I have been horrible in human interactions. Thus I bought this famous book to learn the nuts and bolts.

This book was first published in 1936 and is still being actively sold today. According to the wiki page, it may be one of the most sold books in American history. It also ranks number 38 in the TIME magazine’s all TIME 100 best non-fiction books since 1923.

Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him — Ralph Waldo Emerson

The book is well structured and the topics are listed below. The author gives many examples to demonstrate how each principle can be applied. In my understanding, all his principles can be summarized in one sentence: make the other person (instead of yourself) feel important.

It is also interesting to check how his principles corresponds to the six principles in the book Influence: the psychology of persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.

  • Fundamental techniques in handling people
    1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
    2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
    3. Arouse in the other person an eager want
  • Six ways to make people like you
    1. Become genuinely interested in other people
    2. Smile
    3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
    4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
    5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
    6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely
  • Win people to your way of thinking
    1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
    2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
    3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
    4. Begin in a friendly way
    5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately
    6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
    7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
    8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
    9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
    10. Appeal to the nobler motives
    11. Dramatize your ideas
    12. Throw down a challenge
  • Be a leader
    1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
    2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
    3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
    4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
    5. Let the other person save face
    6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”
    7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
    8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
    9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest