One of the greatest skills we can learn is people skills and one of the best books on that subject is How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Another name for this book could be How to Love People because it really is about treating people like you would like them to treat you.
What a great way to start the year – learning how to treat people right. For the next several weeks I am going to take my copy of How to Win People & Influence People and give a little snippet of each chapter. This won’t exactly be Cliff Notes of the book, rather, I’ll give you the title of the chapter and some clips of quotes from the book that I have outlined. I’ll progressively move through the book, chapter, by chapter.
The name of this post is actually the title of the first chapter, but the principle is this:
“Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.”
Here’s some of what this chapter has to say on the matter:
“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
B.F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior.” (pg. 5)
“Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in favor of it. But why not begin on yourself? From a purely selfish standpoint, that is a lot more profitable than trying to improve others - yes, and a lot less dangerous.” (pg.13)
“Benjamin Franklin – tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? “I will speak ill of no man,” he said,”… and speak all the good I know of everybody.”
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. “A great man shows his greatness,” said Carlyle, “by the way he treats little men.”" (pg. 14)
“Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand . Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.” (pg. 17)
Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.