard. Despite reading these principles, when you’re in the thick of an argument, it’s easy to totally forget that you’re supposed to see the...
The book starts with three general principles that underlie the other chapters. The idea that “people crave importance” is repeated the most often throughout the book, so it’s worth paying special attention to.
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With the 3 major principles in place, How to Win Friends and Influence People then describes how to get people to like you.
In summary, make people feel important by being happy to see them, encouraging them to discuss their interests and passions at length, calling them by their name, and giving genuine praise for things they pride themselves on.
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This is really a repetition and recap of the other principles.
Become a more likable person by changing how you approach people.
Are you the type to want to dominate the conversation, or to ask other people to talk? If you’re the former, what could you say in your next conversation to show you’re interested in them? What could you ask to hear their point of view?
Praise is well and good, but what do you do when someone disagrees with you? That’s the next subject of How to Win Friends and Influence People. In summary:
Put aside your instinct to fight fire with fire. People don’t like to be proven wrong. They don’t like to admit they have to change their mind, no matter how right you supposedly are. They crave...
Revisit a recent argument to reach a better resolution.
Think about a recent argument where you felt you were both talking over each other. What was it about? How did it begin? How did it escalate?
The final part of the book deals with giving feedback to people. You don’t begin in an argument like Part 3 teaches, but you notice something that needs improving and need to communicate it.
This advice applies in relationships of all directions - your superiors, equals, and subordinates. Even your bosses appreciate praise for what they do and sympathy for the difficulties of their role!
Now that the problem is known, present how to fix the problem.
Revisit a recent time you gave feedback to someone, and improve your approach.
Think about a recent time you gave feedback that didn’t get the results you wanted. What was it about? How did you present it? How did the other person respond?