This is part 1 of my review/breakdown of what I learned by reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
This post will outline what I learned from Part 1, which is entitled “Fundamental Techniques in Handling People” (aka PEOPLE SKILLS)
If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive
The gist of this chapter points out the importance of never criticizing, condemning or complaining. This chapter uses numerous examples, including the fact that several letters written by President Lincoln were never sent, due to the stinging nature of them. Lincoln, in his wisdom never sent the letters, but rather sent “nicer” letters once he was composed enough to send them without raising the ire of the intended recipient.
The Big Secret of Dealing With People
This chapter emphasizes the importance of giving honest and sincere appreciation. It has been shown by many psychologists, the most notable being B.F. Skinner, that the attainment of pleasure is always a better driving force then the avoidance of pain.
When dealing with anyone, make doubly sure to find something in the situation that you can genuinely appreciate, and draw attention to that. Focusing on the positive will always bring more of the positive into the situation. This goes back to the Law of Attraction, which states, in a nutshell, that what you focus on grows.
He Who Can Do This Has The Whole World With Him, He Who Cannot Walks A Lonely Way
This chapter advises the reader, when dealing with another person, to focus on the wants and needs of the other person above his or her own interests. If you ever come across a difficult situation, rather than resorting to things such as force, threats or browbeating, focus on them. Find out what turns that person on, and rephrase the problem to yourself in terms of what the person needs or wants. This will, done properly, create a burning white desire in that person to get things done.
As an example, my son occasionally goes through periods of not wanting to eat the meals provided at school. He is not yet at an age where the school allows the students to bring in their own lunches. Incidentally, my son happens to want to be a great inventor when he grows up. His current hero, as far as inventors go, is George Washington Carver.
Rather than threatening my son that I will come to school and feed him in front of his friends (which, I’m ashamed to admit, I have done in frustration), I decided to rephrase the situation in terms of his interests.
ME: “Son, do you remember what you told me you want to be when you grow up?”
SON:(smiling) “An inventor and scientist.”
ME: (smiling also) “Well, what do you think scientists have to be?”
ME: “And, in order to be smart, which part of your body has to work the right way?”
SON: “Your brain.”
ME: “Do you think your brain will be able to work properly if you never eat?”
SON: “No, I guess not.”
ME: “Well, do you think if you ate the food at school, rather than be hungry all day, you might be even smarter when you wake up?”
SON: (beaming) “Yes!”
Needless to say, haven’t had a problem with him eating at school since;)
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