How To APPLY and MASTER Human Relations Skills

In 1982, I read the classic self-help “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It changed my life. I must have read it 25 times. I listened to the audio cassette at least 10 times. (Cassettes were these these things we had…oh, never mind). Just remember, repetition really is the mother of skill.

Reading “Good Day” (The Paul Harvey Biography) recently, the author summarized Dale Carnegie’s book in one paragraph. The radio pioneer and icon had clearly applied and mastered human relations skills that Mr. Carnegie taught back in 1935. Paul Harvey was a gentleman in every sense of the word, on and off the air. Reading these principles again brought back all those memories of my youth, like seeing old photos of my childhood, it was warm and fuzzy. I decided to re-write the principles into affirmation format putting my own twist on the principle. I further decided to read them every day for a month. Everything we accomplish in life must be done with and through people. Here are the secrets of Human Relations. It really is true, we become what we think about. Enjoy.

  1. I am genuinely interested in other people.
  2. I smile at other people all day long.
  3. I have a terrific memory for names. (I.R.A. = Impression, Repetition, Association.)
  4. I dominate the listening in every conversation and people enjoy being around me.
  5. I employ the phrase ‘YES, AND…then what happened’ while I listen, always encouraging others to continue talking.
  6. I am a GOOD-Finder, catching others in the act of doing things right and making them feel important!
  7. I avoid arguments and conflict. I walk away and pray for them. (Quoting Charlie T. Jones, “God bless their pin heads!)
  8. I show respect for others opinions and point of view.
  9. I avoid telling others they are wrong. Silence is golden (and profitable)
  10. When I am wrong, I promptly admit it. (When I am right, I shut up!)
  11. I begin in a friendly way. I say something positive about what I see.
  12. I ask open ended questions to get people to talk. I ask close ended questions that others say ‘Yes’ to.
  13. I let others do the lion’s share of the talking, putting my ego on the back burner.
  14. I let others feel the idea was theirs. I gladly give the credit away.
  15. I am highly empathetic. I make a point to see things from other people’s point of view.
  16. I sympathize with others. My caring is obvious.
  17. I appeal to noble motives. I creatively uncover their passions for doing good.
  18. I dramatize my ideas to inspire others to action.
  19. I throw down a challenge to raise the bar for others.
  20. I love people and am making a difference in people’s lives.

If Mr. Carnegie were alive, I would have written this to him and thanked him for changing my life. Instead, I will settle for R2A2: Recognize, Relate, Assimilate, Apply. It’s my way of carrying the torch to spark success for others.

These twenty principles of human relations are laws. Like gravity, they are immutable. They do not change. They are timeless. If we are smart enough to try them, and persistent enough to affirm them every day for a month, the effect is extra-ordinary. It will change how people feel about you. They will give you their time, attention, trust and business.

Violate these laws at your own peril. If you don’t believe that, try the opposite of each these twenty rules and see what happens. Repetition is the mother skill.

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