The concepts in the book can help anyone in any role, but they are particularly appealing to HR because of our need to drive performance and action through those around us.
Using his own experience and anecdotes from important people in history, Dale explains the fundamentals of getting what you want from people. Despite having been written 85 years ago, this book still strikes by its relevance and its timeless principles.
“Fundamental Techniques in Handling People”
Rather than skimming through this book, you should be constantly studying, reviewing and applying its principles in your work and personal life. Dale goes as far as recommending having friends or colleagues accountable for reminding you when you violate one of these rules. The three principles to master the art of winning friends and influencing people are as follow:
Principle 1: Be Nice
The first fundamental rule of handling people is to be nice. You should abstain from criticizing, condemning, or complaining about people. Rather than judging individuals or disapproving them, you should try to understand the reasons behind their actions. This way it is easier to show support and kindness and in return get the sympathy from those same people. Refraining from expressing negative feelings isn’t a natural thing to do and it requires long practice.
In order to change others you should start with yourself.
Principle 2: Find Out What They Want
The second essential rule is understanding what others need and offering it to them. Every individual has needs and wants. Most of them such as food, sleep, and health are already fulfilled, but one strong desire is never truly addressed: the need to feel important. Once you understand what triggers this person sentiment of importance, it is easy to make him or her feel valued. For instance, when talking to a colleague, use incentives instead of criticism to inspire the person in question. Keep in mind that criticisms comings from the boss are the most effective way to kill an individual’s aspirations. You should be generous with praises and hesitant with critics without overusing flattery which will sound insincere and work against you.
Stick to genuine and sincere appreciation and you will be fine.
Principle 3: Help Them Get What They Want
The third fundamental rule is to stimulate an eager want in others. Everybody is interested in getting something. If you want to increase your impact over those individuals, you should understand what they want to achieve and help them accomplish it. To do this, you need to have a solid comprehension of their point of view and examine the situation from both their perspective and your own.
Roosevelt one said: “the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.”
Those three principles are further broken down into smaller guidelines with key advice on developing soft skills such as remembering people’s names, making the right first impression and managing conflicts.