How to Win Friends and Influence People - a Personal Analysis

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  • Topic: How to Win Friends and Influence People, Thought, Idea
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  • Published : April 3, 2005
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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...
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