Skill With People summary

Skill with People book cover Print Friendly and PDF
Author: Les Giblin

A short primer on various human relationship techniques

rating 2.5

Skill With People is a short book filled with different techniques to master persuasion and influence. The book has some generalizations and is more tactical than principle oriented. Some of the chapters are just common sense.

5 Key points

  • Everyone is self-interested so allow people to talk about their interests instead of talking about yourself.
  • Avoid arguing.

1 Understanding People and Human Nature

  • PEOPLE are primarily interested in themselves not you.
    • So, people’s actions are governed by self-thought and self-interest.

This trait is so strong in people that the dominant thought in charity is the satisfaction or pleasure that the giver gets from giving, not the good the gift will do.

2 How To Skillfully Talk to People

  • When you talk to people about themselves, you are rubbing them the right
  • Take these four words out of your vocabulary - “I, me, my, mine”
  • YOUR personality efficiency and YOUR influence and power will be greatly increased.
  • Ask them questions about themselves such -Eg. How long have you been with the company?

3 How To Skillfully Make People Feel Important

  • To be skillful in human relations, be sure to make people feel important. Remember that the more important you make people feel, the more they will respond to you
  • Everybody wants to be treated as a somebody. This is the basis for the Asian habit of “saving face”

Keep in mind that to the other person, they are just as important to themselves as you are to yourself

  • Listening to people is just about the best way to make them feel important
  • Recognition and appreciation are basic human needs
  • Pay attention to everybody in a group.
    • A group is more than one, not just a leader or spokesperson

4 How To Skillfully Agree With People

As long as you live, never forget that any fool can disagree with people.

  • Do not tell people when you disagree with them unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Arguing is a poor human relation technique.
    • Even if you are right, don’t argue.
    • Nobody wins arguments or friends by arguing

5 How To Skillfully Listen To People

  • A good listener always allows people to hear their favorite speakers: themselves
  • Asking questions is a high form of flattery.
    • “What happened then?” “Then what did you do
    • Stick to the speakers’s subject and don’t interrupt with your own stories.

6 How To Skillfully Influence People

  • The first big step to getting people to do what you want them to do is to find out what will make them do it (what they want).
  • Don’t make the mistake of assuming that other people like what you like or are after what you are after
  • Example
    • let’s assume you are applying for a job you want very much. You would first find out the abilities, duties and responsibilities needed so that you could show them that you could fill their needs. If they need a persons to handle customers over the phone, you would mention that you could (or had) handle customers over the phone. After you knew what they were looking for, you could talk language they wanted to hear
  • The method of Finding Out What People Want is used by asking, watching and listening to them, plus the effort on your part to find out

7 How To Skillfully Convince People

  • That better way is for you not to make the statement directly but to quote somebody. Let somebody else make the statement for you, even if that somebody else isn’t even present -Example. If you were applying for a position and the prospective employer wondered if you could do the work, you would mention how well pleased your past employers have been, etc
  •   In a nutshell,
    • Quote people.
    • Relate success stories.
    • Cite facts and statistics

8 How To Skillfully Make Up Peoples’ Minds

    1. Give people REASONS to say yes to you.
    • when you want somebody to do something, give them a reason as to why they should do it
    1. Ask “YES” questions.
    • When you are trying to get people to say “yes” to you, first get them into a “yes” frame of mind. This is done by asking them two or three “yes” questions
    • A “YES” questions is one which can only be answered in “YES”.
      • Nod your head and start the “you….”
    • Example.
      • You want the best value for your money, don’t you?” (Of course they do)
    1. Give a choice between “two yeses”.
    • Would this afternoon be satisfactory, Mr. Smith, or do you prefer tomorrow morning or afternoon?” (You are giving Mr. Smith a choice of times to see you - a choice of yeses)
    • The least effective way would be to ask for an appointment.
      • This way you are giving him a choice between yes (you can have the appointment) and no (you can’t have the appointment)
      • Example:
      • ❌ Do you want one of these?
      • ✔ Do you want the black or do you want the white
    1. Expect people to say “yes” to you and let them know they are expected to say yes.
    • When you expect people to say yes to you, that is confidence. However, this goes one step further than confidence. You let them know and definitely give them the impression that they are expected to say yes
    • Almost all people start off in “Neutral” and can be led.
      • Many never doubt or waver doing what you want, once you let them know it is expected of them

9 How To Skillfully Set Peoples’ Moods

  • People strongly tend to respond in kind to the behavior of other people
  • In every human relations act – a dealing between two persons – there is an atmosphere, a mood, a stage set. (Environment)
    • set a warm stage by smiling before breaking silence.
    • Your tone and expression are important as they reveal inner thoughts.
    • Say cheese internally to yourself.
  • One of the tragic facts of human relations is the failure of people to realize that what they put out to other people they get right back from them

10 How To Skillfully Praise People

  • Be generous with your praise.
    • Praise the act not the person.
      • It avoids favoritism.
      • Praising the act avoids embarrassment and confusion
    • Example 1: “John, your work this past year has truly been excellent.” (Rather than, “John, you are a good man

11 How To Skillfully Critique People

The 7 Musts for Successful Criticism:

    1. Criticism should be made in absolute privacy.
    • There should be no doors open, no raising of the voice, nobody listening.
    1. Preface criticism with a kind word or compliment.
    • Create a friendly atmosphere – soften the blow. (Kiss ‘em before you kick ‘em.)
    1. Make the criticism impersonalcriticize the act, not the person.
    • It is the act that should be criticized, rather than the person.
    1. Supply the answer. -The answer means the right way. When you tell somebody what they are doing wrong, you also should tell them how to do it right.
    1. Ask for cooperation, don’t demand it.
    • It is a fact that you will get more cooperation from people if you ask them for it than if you demand it.
    • Demanding is a last resort measure.
    1. One criticism per offense
    • The most justified criticism is justified just ONCE.
    1. Finish the criticism on a friendly note.
    • Finish on a note of, “we’re friends, we’ve solved our problems, let’s work together and help each other,” not on the note, “you’ve been told off, now get on the ball.

12 How To Skillfully Thank People

  • It is not enough for you to feel grateful and appreciative to people, you should show that gratitude and appreciation to the parties that deserve it.
    • People reciprocate accordingly.
  • Be sincere in thanking people.
  • Personalize the thanks.
    • Example. “Thanks you john instead of thank you.”
  • Look at people when you thank them.

13 How To Skillfully Make A Good Impression

  • Put a value on yourself.
    • Be proud of yourself (but not conceited), of who you are, of what you do, of where you work.
  • Don’t apologize for your station in life or for yourself
  • Over-anxiety starts people wondering and gives them doubts
  • Always stand on your own merits; don’t try to make yourself look good by making other people look bad