How to Win Friends and Influence People – Part 1
By Dale Carnegie
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Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
“If by the time you have finished reading the first three chapters of this book – if you aren’t then a little better equipped to meet life’s situations, then I shall consider this book to be a total failure so far as you are concerned.” – Dale Carnegie.
The following three chapters are the chapters referred to in the above quote. When I first encountered this book, it was these three chapters which impacted me most. It began a process which has changed much of the way I have interacted with others ever since. They and hold information which should be reviewed on a regular basis as each time I re-read this book, I discover more about myself and others.
1. ‘If you want to gather honey, Don’t kick over the beehive’
This chapter begins with the story of the arrest of ‘two gun’ Crawley, a notorious and dangerous criminal who held out for over an hour against 150 armed police officers, tear gas and automatic weapons armed with his own hand gun and a second one taken from a police officer he had killed. Described by the Police Commissioner as a man who would ‘kill at a drop of a feather’ he described himself as someone with “… a weary heart, but a kind one – one that would do nobody any harm” and who said of his conviction “This is what I get for defending myself”
It goes on to talk about the gangland characters, Al Capone and Dutch Schultz who considered themselves public benefactors rather than the violent and vicious criminals the police and public viewed them as. This theme then goes on to include the view of a warden from Sing Sing prison who noted that all the criminals rationalised and justified their actions so they could view themselves as blameless.
Going on to mention a founder of an American store chain, the Psychologists, B F Skinner & Hans Salye and others including the spat between Roosevelt & Spat which divided the Republican party and put the Conservative Woodrow Wilson in the White House!
Using Abraham Lincoln as a negative and positive example, the point being made in this chapter is quite simple. People justify their actions in a way that puts their behaviour in a positive light and criticising or blaming them will not change how they view their actions except to entrench them! Instead we should try to understand others.
The chapter concludes with ‘Father Forgets’ by W. Livingstone Larned. The words of a father to his son spoken while the son is sleeping.
2. The big secret of dealing with people
This chapter starts with the point that there is only one way to get anyone to do what you want! That is by making the other person want to do it. Having made that statement it provides examples of bully tactics to make people do things and that such methods have undesirable repercussions.
This chapter begins with human motivating factors. It quotes Sigmund Freud and John Dowey before providing a list of 8 things people want most. It then goes on to focus on one of those needs.
This need has inspired civilisation, it has cased authors to put pen to paper, it has caused great symphonies to be written, it fuels the fashion industry, it determines character, it inspires benevolence and can also produce negative emotions such as greed.
Charles Schwab was the first American in business to be paid a salary over 1 million dollars. He attributed this to his ability to arouse enthusiasm in others and to develop the best in people which he claims is based in his ability too meet the very need focussed on in this chapter.
The chapter goes on with different examples and stories and spends some time emphasising the need for sincerity to underpin the meeting of this need. This need and how to meet it in others are mentioned in varying terms throughout this chapter. This concept is a core principal upon which the whole book is based and needs to be so entwined with your dealings with others that it become part of your lifestyle.
3. ‘He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way’
Taking an illustration from fishing, Dale points out that while he likes Strawberries and cream, fish prefer worms! Therefore, he does not bait the hook with strawberries and cream but used worms or grasshoppers. He then points our that we should use the same common sense when fishing for people.
The application of this is that nobody cares what you want, they only care about what they want. If you only talk about what you want, you are wasting your time. To influence people into doing what you want you need to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Harry A Overstreet in his book ‘Influencing Human Behaviour’ said “Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire … First arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”
Various examples and illustrations are provided some of them quite humorous. However, the whole chapter is best summed up with the quote from Harry A Overstreet.