Dale Carnegie: The Art of Speaking

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) was an American businessman, as well as a writer and lecturer on personal development. His most influential book, a "bible" of personal relationships, is "How to Win Friends and Influence People", as well as the interesting "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" and "The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking". 

Here are some of his best tips, extracted from his different books and analyzed by 2000facts: 

1. Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are a businessman. 

However, 85% of success lies there. If life is anything, it is a set of relationships: with suppliers, with customers, with employees, with partners, with the media. Everything is based on interaction with other people. Knowing how to deal with people is the most complicated thing, but it's also what makes you advance or stagnate. It is what makes the difference between a technical profile (who does a job) and an executive profile (who builds teams and establishes relationships). Those who do not know how to relate to others have a much lower chance of promotion and achieving results. And this has to do with three aspects: how to get along with others, how to please them, and how to persuade them.

2. People rarely succeed unless they have fun at what they do. 

For others to love what you do, you have to do what you love. If you follow this principle, you have a chance to make a difference and have an impact on society. It is scientifically proven that passion increases creativity and intelligence, which makes it easier to find alternatives and solutions to keep growing and moving forward. When you are connected with your passion, with your essence, you expand possibilities and, therefore, you have a competitive advantage over other competitors who limit themselves to doing the minimum. Self-realization is always synonymous with maximum performance. 

3. Show respect for the opinions of others. Never tell a person that they are wrong. Everyone who is convinced against their will remains of the same opinion. 

Criticism is useless because it puts the other person on the defensive and makes him try to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous because it hurts the other person's pride, his sense of importance, and this arouses resentment. We are emotional rather than rational beings, so the first thing you have to win a person's heart, and only then the head. By means of criticism, even if it is correct, lasting and consistent changes are almost never generated. Telling someone that they are wrong is a challenge and arouses their opposition. The physician Hans Selye noted: "to the same extent that we crave approval, we fear condemnation".

4. The only way to win an argument is to avoid it. You cannot win an argument: if you lose it, you have already lost it; if you win it, you have lost it. 

Never turn a disagreement into an argument. Don't seek confrontation. It is not about winning the intellectual battle, but the will and affection of the other person. Dale Carnegie writes: if a man's heart is full of discord and ill-feeling against you, you cannot draw him to your way of thinking even with all the logic in the world. And that is what happens when someone tries to get above another person. When you triumph over the rival you hurt his pride and vanity.

5. You can win more friends in two months by being interested in others than in two years by trying to get others interested in you. 

To be interesting, be interested in others. For each person, he or she is the most important person. William Winter said, "The expression of self is the dominant need of human nature." To gain other people's sympathy, talk about what they like, want or need. The best way to gain a person's acceptance is to talk to him or her about what he or she values most. Ask questions about that. And do it authentically, because you feel it. Don't pretend; it almost always shows.

6. Call attention to others' mistakes indirectly. And if you have to make corrections, make them after a compliment. 

Look for alternative ways to "say without saying." The resentment generated by an inconsiderate correction can last a long time, even if it was generated with the intention of changing a situation that required it. Above all, always allow the other person to save face. Never fall into the temptation of putting yourself above another person. Do not hurt their pride. Do not attack him. No one likes to be ordered around; make suggestions instead. And if you have to be more direct, first praise the good in the other party and then get to the point: why does the barber lather the face before passing the razor? And always try to make mistakes look easy to correct. Don't magnify them to make yourself seem important.

7. If you make a mistake, admit it quickly and forcefully. 

Promptness in admitting mistakes defuses the urge to fight. Once the mistake is admitted, the issue is settled. Expressions such as "I'm sorry," "I was wrong," or "excuse me" have a great calming effect on the person we are addressing. However, we often commit two imprudences: the first is to deny the mistake; the second is to try to justify it. And both attitudes provoke confrontation and activate the desire to "settle accounts" and "set things right" on the part of the other person.

8. Praise the smallest progress and every progress. Be warm in your approval and generous in your praise. 

Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely. Respect and praise his qualities; and if it is for something concrete, so much the better. That will make you feel good and earn you points with other people by increasing your own perception of your credibility and reputation. Food is food for the body; praise is food for the spirit. But first and foremost, let the praise be genuine. The difference between price and flattery is that the former is sincere and the latter is not; appreciation comes from the heart, and flattery from the mouth. Flattery is cheap praise. Appreciation is so easy to perform that there is no excuse for not doing it. It is often avoided because there is a feeling that to do so is to place the other person above us, which could give us the impression that we are placing ourselves in a position of inferiority.

9. If there is a secret to success in personal relationships, it lies in the ability to appreciate the other person's point of view and to see things from that point of view. 

Always try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. It's called empathy. Instead of badmouthing people, try to understand them. You have to make the effort to find out why they do what they do and say what they say. That is much more helpful than criticism, and from that comes tolerance and understanding. Instead of trying to reproach something or someone, try to find out what causes the other person's opinions and behavior.

10. There is nothing more flattering to another person than to know how to listen to him or her with exclusive attention where silence is active. 

The deepest longing of the human being is to feel loved, important, recognized. And knowing how to listen with attention fulfills that function. If you are a good listener, you have much to gain in the world of personal relationships. All cordial people, who are well-liked, have made listening an art. The best conversationalist is always the best listener. Carnegie says, "Showing a genuine interest in others by listening carefully to them will not only bring you friends but can also create company loyalty on the part of customers."

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