How To Win Friends and Influence People – Nine ways to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment

Our learning experience has come to an end. In my previous articles I treated details about fundamental techniques in handling people, how to make people like us and to win people on our way of thinking.

In this part we will cover the last part of the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People”, more precisely it is about how to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment.

💡1 – If you must find fault, this is the way to begin

Principle 1 – Begin with a praise and honest appreciation.

It is always easier to listen to unpleasant things after we have heard some praise of our good points. Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins his work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain-killing.

💡2 – How to criticize – and not be hated for it

Principle 2 – Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and ending with a critical statement. For example, in trying to change a child’s careless attitude toward studies, we might say “We’re really proud of you for raising your grades this term. But if you had worked harder on your algebra, the results would have been better.” In this case, the child might feel encouraged until he heard the word “but”. He might then question the sincerity of the original praise. This could be easily overcome by changing the word “but” to “and”. We’re really proud of you for raising your grades this term, and by continuing the same conscientious efforts next term, your algebra grade can be up with all the others.” Now the child would accept the praise because there was no follow-up of an inference of failure.

💡3 – Talk about your own mistakes first

Principle 3 – Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

Admitting one’s own mistakes – even when one hasn’t corrected them – can help convince somebody to change his behavior.

💡4 – No one likes to take orders

Principle 4 – Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

Resentment caused by a brash order may last a long time – even if the order was given to correct an obviously bad situation.

A teacher stormed into the classroom and asked in an arrogant tone “Whose car is blocking the driveway?” When the student who owned the car responded, the instructor screamed: “Move the car and move it right now, or I’ll wrap a chain around it and drag it out of there.” Now that student was wrong. The car should not have been parked there. But from that day on, not only did that student resent the instructor’s action, but all the students in the class did everything they could to give the instructor a hard time and make his job unpleasant. How could he have handled it differently? If he had asked in a friendly way “Whose car is in the driveway?” and then suggested that if it were moved, other cars could get in and out, the student would have gladly moved it and neither he nor his classmates would have been upset and resentful.

Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the persons whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.

💡5 – Let the other person save face

Principle 4 – Let the other person save face.

Letting one save face! How important, how vitally important that is! And how few of us ever stop to think of it! We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing a child or employee in front of others, without even considering the hurt to the other person’s pride. Whereas a few minutes’ though, a considerate word or two, a genuine understanding of the other person’s attitude, would go so far toward alleviating the sting!

Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face. The legendary French aviation pioneer and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote: “I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”

💡6 – How to spur people on the success

Principle 6 – Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”

Use of praise instead of criticism is the basic concept of B.F. Skinner’s teachings. This great phycologist has shown by experiments with animals and with humans that when criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.

Everybody likes to be praised, but when praise is specific, it comes across as sincere – not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good. Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition, and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wants insincerity. Nobody wants flattery.

Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.

💡7 – Give a dog a good name

Principle 7 – Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

The average person can be led readily if you have his or her respect and if you show that you respect that person for some kind of ability. In short, if you want to improve a person in a certain aspect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics.

There is an old saying “Give a dog a bad name and you may as well hang him.” But give him a good name – and see what happens!

💡8 – Make the fault seem easy to correct

Principle 8 – Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

Tell your child, your spouse, or your employee that he or she is stupid or dumb at a certain thing, has no gift for it, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyed almost every incentive to try to improve. But use the opposite technique – be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person know that you have faith in his ability to do it, that he has an undeveloped flair for it – and he will practice until the down comes in the window in order to excel.

💡9 – Making people glad to do what you want

Principle 9 – Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

The effective leader should keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior.

  • Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
  • Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
  • Be empathetic. Ask yourself what is it the other person really wants.
  • Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
  • Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
  • When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit.


🎓Summary

Be a leader:

A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish this:

✔️Principle 1 – Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
✔️Principle 2 – Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
✔️Principle 3 – Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
✔️Principle 4 – Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
✔️Principle 5 – Let the other person save face.
✔️Principle 6 – Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “heathy in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
✔️Principle 7 – Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
✔️Principle 8 – Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
✔️Principle 9 – Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

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