In 1936 Dale Carnegie published a book with the tile “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Whatever your reaction to the title, the contents are the single most accurate collection of truths about human nature and communications. The book is still as popular today as it has been since it’s publication in 1936. I recommend it as required reading for all lawyers and especially trial lawyers. Here is a very brief outline of the fundamentals taught in the book.
PRINCIPLES FROM “HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE.”
BECOME A FRIENDLIER PERSON
1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the most important sound in any language.
7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
9. Make the other person feel important – and do so sincerely.
10 The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
WIN PEOPLE TO YOUR WAY OF THINKING
11. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
13. Begin in a friendly way.
14. Get the other person saying, “Yes, yes” immediately.
15. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
17. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
18. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
19. Appeal to the nobler motives.
20. Dramatize your ideas.
BE A LEADER
21. Throw down a challenge.
22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
23. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
26. Let the other person save face.
27. Praise the slightest and every improvement. Be “lavish in your praise.”
28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.