Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Six Ways To Make People Like You.
How To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking
Be A Leader: How To Change People Without Giving Offence Or Arousing Resentment.
Each section is concluded with a great conclusion of the key points called “In A Nutshell”. These are just dot points of each of the detailed and practical series of advice.
I gave this book to a friend to read also, who had concerns that perhaps the book encourages people to be disingenuous. So I think that it is important to note that simply following instructions about going through the motions of caring is not something that works in the long term. Pretending to care is one of the great blockers to long term success, so either don’t care and take that path, or work on developing real empathy and understanding of others.
For me the book isn’t simply a collection of steps that you can pantomime on your way to success, influence and getting people to like you, but more of an insight into human nature so that you can best give people what they want, in the way that means the most to them.
I may be guilty of the occasional ‘rant’ from time to time, and I can get carried away with passion when I talk about things that are important to me. Likewise, I have always had a hard time with patience when it comes to explaining things to people more than two times at work, so it’s a good reminder to be patient and see things from the perspective of the other party.
I don’t want to give the book away, and it is the kind of resource that is good to go back to and re-read from time to time, mine looks pretty worn by now. I will give my favourite “In a nutshell” tips from each chapter;
FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN HANDLING PEOPLE.
My favourite tip: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Ok, so I said its my favourite tip, and not something I do all the time! We are all prone to criticizing, condemning and complaining, but I certainly enjoy the reminder to reduce the amount of time we spend doing any of these.
SIX WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
My Favourite tip: Become genuinely interested in other people.
Oh how I believe this one so! Not just interested for personal gain, but genuine interest in other people. Period. Imagine a world where everyone was genuinely interested in other people, people who don’t all look like you, live where you live, do what you do etc. The world would become a much better place, when misunderstanding, or a lack of understanding underpins so much fear and anger in the world, I believe that the more people that make this change the better the world would be.
HOW TO WIN PEOPLE TO YOUR WAY OF THINKING.
There are 12 tips in this one, so picking one was hard. Especially since this one is packed with stuff I have to use ALL THE TIME! So;
My Favourite Tip: Try Honestly to see things from the others point of view.
I have always said that it is important to try to speak the language of the person who’s mind you are hoping to change, to do this you really need to see things from their point of view to start with!
BE A LEADER: HOW TO CHANGE PEOPLE WITHOUT GIVING OFFENCE OR AROUSING RESENTMENT.
My Favourite Tip: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
If you show belief in people and set the ‘belief bar’ high often they will do better than if you set those same expectations lower. There is a saying that its more dangerous to set small goals and achieve them, than to set big ones and not quite get there. I don’t know if that’s 100% true, but I know from having been an apprentice, and having had apprentices, that when you instil a belief in them to do a task, they certainly ask less questions and usually do a better job afterwards.
All in all, for one of the enduring ‘self help’ type books, this one is a classic, and really shows that no matter how innovative or revolutionary someone claims to be, the basic principles of adding value and paying attention to people around you in order to be successful in business, leadership and other ventures hasn’t really changed in nearly 100 years (even longer as we read through ancient texts).
This book retails for not much in most good book shops, and I’m sure there is an audiobook of it somewhere. I think this is one that benefits particularly from hard copy, especially seeing as it is recommended that you make notes and highlight passages that matter to you as you go.
As a side note, my friend who borrowed this prior to some difficult work conversations did an awesome job after reading this and resolved multiple issues without any conflict with her employees, so in practice it is as good as in theory!
Enjoy your reading, enjoy the first fortnight of 2017, pay attention to those around you, and as always, Just Be Nice.
In 2017 I have set myself a task of reading a certain number of books, and by reading, I mean finishing a number of books.
I have also tasked myself with improving my writing, writing more, and writing more regularly… So what better way to tick a few boxes than to combine reading and writing and jot down some thoughts once I finish the books I’ve read!?
Today I finished a different kind of book. Do Humankind’s Best Days Lie Ahead is predominantly a transcript of a debate, conducted by the Munk Debates in Canada. It is a debate arguing the pro and con side of the question, “Do humankind’s best days lie ahead?.
On the pro side (Yes, humankind’s best days lie ahead) are scientist Steven Pinkler, and author and member of the House of Lords Matt Ridley.
On the con side (humankind’s best days do not lie ahead) philosopher/author Alain De Botton, and author Malcolm Gladwell.
It is set out with an introduction and pre/post debate interviews with each of the debators. It is mediated by Munk debate facilitator Rudyard Griffiths, who also conducts these interviews.
As I write this it occurs to me that it is the exact opposite of a podcast or audiobook (which I first wrote as ‘book on tape’ initially #GettingOlder). It is really the long form. A text version of a spoken and filmed event. As a result, it was a quick read of just over 100 pages, and yes, you can find it here.
So… Are we doomed? Or is there hope for us yet!? WHAT DID THEY TALK ABOUT!?
I felt as though the two sides of the debate were not really speaking the same language which made it difficult for them to argue this topic.
Predictably the ‘pro’ side focused on a variety of metrics that have improved over time, reduced epidemics, reduced famine, less civil war, lower infant mortality rates globally etc. Arguing that even if people aren’t all super happy, it’s better to be
The ‘con’ side focus on two things predominantly. That the interconnectedness of the world, and improved technology also increases risk of catastrophe (i.e. the internet connects everyone but exposes people to mass identity theft, or cyber warefare and nuclear power brings a threat of nuclear war). The second argument is that no combination of these metrics actually guarantee happiness or contented humans. Alain makes the point that as a Swiss national, with Switzerland being one of the gold standard countries by nearly every measure there are still people who are unhappy, that the best days of the humankind of Switzerland are not reliant on ticking a bunch of metrics.
Personally, I feel as though the pro team probably glossed over what may or may not define humankinds best days, I don’t believe that we can just say that because of technical advancements that we are going to all be definitively better off. It is important to reduce things like disease and famine, but it is equally important to improve opportunities for people to advance beyond being just not-sick and not-starving. Just because people cross an arbitrary line from ‘extreme poverty’ to ‘poverty’, does not necessarily mean an exponential increase in the chances for their best years ahead. Metrics are necessary but not the be all and end all of the best years for humans.
I don’t want to go through the whole book/debate, go and read it or watch it, it’s an interesting and very relevant topic especially in this day and age.
It raised some interesting points for me, if anything further validating my belief that it is opportunity that creates the best, most productive environment for humankind’s best days, and happiness. I will address that topic further, seeing as I will be writing and filming much more this year too.
Happy New Year. Happy Reading, and as always, Just Be Nice.
Josh Reid Jones - Founder of The Just Be Nice Project and Odin Sports