Six Ways to Make People like You


Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.

If you want to make friends, do unselfish and thoughtful things for people. Real friends are not made by trying to impress others or being insincere. Our interest in others grows as they show interest in us. So it only pays off when the giver and receiver are both interested in each other.

Principle 2: Smile

Happiness depends on your thoughts. How you think about a situation makes it either good or bad. A smile is a goodwill gesture to those who receive it. If your smile doesn't brighten the day of others, it will keep your attitude cheerful.

Acting like you're already happy will tend to make you joyful and friendly. This upbeat attitude works because we tend to mirror the behavior of someone we like (or we reciprocate polite mannerisms).

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

“Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it or misspell it, and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage.”  - Dale Carnegie

The best word to the average person is their name. No matter a person's societal rank, their name is unique and valuable to them. If you can't remember names, here is a memorization technique:

  1. If you aren't sure what you heard, ask the person to repeat it.
  2. If the name is unusual, ask for the spelling and repeat it several times during the conversation.
  3. Write the name down later with the person's title or associative feature.

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

Be an active listener the next time you start a conversation. Ask questions the other person will enjoy answering. A good conversationalist allows people to talk about themselves because people are naturally interested in themselves.

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

If someone doesn't like football, and this is what you choose to talk about in the conversation, you will lose the other person's attention.

People's love for talking about themselves extends to the things they enjoy. When you have nothing in common with your guest, make time to learn about topics that interest them. The conversation will last longer. And the guest could also offer to chat with you again another time.

Principle 6: Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.

Some people want to feel superior to you. Others want you to make them feel needed and appreciated. You can make people feel important by saying courtesies. Please, thank you, may you be so kind, are sincere ways to respect someone's authority.

These principles were taken from Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends & Influence People. This is a highly recommended read; be sure to pick up a copy!

This article is part of our Business Coaching blog series. At Dataczar we talk to a lot of small businesses. We’ve found a few books that we keep recommending time and again. To better help our customers, we’ve added a Reading List for Small Businesses to our website. We encourage every small business owner to read and keep these timeless business books on their office shelf.