How to Win Friends and Influence People, is one of the best selling books, written by Dale Carnegie in 1936. In his book he writes about how to influence people without being a jerk. Here are seven ways to successfully influence people and gain a few friends in the process.
1. Think Big
Start out by making a ridiculous request that most likely wont be granted. Then shortly after that come back and ask for something less ridiculous, which is the thing you actually wanted. The idea is that typically the person will feel bad about denying you one request and will grant you the second request. Studies have shown this principle to be extremely effective as long as the same person asked for the bigger and smaller favor.
Using someone’s name when you are speaking to them is a great way to have them thinking positively about you. A person’s name is the core part of our identity. When hearing your own name you are more inclined to feel positively about the person who validated us. In the same way you can refer to a person with the title you want them to be. Referring to someone as “friend” or referring to someone you want to work for as “boss”.
Mirroring is a good way to blend into a crowd and be more likable. People with this skill are considered to be like chameleons by copying other people’s behaviors. Research has shown that people who had been mimicked were more likely to like the person who had copied them. The reasoning behind this is because mirroring someone’s behavior makes a person feel validated.
When people are tired they are more susceptible to give an indefinite answer. Usually tired people don’t want to deal with making a decision in that moment. You might get an answer like, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” This can work in your favor because it’s natural psychology to want to follow through with something you said you would do. The person will most likely follow through with the favor the next day.
5. Keep Quiet
Don’t actually tell someone you think they are wrong. There are other ways to show you disagree with someone that doesn’t cut to the core of their ego. Ray Ransberger invented the Ransberger Pivot, which is instead of arguing, listen to what the other person has to say and understand why they feel that way. Once you have their understanding then you explain your position.
6. Repeat Stuff Back
One of the most positive ways to influence others is to show them that you care about what they are saying. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to paraphrase what someone says and repeat it back to them. This is known as reflective listening. Studies have shown that when therapists used reflective listening, people were more likely to disclose more emotion and have a better relationship with their therapist.
This one may seem obvious but sounding sincere can be a stretch for some people. Studies have shown that flattery works with cognitive balance. So if someone thinks very highly of themselves and you flatter them they are likely to think highly of you because you have validated how they feel about themselves. If you do this to someone with low self-esteem if may backfire because they may not think you are being sincere. Of course you should still compliment people with low self-esteem but just be mindful of the person.