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Interpersonal Relations – Lessons from “How to Win Friends & Influence People”

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The interpersonal relations you form serve a major role in determining your success in life. Good interpersonal relationships facilitate effective communication and understanding of other people. One of the most impactful learning resources on interpersonal relationships is Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People”. One thing that’s common about the most successful people in life today is that they’ve all read this book. Even Warren Buffet, one of the richest persons in the world today, took this course at age 20. As a mentalizer, better interpersonal skills help with your verbal and non-verbal communication and make you a better leader, employee, parent, sibling or friend altogether. In today’s post, we highlight some of the most important principles on interpersonal relationships from this book. These principles are highlighted in parts, depending on the sections they are derived from in the book.

Part 1

If you want to earn more friends and influence more people in your life, don’t criticize, complain or condemn. That’s the first rule of the thumb. Make sure that you always give sincere and honest appreciation you arouse an eager want in other people. These key principles are important in your everyday life dealings, and can make a powerful arsenal when combined with the mentalizing skills that you already possess.

Part 2

Be genuinely interested in other people. Smile, and remember that each person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound to them, in any language. Use these simple principles when talking to people. Seek to understand more about them, and smile in accordance with the conversation. Learn to be a good listener, because nobody’s going to listen to you if you can’t make the same effort. Encourage people to talk about themselves – that’s a true way to master influence. And if you want your friendships to be more meaningful, make the other people feel more important.

Part 3

Arguments happen a lot in life. You probably had an argument in the last week or so. According to Dale Carnegie, the only way to make the best out of arguments is to avoid them! If you’re involved in a discussion where everybody wants to voice their opinions, show others that you respect their views, and desist from saying “You’re wrong.” Strategic communicators know that it’s important to admit promptly when they are wrong. They also know how to make the other person feel that they’re doing more of the talking, and personalize the ideas you’re discussing. To be able to do all this, one must strive to honestly see things from the other person’s perspective. And this starts when you’re sympathetic to their desires and ideas.

Part 4

Conversations are always happening in life, and how we handle them goes a long way to determining whether or not we succeed in our various endeavors. Every time you’re sharing or discussing ideas with a person or group of people, make sure to begin with praise and honest appreciation. If someone made a mistake, call attention to it, but only indirectly. But even before you talk about someone else’s mistakes, talk about your own. Give people a good reputation so they can live up to it. If you want someone else to do something you suggested, make them feel happy about it. Praise every improvement, even the slightest improvement, and use encouragement on a consistent basis.

These principles are not everything you need to be the greatest leader in your school, company, or family. But they can certainly enhance your interpersonal relationships, and make you a more sociable person altogether. Essentially, anything that sharpens your people skills is great for your mentalizer skillset.

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