How to Win Friends & Influence People Overview

Part Two:  Six Ways to Make People Like You

Principle 1:  Become genuinely interested in people.

If we want people to be interested in us, we have to be genuinely interested in them.  The book tells of a story about a man named Mr. Walters, who was assigned to prepare a confidential report on a certain corporation.  As Mr. Walters went into the president of the company's office, he overheard the president's secretary say that she had no new stamps for him that day.  The president explained to Mr. Walters that he was collecting stamps for his twelve year old son.  Mr. Walters explained his assignment and started asking questions.  The president was uninterested and gave vague answers, resulting in a very brief and barren interview.  The next afternoon, Mr. Walters called the president to tell him he had stamps to give him.  Walters was enthusiastically ushered into the office.  They spent a half hour talking about stamps and looking at pictures of the presidents son, and then the president devoted over an hour of his time giving Mr. Walters every bit of information he wanted without him even suggesting it.  Showing genuine interest ended up getting Mr. Walters the full scoop of what he needed.  

Principle 2:  Smile.

Smiling shows off your good will and puts people in a pleasant mood.  They often tell telemarketers to smile when talking over the phone because people can hear the smile in their voice.  Happiness counts over everything, so genuinely smile at everyone.  If you aren't feeling like smiling, hum or whistle a tune, think positive thoughts, or think of something funny to get you to smile.  You will notice your interactions will be much more pleasant.

Principle 3:  Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Everyone knows how impressionable it is when a person remembers your name.  It feels personal and strengthens the bond between people.  A technique I use to remember a person's name when I meet them is to repeat their name directly after they introduce themselves.  Example:
"Hi, my name is TJ."
"Hey, I'm Sarah"
"Nice to meet you, Sarah."
Then I repeat it a few times in my head to drill it in.  "Sarah.  Sarah.  Sarah.  Sarah."  If I don't hear the name clearly, I'll ask for them to repeat it and if it's a tough name to remember, having them spell it out helps.  
Check out the page on Remembering Names to become a natural!

Principle 4:  Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves.  

People are not interested in anything more than themselves.  When having a conversation, ask questions the other person will enjoy answering.  Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.  When a person is disgruntled or dissatisfied and is telling you about what is making them upset, they aren't hoping you interrupt them to tell them your opinion.  They just want to be listened intently to.  

"But the attention he gave me, his appreciation of what I said, even when I said it badly, was extraordinary.  You've no idea what it meant to be listened to like that." - A man describing Sigmond Freud's manner of listening.

Principle 5:  Talk in terms of the other person's interests.

Learning about a person's interests and passions and making that the topic of conversation will strengthen your bond with them immensely.  People will be enthusiastic to talk to you about their personal interests.  Not only will this reward you with the knowledge they share with you, but you will also benefit from the stronger relationship you've built with the person.  They are more likely to be there for you when you need it.

Principle 6:  Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.

Compliment people on tasks they do well.  Make them feel like they are really doing something worth appreciating.  Show people you have trust and faith in them to get something done.  Show them you are confident in them.  They will light up with raised self-esteem and will become much more fond of you.

Home > Even Better > Six Ways to Make People Like You

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