This book is a self-help guide written by Les Giblin. This book shows us how to achieve our goals, handle the human ego, become a master conversationalist, and make others feel good about themselves; this book gives us the tool to master the art of dealing with people.
Thinking creatively about human relations
All of us want two things in life: Success and appiness, and the common denominator to all success and happiness is other people.
Learning how to deal with people is 85% of the success road covered in any business, occupation, or profession, and 99 % of Personal happiness is achieved if one learns how to deal with people.
Human relations is the science of dealing with people in such a way that our egos and their egos do not clash. Real success and satisfaction come from getting along with people.
More than 90% of the people are not successful in their life because they do not understand the art of dealing with people. If we think about the people we know who are the most successful and enjoy life the most, who have a way with people.
We cannot force people to like us, and most likely, we never really get what we want because we have never mastered the art of dealing with people.
Skill in human relations is similar to skill in any other field in that success depends on understanding and mastering certain general principles. Basic principles are the same, yet each individual we meet is different.
Influencing people is an art, not a gimmick. The purpose of this book is to give knowledge based upon an understanding of human nature: why people act the way they do. The one successful way to get the things we want from life is to acquire the skill of dealing with people.
Understanding the human ego
The word egotism has a negative connotation because it causes destructive things, but if we look at the other side of this word, it can also cause people to act nobly and heroically.
According to Edward Bok, an editor and humanitarian, ego is a divine spark planted in man, and those who can light this divine spark within them accomplish great things.
We cannot treat people as machines because every human being has a special and individual personality and people have this powerful drive to defend this important something against all enemies.
Four facts to be printed on our minds:
1. We are all egoists.
2. We are more interested in ourselves than in anything else.
3. Every person we meet wants to feel important and to amount to something.
4. There is a craving in everyone for the approval of others so that he can approve of himself.
If we are on good terms with ourselves, we are on good terms with others. So once we start to like ourselves better, we are able to like others better.
Ego hunger is as universal and natural as the hunger for food. Food for the ego serves the same purpose as food for the body: self Preservation. The body needs food to survive, and the ego needs respect, approval, and a sense of accomplishment.
When a person lets go of food for a day or two, he becomes really hungry, and his personality changes. Nothing pleases him: and he snaps at people. It is very much the same for a self-centered person. Nature demands a certain amount of self-acceptance and self-approval for a healthy, wholesome personality.
When self-esteem is high, people are easy to get along with. They are cheerful, generous, tolerant, and willing to listen to others’ ideas. In addition, they are able to think of the need of others.
When self-esteem is at a low level, trouble comes easily, and self-esteem gets low enough; almost anything can become a threat. To deal with this kind of people, help them to like themselves. Look for good points in them, things which can be praised.
Form the habit of paying at least five sincere compliments each day and check how smoother our relationship with others becomes. Help others to like themselves better and satisfy their hunger for self-esteem.
The importance of making others feel important
We all are a millionaire in human relations, but we don’t realize we possess it. It is within our power to make people like themselves better, and it is within our power to make them feel appreciated and accepted. We must use this wealth as much as possible, and it is never going to finish.
We must not suppose that just because someone is successful or famous, they do not need a feeling of importance. We need to feel that other people recognize and acknowledge our importance. No person can maintain his dignity and worth if everybody he meets treats him as if he were worthless.
Les says in order to maintain diplomatic relations with others, we must recognize others, and he also talks about the principal causes of dissatisfaction among workers are:
1. Failure to give credit for suggestions
2. Failure to correct grievances
3. Failure to encourage
4. Criticizing workers in front of others
5. Failure to ask workers their opinions.
6. Failure to inform workers of their progress
Les gives four ways to make others feel important:
1. Think other people are important- Believe in yourself that every human being is important. We can’t make others feel important if we secretly feel they are nobodies.
2. Notice People – We only notice things that are important to us. But when somebody notices us, they pay us a big compliment. They recognize our importance and give a boost to our morale. As a result, we become more friendly and more cooperative with them. So we must notice people and try to acknowledge everyone in the group.
3. Do not compete with people – If we want to make a good impression on others, the most effective way is to let them know that we are impressed by them, but when we compete with them, they are firmly convinced that we are fools.
4. Know when to correct others – when we correct or contradict others, it is not for the purpose of settling any real problems but to increase our feeling of importance. But ask yourself does it make any real difference whether they are right or wrong? Don’t try to win all the battles.
Controlling the actions and attitudes of others
We exercise control over others, but we do not know that we are exercising this power, and we often use it against ourselves. Each of us is constantly influencing and controlling the actions of those with whom we come in contact. We have to adopt the attitude we want others to express.
In dealing with others, we see our own attitude reflected back to us in their behavior. It is like we are standing before a mirror. When we smile, the person in the mirror smiles; when we frown, they frown; and when we shout, they shout back.
Just as we can make people enthusiastic with our enthusiasm, we can give people confidence in us by acting confidently. If we believe in ourselves and act as if we believe in ourselves, others will believe in us.
Confidence has a way of showing itself in certain ways. We may never realize why we have confidence in a certain person; subconsciously, we all judge others by following signs and clues:
1. Watch your movements, because our physical movements reflect our mental attitudes – when someone walks with drooping shoulders, we think their burdens are too heavy to bear. They seem to carry the weight of discouragement and despair. A confident person steps out boldly. Their shoulders are back, and their eyes are looking out and up to a goal, they feel certain that they can attain.
2. Your tattle tale handshake – A person with a limp, dishrag handshake is low on self-confidence. The bone crusher is apt to be compensating for a lack of self-esteem. The firm handshake with just a little squeeze says, ‘I have got a firm grasp of things’ and denotes self-confidence .
3. Moderate your tone of voice –The voice is the most highly developed means of communication. Our voice should not express hopelessness, not get into the habit of whining, and should never mumble. Rather we must express courage and speak up confidently.
4. Use the magic switch of a smile – A real sincere smile turns on a friendly feeling in others. Smile from within, not just with facial expressions. We all are blessed with a good smile, and we must let it out.
Creating a good impression
The manner in which we approach others, our first words, and our actions set the tone for the entire encounter. If we are discussing business, start off in a business-like tone. If you wish to be informal, begin in an informal manner .
Every time we deal with others, we are setting a stage. If we set the stage for comedy, don’t be serious. If we set the stage for tragedy, don’t expect others to be frivolous.
Before we go into any discussion, ask yourself: what do I really want from this? What mood should prevail? Then create the tone that will set the stage.
The world forms about us the same opinion we hold about ourselves. When we act as if we are nobody and the world will take us at face value. But when we act as though we are somebody, the world has no choice but to treat us as somebody. Every time we judge something, we give others a clue to judging us.
While selling, when we need our prospects to say yes, put others in a yes mood by creating a positive and affirmative atmosphere. One good rule is to get others to say yes to preliminary questions like: isn’t this a beautiful color? Don’t you agree this is fine artistry? It will be easier for them to say yes to your big questions too .
Attracting people with acceptance, approval, and appreciation
In our lives, we have few people, or we know few people who seem to attract friends and customers naturally. These people use the triple-A formula to feed the three basic hunger of all people:
1. Acceptance: – It is essential that we accept people as they are; allow them to be themselves. Don’t insist that anyone be perfect or change before we can like them. Those who accept and like people, and accept them just as they are, have the most influence in changing others’ behavior for the better. No one has the power to reform others, but by liking others as they are, we give them the power to change themselves.
2. Approval:- Approval means something more positive as it goes beyond just tolerating faults and finding something we can like. We can always find something to approve of in others. When others get the taste of our approval, they will begin to change their behavior so that they can gain approval for other things. We must seek things out, praise them, and can watch people glow .
3. Appreciation:- The word appreciates means to rise in value. Stop and consider how valuable others are to us: our wives, husbands, children, bosses, employees, customers etc. Figure out ways to let others know you highly value them; below are some ways that we can show appreciation.
– Don’t keep people waiting
– If there is we cannot see immediately, acknowledge their presence. Let them know we will be with them as soon as possible
– Thank people
– Treat people as ‘Specials’
A person with an attractive personality offers food to feed the basic hunger of people. We must start using the Triple-A formula for attracting people.
Learning to communicate effectively
One thing successful people have in common is the skill of using words. Earning power and word skill are so close to each other that we can safely expect to increase our earnings simply by increasing our word power .
Many people are unhappy because they are unable to express themselves, and they carry their ideas and emotions bottled up inside. Many people are handicapped if they do not know how to start a conversation .
We can start a conversation with a small discussion. If we do not know how to move forward in a conversation, we can get people to talk about themselves. Next time when we get introduced to someone, try warming up the person with the questions like- where are you from? What do you think of our weather?
Do you have a family? What business are you in? These questions get the others talking about themselves and are superfine openers. We don’t have to search for a topic of mutual interest; we can start them off on the one topic on which they are experts themselves .
We are human, too, and it is natural to be tempted to talk about ourselves. We want to shine. We want to impress others. But we will rate much higher in others’ estimation if we turn the conversation to them rather than to ourselves.
We can talk about ourselves when we are invited and asked. If others are interested, they will ask. Then talk about yourself but do not overdo it .
Use happy talk – a person who falls into the habit of talking pessimistically, of constantly relating his personal problems, is not going to win a popularity contest. If we have personal problems, we should go to a counselor or a trusted friend. Describing our sufferings does not make us hero but make us bored .
If we really want to express our suffering, we can follow one exercise. Try writing ourself a letter. We need to put down exactly what we feel, don’t hold back. Then when we are through, we must burn the letter. It has served its purpose in giving us an outlet, and we should experience relief.
We must overcome the temptation to tease or be sarcastic:- Most of us tease others because we think they will like it. Husbands tease their wives and vice versa in public, mistakenly believing that it is a cute way to show affection. We make sarcastic remarks hoping that others will recognize our cleverness, see the humor and not take personal offense .
Teasing or taunting, both target people’s self-esteem, and anything that threatens self-esteem is dangerous, even when done in fun. If the other person has known you long enough, likes you well enough, and you do not overdo it, we may get away with teasing. But the odds are so great against it that it is much safer not to try.
To be able to listen to others in a sympathetic manner is perhaps the most effective mechanism in the world for getting along with people and trying up their friendship for good .
Most of us want others to think that we are clever and intelligent. The one sure way to convince people of that is to listen and pay attention to what they have to say .
People will tell us what they want if we listen to them. Good human relation is two-way communication; give and take, action and response. If we don’t know what others want, how they feel about a situation, and what their particular needs are, we are out of touch with them. And if we can not touch them, we can not move them. Successful people encourage others to talk and to keep on talking while keeping their own mouths shut .
Listening helps overcome self-consciousness. Listening carefully to what others have to say- paying strict attention to their tone of voice and inflection of words- gets our focus of attention off ourselves. We must listen carefully, sympathetically, and patiently. One of the highest compliments we can pay is to listen to someone .
We can practice the art of listening by following below pointers:-
1. Look at the person who is talking. People worth listening to are worth looking at. And it will also help us concentrate on what they are saying .
2. Appear deeply interested. If you agree, nod your head. If they tell a story, smile .
3. Lean towards the person. Ever notice how you tend to lean towards an interesting speaker and away from a dull one
4. Ask questions. This lets people know that you are still listening .
5. Don’t interrupt; instead, ask for more. People are highly complimented if you allow them to finish without interruption. But they are really flattered when you draw them out with ‘Would you mind elaborating on that last point?
6. Stick to the speaker’s subject. Don’t change subjects no matter how anxious you are to get on to a certain topic .
7. Use the speaker’s words to get your point across. Repeat some of the points covered. This not only proves that you have been listening, but it allows you to introduce your own ideas without opposition. Preface your own remarks with: ‘As you pointed out…’
Getting people to agree
Every day, some situation arises where some disagreement comes up with our mate, children, boss, employee, customer, neighbor, friend or enemy. The natural response is to argue. We must learn to make our natural response persuasion .
When someone opposes our ideas, we take them as a threat to our ego. We become emotional and hostile and try to ram our idea into our opponent’s throat. We exaggerate our arguments. This way, do not win .
The only way to win an argument is to get others to change their minds .
Low pressure is the secret:- We must learn to work with human nature rather than against it if we want to have power over people when we tell someone that their ideas are stupid and they will defend them forever. When we use threats, they simply close their minds against our ideas, regardless of how good they may be .
When we attempt to sell ideas, we must appeal to the subconscious because no idea is really accepted until the subconscious mind accepts it .
Rules for winning arguments:
1. Allow others to state their case. Don’t interrupt; remember to listen. A person with something to say has their mind set on talking. Until they have said their piece, they are not tuned to listen to our ideas. If we want our ideas heard, we must learn to listen to theirs first .
2. Pause before you answer. This works equally well in a conversation where there is no difference of opinion. When you are asked a question, look at the person, and pause slightly before answering. This leads others to know that you consider what he has said of sufficient importance to think about it .
3. Don’t insist on winning 100%. When we get into an argument, most of us attempt to prove that we are totally in the right and others are wrong. If the other person has a point in their favor, acknowledge it .
4. State your case moderately and accurately. We have the tendency to exaggerate when our ideas are opposed. Calmly stated facts are the most effective in getting others to change their minds .
5. Speak through third parties. The lawyer who wants to win a case rounds up witnesses who testify to the points he wants to put over the jury. Speaking through third parties can be valuable when there is a difference of opinion, and we want others to see things our way. Statistics, records, history, and quotes can all be cited.
6. Allow others to save face. There will be many times that others would gladly change their mind and agree with you except for one thing: they have already made a definite commitment, a strong stand, and cannot change their position in good grace. To agree with you requires them to admit that they were wrong. We must know how to rescue them from their own argument .
The first method is to assume that they did not have all the facts: ‘I felt the same way about it at first, until I ran across this interesting information which changed the picture.’ The second method is to suggest some way that they can pass the buck to another .
Praise releases energy. Praise gives us new energy and new life. The lift we get from praise is not an illusion nor imagination but an actual physical energy .
Perform a small miracle every day – Any time we can give another’s spirits a lift or imbues them with more energy and life, we are performing a small miracle. It’s simple. All we have to do is to give sincere praise to someone each day and notice how it actually enables them to do better. Honest praise and giving credit where it is due not only make people feel better but allow them to work more productively .
If someone does you a small favor, show your appreciation and give them credit by saying ‘Thank You.’ Look for the things for which we can thank people. Don’t take it for granted that people know you appreciate them; tell them. When you let people know that you appreciate their actions, it makes them want to do more and better .
Rules for saying ‘Thank you:
1. Thanks should be sincere. Say it as if you mean. Put some meaning and life into it. Make it special .
2. Don’t mumble it; speak up. Don’t act as though you are half ashamed to have to thank someone.
3. Thank people by name. Personalize thanks by naming people. If there are several people in the group to be thanked, don’t just say thanks, everyone, but name each person .
4. Look at people when you thank them. If they are worth being thanked, they are worth being looked at.
5. Work at thanking people. Consciously and deliberately begin to look for things for which to thank others.
6. Thank people when they least expect it. A thank you is even more powerful when others don’t expect it or don’t necessarily feel that they deserve it .
No one is perfect. It is said that it is good for everyone. If there is someone who irritates you, begin looking for something for which you can compliment them.
The most aspects of administering praise are:
1. It must be sincere. Mere flattery is transparent and accomplishes nothing. There is always something that deserves praise if you are for it. It is far better to praise people for something little and mean it than for something big and be insincere .
2. Praise the act or the attribute rather than the person. Praise people for what they do rather than who they are. People know exactly what they are being praised for .
Increase your own happiness and peace of mind by paying five sincere compliments a day .
Criticizing others without offending them
One of the most common failings in human relations is the way we attempt to increase our own feeling of self-worth by lowering the self-esteem of others. Most of the time, when we say to people, ‘I am telling you this for your own good,’ we are not; we are pointing out some fault in them to bolster our own egos.
The real art of criticism is not to beat others down but to build them up. It is not to hurt feelings but to help people do a better job .
The essentials of successful criticism:
1. Criticism must be made in absolute privacy – If you want your criticism to take effect, you must not engage the other’s ego against you. The mildest form of criticism made in the presence of others is likely to be resented. Even if you have pure motives and the right spirit, it’s how they feel about it that counts .
2. Preface criticism with a nice word – kind words, compliments, and praise have the effect of creating a friendly atmosphere. Praise and compliments open minds to what needs to be said .
3. Make the criticism impersonal; criticize the act, not the person – By pinpointing your criticism to their actions, you can pay them a compliment and build up their ego at the same time.
4. Supply the answer- when you tell others what they did wrong, tell them how to do it right. The emphasis should not be on the mistake but on the way to correct it and avoid a reoccurrence.
5. Ask for cooperation; don’t demand it- Asking always brings more cooperation than demanding .
6. One criticism of offense – To call attention to one error one time is justified. Twice is necessary. Three times is nagging.
7. Finish in a friendly manner – Until an issue has been resolved on a friendly note, it has not been finished. Don’t leave things hanging to be brought up later. Get it settled, bury it. Finish with a vote of confidence: I know I can count on you.
By following these 11 rules, together with people, we can go a long way and improve all the relationships related to our life.
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Day 26 : This book helps to deal with people with 3 A’s : Acceptance, Approval and Appreciation.
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