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Human Relations Principle #15 to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

“If you want enemies, excel your friends;

but if you want friends,

let your friends excel you.”

~La Rochefoucauld, French philosopher


Human Relations Principle #15: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

(“The safety valve in handling complaints.”)

(This is the fifteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

Remember the old adage: the creator gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason—to do at least twice as much listening as we do talking.

Most people trying to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves. Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things.

If you disagree with them you may be tempted to interrupt. But don’t. It is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression. So listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere about it. Encourage them to express their ideas fully.

Even our friends would much rather talk to us about their achievements that listen to us boast about ours.

So, today, let’s do twice as much listening as we do talking.

Much success and fulfillment with mastering human relations,



* The best guide on effective human relations that I have ever encountered is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. Prior to writing the book, Carnegie spent 20 years researching the habits of successful people. The book has sold over 30 million copies and is still listed on Amazon’s top 100 best selling books.

Other articles within this series you may enjoy:

3 Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

6 Ways to Make People Like You

12 Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

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