How to win friends and influence people consists of mainly four parts in which I will break them down and summarize each section.
Part 2) Ways to make people like you
There are six key principles in part 2:
- Become genuinely interested in other people
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
1. Become genuinely interested in other people
The greatest winner of friends the world has ever known are dogs. When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives.
Dogs have never read a book on psychology. They didn’t need to. Dogs knew by some divine instinct that you they can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
Most people blunder through life trying to wig-wag other people into becoming interested in them. If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends, real friends are not made that way. People are not interested in you or me. They are only interested in themselves.
Let me ask you. When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first?
If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness. Let’s greet people with animation and enthusiasm. Say “Hello” in tones that bespeak how pleased you are to have the person call. Many companies train their telephone operators to greet all callers in a tone of voice that radiates interest and enthusiasm.
“We are interested in others when they are interested in us.” A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations, must be sincere.
Principle 1 – Become genuinely interested in other people.
2. Smile – A simple way to make a good first impression
The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s body. Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.” That is why dogs make such a hit, in addition to the earlier principle mentioned. Dogs are so glad to see us that they almost jump out of their skins. So, naturally, we are glad to see them too.
A real smile is nothing like an insincere grin. A real, heart-warming smile is a smile that comes from within, the kind of smile that will bring a good price in the market place. The effect of a smile is powerful – even when it is unseen. Telephone companies in the United States suggest that you smile when talking on the phone. Your “smile” comes through in your voice.
Here’s what you need to do if you don’t like smiling. First, force yourself to smile. If you are alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing. Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.
The following is an illustration from the book.
Senora Maria had a job where she worked all by herself in closed-off room in the office. This was not only lonely but also denied the opportunities of making friends with the other employees. She envied the shared comradeship of other people in the company as she heard their chatter and laughter. As she passed them in the hall during the first week of her employment, she shyly looked the other way.
After a few weeks, she said to herself. “Maria, you can‘t expect those women to come to you. You have to out and meet them.” The next time she walked to the water cooler, she put on her brightest smile and said ‘Hi, how are you doing today?’ to each of the people she met. The effect was immediately. Smiles and hello were returned, the hallway seemed brighter, and the job friendlier. Her job and her life became more pleasant and interesting.
Chinese proverb: “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”
Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it.
The value of a smile: It costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits. It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote fee trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
Principle 2 – Smile.
3. Remember that a person’s name to that person is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
If you don’t do this, you are headed for trouble.
The average person is more interested in his or her own name than all the other names on earth put together. Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it or misspell it – and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage.
People are so proud of their names that they strive to perpetuate them at any cost. Libraries and museums owe their richest collections to people who cannot bear to think that their names might perish from the memory of the race. Many of the buildings on the campus of most universities bear the names of donors who contributed large sums of money for this honor.
Most people don’t remember names, for the simple reason that they don’t take the time and energy necessary to concentrate and repeat and fix names indelibly in their minds. They make excuses for themselves; they are too busy.
“Good manners, are made up of petty sacrifices.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as we deal with others.
Principle 3 – Remember that a person’s name to that person is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
An easy way to become a good conversationalist is to listen intently. Listen because you are genuinely interested.
Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is as flattering as that. Many people fail to make a favorable impression because they don’t listen attentively.
They have been so much concerned with what they are going to say next that they do not keep their ears open… very important people have said to prefer good listeners to good talkers, but the ability to listen seems rarer than almost any other good trait.
“Many people call a doctor when all they want is an audience.”
Most people don’t want advises. They merely wanted a friendly, sympathetic listener to whom he could unburden himself. That’s what we all want when we are in trouble. That is frequently all the irritated customer wants, and the dissatisfied employee or the hurt friend.
If you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one’s neck interests one more than forty earthquakes in Africa. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.
Principle 4 – Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
How to interest people – The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the thing he or she treasures the most.
Theodore Roosevelt was known to have an astonishing range and diversity of knowledge. Whether his visitor was a cowboy or a politician or a diplomat, Roosevelt knew what to say. This was because whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested in.
Below is another example in the book.
Henry G. of a wholesale baking firm in New York had been trying to sell bread to a certain New York hotel. He had called on the manager every week for four years. He did everything that he could to sell his bread but he failed.
Then, Mr. Henry decided to change his tactics after studying human relations. He decided to find out what was this man interested in – what catches his enthusiasm.
So when Mr. Henry met him, he began talking about the organization that the man was in-charged and proud of. They conversed for hours straight but talks about the sale of bread wasn’t mentioned.
However, few days later, Mr. Henry had received a call asking him to go over with samples and prices. After years of convincing and negotiating, Mr. Henry had finally managed to sell his bread to the hotel. And that was by finding out what the other person was interested in, what he had enjoyed talking about.
Principle 5 – Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
How to make people like you instantly – Always make the other person feel important.
If we obey the above law, we shall almost never get into trouble. In fact, it will bring us countless friends and constant happiness. “Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.”
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return – we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve.
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”
For example, the waitress brings us mashed potatoes when we have ordered French Fries, let’s say: “I’m sorry to trouble you, but I prefer French Fries.” She’ll probably reply, “No trouble at all” and will be glad to change the potatoes, because we have shown respect for her.
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 they are the hallmark of good breeding.
Almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely. Remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn from him.”
Principle 6 – Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.