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How to Win Friends and Influence People - a Personal Analysis

Essay by review  •  November 12, 2010  •  Case Study  •  2,554 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,714 Views

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"The more you get out of this book, the more you'll get out of life." This is the claim that Dale Carnegie makes in reference to his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Carnegie proposes that there are four main ideas that one should use when dealing with people: 1) Know how to handle people, 2) Make people like you, 3) Win people to their way of thinking, and 4) Be a leader. These skills are essential not only in being a good manager, but also in dealing with people in day to day life.

1) Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

The first thing one must know when handling people is "don't criticize, condemn, or complain." When you criticize someone, you put yourself at a level above them. Even if you get your point across, the only thing that will come of the situation is that the other person will have a feeling of remorse and you will have bruised their self-esteem. Often times I've been involved in group projects in school where I have been paired up with people who have a very different method of doing things. I tend to think that my way of doing things is the most efficient; however I don't shoot down the ideas of others. Rather, I try to understand where they were coming from and find a way work together. This is exactly the point that Carnegie is trying to get across.

The next tip is "give honest and sincere appreciation." A recurring theme in this book, is that people want to feel like they are important. There is a driver forcing you to do everything in life. For example, as a chairperson of the Business Week publicity committee, I am working hard to promote the Business Week activities and increase attendance using creative tactics. When people show up to events because of a promotion I created, it makes me feel important and gives me a sense of fulfillment. Such is the case when dealing with others. If they know they are appreciated, they will feel important and will continue doing a good job in the future.

And finally, "arouse in the other person an eager want." Find what it is that gives a person their sense of importance. And utilize that knowledge to drive them to want to do their job to the best of their ability. When I in high school, I used to baby-sit children. Often the most difficult part of the evening was getting the kids to go to bed. So I'd tell them that we were going to play a game that whoever brushed their teeth and put their pajamas on the fastest would win. The kids were more than happy to partake. By creating a situation where the children wanted to go to bed, both of us were happy.

2) Six Ways to Make People Like You

The first step in making people like you is to "become genuinely interested in other people," and "talk in terms of the other person's interests." This is a technique that I have found myself using during the interview process for summer internships. I research a company before the interview so that I have a better understanding of it and can ask educated questions about the company. Recruiters are impressed with students who are truly interested in the opportunities their companies provide, and they appreciate it when they can tell that effort has been made to research their company.

The next step is "smile." I actually tried doing this more often after reading the book. I smiled at every person I walked by on my way home from class one day. I received a few confused looks of "do I know you?" But for the most part, people greeted me with a smile in return. I'm not ashamed to say, it made my day.

Also, "remember that a person's name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language." This is an area that I know I could use improvement on. I am not good with names at all, but I can honestly say that I am making an honest effort to get better at it by repeating a person's name in my head when I meet them and associating that name with some quality about them. I know that I definitely appreciate it when a person can call me by my name. I suppose it somewhat relates back to that "feeling of importance" you get when a person remembers you.

Another very important tip is to "be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves." This is a lesson I learned after coming back from studying abroad. I had so many stories to tell and I wanted to show EVERYONE my pictures. But I had forgotten that they all had their stories too and didn't necessarily want listen to me ramble on about my adventures in Spain for hours and hours. Luckily, I have a great group of friends who didn't mind hearing my tales, and expressed a genuine interest in what I had to say. It made me appreciate what great friends I have. Which brings me to Carnegie's final principle, "make the other person feel important, and to it sincerely."

3) How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

First of all, "the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it." This relates back to the concept of not criticizing or condemning people. No good can come of an argument, all that will follow is one or both of the parties involved leaving with remorse and ill will. After living with three people in a small apartment this year, I have mastered the art of avoiding confrontation. We decided right away to split up the chores (garbage, dishes, vacuuming, etc...) so that nobody can point fingers at each other if something doesn't get done. We all know our roll. This leads into two more of Carnegie's principles: "Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view." Also, "be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires." If there is some reason that one of my roommates hasn't done her chore, instead of jumping on them and getting upset about it, I stop myself and think about how busy they've been, or how we're out of garbage bags, or how I've neglected to do my chore in the past. This leads to understanding and disseminates any conflict that might normally arise without said understanding.

Always remember to "show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say 'You're wrong.'" By disregarding what others think and putting them down, you're only stirring up negative feelings. It doesn't do any harm to hear people out, even when you feel that your idea is better than their, because sometimes they might just be right. "If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically."

It is always a good idea to "begin in a friendly way." The only way to gain respect from people so

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