Six Ways to Make People Like You

I was reading through Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece How to Win Friends & Influence People and thought I would share with you his 6 Ways to Make People Like You:

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

I actually enjoy learning about other people. Nine times out of ten we usually have something in common, which is always exciting.

2. Smile

I know it sounds stupid, but have you ever had a person smile at you and it made your day? People get so bogged down with paying bills and worrying about life that it tends to show in their face. Maybe they would like someone to smile at them.

3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

I am absolutely HORRIBLE at remembering people’s names. There’s no excuse for it. Perhaps I should practice the advice in this post.

4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

I always thought I was a good listener but judging from what I just wrote for number 3, I have work to do. I will say that I am pretty good at getting people to talk about themselves, which goes hand-in-hand with point number 1.

5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

Once again, if you are a good listener, you will learn the person’s interests.

6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerly.

We all want to feel important. I know I do! From now on, I’m going to remember this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.

Obviously you can’t MAKE a person like you. There will always be people out there who won’t like you no matter what you do. That’s not the point of the “6 Ways…” Rather, the point that Carnegie is trying to make is that IF you practice the six principles listed above, it will be A LOT HARDER for people to NOT like you.

One last thing to note:

NONE of this will mean anything if it’s done with the WIIFM attitude. If you aren’t familiar with WIIFM, it stands for WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? If YOU are the motive, perhaps you need to change your attitude. As Zig Ziglar famously put it (I’m paraphrasing): “If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll eventually get what you want.” Now if I could only get my kids to understand that!

5 thoughts on “Six Ways to Make People Like You”

  1. As old fashioned as Carnegie can seem, I feel this is very relative to business and relationships in general today. My father took some Dale Carnegie classes in the late 70’s and early 80’s and oddly enough it changed him tremendously. He became far more outgoing and his business/personal life thrived fairly well even in the midst of the recesion of the early 80’s. Just some food for thought.


  2. Couldn’t agree more with this post. Well maybe a bit more, as I would take it one step further. To get the buy-in and engagement from others, you need to try and understand what drives their decision-making and the way they process information, i.e. understand what makes them tick! Thus the mantra, “Do unto others as they would be done unto!” – i.e. by communicating with people on their terms, you will promote open dialogue (and ultimately “get what you want”) far quicker.

  3. I’ve pretty much lived by the six principals you’ve offered and it is highly effective. I try to find something about the person I am dealing with, that I can appreciate. When you like people, they generally like you back.

    However, one lesson I’ve had to learn or unlearn as the case may be is that getting people to like you is not always effective. Not everybody is going to like you. Sometimes, you have throw all that out the window and settle for being feared and respected.

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