It’s been almost 80 years since Dale Carnegie made self-help history by publishing How to Win Friends and Influence People. Over the years this guidebook to gaining advantages in social settings without resorting to negativity has endeared itself with so many readers it has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Here are some of the best tips from the book that still make sense for audiences today about how to change people without offending them or making them resent you.
Pay Praise Making sure that people know that they’re appreciated for their hard work and effort actually improves their overall job performance. Feeling valued will make them like you and want to continue pleasing you. It is infuriating to people to feel overlooked: eventually they will decide they don’t need your approval and start looking elsewhere for it. A good word here and there will keep people loyal to you, and will make them more effective parts of your team.
Say You’re Sorry If you did something wrong it doesn’t make it any easier to get along with people if you deny responsibility, or flat out refuse to say you’re sorry. You may feel like not making an apology is an act of self preservation but it drives people away from you. Saying you’re sorry builds trust and displays concern for others, which strengthens your social bonds with people.
Talk People Up One of the best ways to reinforce your relationships is to make people seem better than they actually are. When you talk positively about a co-worker or a friend to other people you are showing them that you can be trusted to give other people a positive account of who they are. They will like you more, and you will help build networks.
People Before Numbers This goes against Sabermetric thinking that says facts tell the whole story, but you shouldn’t only rely on hard data to get your points across. You need to make emotional connections with people if you want to get things done. Dramatize the information you want to get across if you want it to resonate with the people around you.
Open Your Ears, Shut Your Mouth Not only is it going to help you learn more about what is going on around you, there is less of a chance that you are going to say the wrong thing, which might get you in trouble. Listeners benefit from giving people the impression that they care more about the person who is speaking, even if they don’t really agree with what’s being said or like the person who’s talking. Dominating a conversation leaves you open to a lot more critique, so the less you say the better. It’s like making the target smaller: your opponents will find it harder to hit.