Dale Carnegie published a How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1937. In the book is a chapter “Six Ways to Make People Like You.” Its principles can improve your social skills if you choose to learn them. As demonstrated below, improved social skills can make the difference between being hired and being successful.

 

Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people

 

People are not interested in you. They are interested in themselves-morning, noon and after dinner. The New York Telephone Company made a detailed study of telephone conversations to find out which word is the most frequently used. You have guessed it: it is the personal pronoun “I.” It was used 3,900 times in 500 telephone conversations.

When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first?

 

If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends, real friends, are not made that way. Alfred Adler, a famous psychologist, wrote a book entitled What Life Should Mean to You.  In the book he says: “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”

 

I have discovered from personal experience that one can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought after people by becoming genuinely interested in them. If we want to win friends, let’s greet people with animation and enthusiasm. When somebody calls you on the telephone use the same psychology.

 

Say “Hello” in tones that bespeak how pleased you are to have the person call. A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations, must be sincere. It must pay off not only for the person showing interest, but for the person receiving the attention. It is a two-way street-both parties benefit. If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind.

 

 

Principle 2: Smile

 

Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.” The effect of a smile is powerful-even when it is unseen. Telephone companies throughout the United States have a program called “phone power” which is offered to employees who use the telephone for selling their services or products. In this program they suggest that you smile when talking on the phone. Your “smile” comes through in your voice.

 

You don’t feel like smiling? Then what? Two things. First, force yourself to smile. If you are alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing. Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.

 

Everybody in the world is seeking happiness-and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions. Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realize that all is not hopeless-that there is joy in the world.

 

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

 

Most people don’t remember names, for the simple reason that they don’t take the time and energy necessary to concentrate and repeat and fix names in their minds. They make excuses for themselves; they are too busy.

We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing…and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special important when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the future employer, the name will work magic as we deal with others.

 

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

 

What is the secret, the mystery, of a successful business interview? Former Harvard president Charles W. Eliot said, “Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that.”

So, if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China. Think of that next time you start a conversation.

 

 

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

 

Everyone who was ever a guest of Theodore Roosevelt was astonished at the range and diversity of his knowledge. Whether his visitor was a cowboy or a Rough Rider, a New York politician or a diplomat, Roosevelt knew what to say. And how was it done? The answer was simple. Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested.

For Roosevelt knew, as all leaders know, that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.

 

 

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

 

If we are so selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return-if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve.

 

There is one-all important law of human conduct. If we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. But if we break the law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law is this: Always make the other person feel important. The psychologist William James said: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

 

Little phrases such as “I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind to---?” “Won’t you please?” ”Would you mind?” “Thank you” –little courtesies like these oil the cogs of the grind of everyday life-and, incidentally, they are the hallmark of good breeding.

 

The truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely.

 

The American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”

 

 

1. Principle 1: ________________________________________________

 

2. If we merely try ____________________ people and get people interested in us, we will never have many ______________________________ friends.

 

3. I have discovered from personal experience that one can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought after people by becoming ____________________. If we want to win friends, let’s greet people with ______________________. When somebody calls you on the telephone use the same psychology.

 

4. Principle 2: ______________________________

 

5. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions. Your smile is ___________________________________. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it.

 

6. Principle 3: ____________________________________________________________

 

7. Principle 4:  ___________________________________________________________.

 

8. What is the secret, the mystery, of a successful business interview? Former Harvard president Charles W. Eliot said, “______________________ to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that.”

 

9. So, if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an ______________________. To be interesting, ____________________. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. __________________________________ and their accomplishments.

 

10. Principle 5: __________________________________________

 

11. Share what you think this Principle means to you:  Answers will vary

 

12. Principle 6: ____________________________________________________

 

13. There is one-all important law of human conduct. If we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. But if we break the law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law is this: _________________________________________________________.

 

14. The truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you _________________________________________________________________.