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Human Relations Principle #17 to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

“Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other persons’ viewpoint.”

~Dale Carnegie



Human Relations Principle #17: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

(“A formula that will work wonders for you.”)

(This is the seventeenth 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.))*

Seeing things through another person’s eyes may ease tensions when personal problems become overwhelming.

There is a reason why the other person thinks and acts as he or she does. Ferret out that reason—and you have the key to their actions, perhaps to their personality. Try honestly to put yourself in his or her place.

Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Any fool can do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people can try to do that.

Say to yourself, “How would I feel, how would I react if I were in his or her shoes?” You will save yourself time and irritation, for by becoming interested in the cause, we are less likely to dislike the effect. And, in addition, you will sharply increase your skill in human relationships.

Dr. Gerald S. Nirenberg, author of Getting Through to People, said…

“Cooperativeness in conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own. Starting your conversation by giving the other person the purpose or direction of your conversation, governing what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener, and accepting his or her viewpoint will encourage the listener to have an open mind to your ideas.”

Today, before asking anyone to buy your product or contribute to your favorite charity, why not pause, close your eyes and try to think the whole thing through from another person’s point of view? Gain clear understanding of his or her interests and motives. Ask yourself: “Why should he or she want to do it?”

Let’s increase our tendency to think always in terms of the other person’s point of view, and see things from that person’s perspective as well as our own.

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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