We’re in our third week of our review of Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’. This week, Mr. Carnegie is talking about getting people to come around to your way of thinking.
Carnegie Wins People With Stories
Mr. Carnegie loves to tell stories to illustrate his points. He told one here about a man at a dinner party who heard another gentlemen attribute a saying as coming from the Bible. The guest knew for sure it was a quote from Shakespeare and made it a point to tell the distinguished gentleman so. The gentleman didn’t back down and said he knew it was from the Bible. The guest had a friend who was listening to the conversation who was an expert on Shakespeare. He tried to get his friend to agree with him on the misquote, but to his surprise, the friend kicked him under the table and said, ‘Oh, he’s right, it is from the Bible’. On the way home the man asked his friend to explain. His friend said to him, ‘Why prove to a man he is wrong. Is that going to make him like you? He didn’t ask for your opinion, he didn’t need it. Why not let him save face’. Would this be hard for you to do in a similar situation? I think it might be for me, but it’s something I’ll try to remember.
How To Handle Arguments
This is one of the stories Dale Carnegie tells about how to handle arguments. He says, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”. Ben Franklin once said, “Would you rather have an academic, theatrical victory, of a person’s good will”. This chapter had several stories about how arguing with people will usually build walls instead of bridges. He urges us to…
- look for areas of agreement
- be honest
- promise to think over your opponent’s ideas
Here are the twelve principles Carnegie taught in his classes on winning people to your way of thinking. All of them were illustrated with stories from his experiences. Many of these are common courtesy and putting others interests ahead of yours.
I find the reading of the accompanying story helps to solidify the principle. However, applying them to my circumstances takes a lot of thinking and planning before having a conversation with someone. In other words, it doesn’t come naturally!
12 Principles For Winning People
Principle 1 – The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Principle 2 – Show respect for the other person’s opinion – never say, ‘You’re wrong’ You can be right and lose the battle (or a sale). Listen
Principle 3 – If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically Admitting you’re wrong will usually allow the other person to lower their defenses and be gracious
Principle 4 – Begin in a friendly way You know the saying, ‘A drop of honey…’
Principle 5 – Get the other person saying, ‘Yes, Yes’ quickly Ask questions in such a way that your opponent has to answer yes to them
Principle 6 – Let the other person do a great deal of the talking Find out about a person and ask them questions, they’ll think you’re a great conversationalist
Principle 7 – Let the other person feel that the idea was his or hers By doing this, you’ll get not only better cooperation, but someone who will be a cheerleader for the idea
Principle 8 – Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view really listen to someone’s explanation and try to envision yourself in their position
Principle 9 – Be sympathetic with the other person’s wants and desires if you’re sympathetic/empathetic about something important to people, they will be more likely to understand your point of view
Principle 10 – Appeal to the nobler motives If you give people an opportunity to show their quality, most people will. Appeal to their fair-mindedness
Principle 11 – Dramatize your ideas use props to get your point across
Principle 12 – Throw down a challenge Stimulate competition and a desire to excel
These twelve principles cover probably two-thirds of the book and I’m just summarizing each principle briefly. Skimming through the book regularly helps to keep things fresh in your mind.
Next week, I think we’ll finish up this series. I hope it’s been helpful for you.