How To Have Confidence And Power In Dealing With People

“Various scientific studies have proven that if you learn how to deal with other people, you will have gone about 85 percent of the way down the road of success in any business, occupation, or profession, and about 99 percent of the way down the road to personal happiness”

- Les Giblin

This book’s main idea can be basically summarized as giving people what they truly want, that doesn’t mean actually letting them take whatever they want and cut a deal however they see fit, it means showing appreciation and acceptance towards the other person. If you are able to give this in a genuine way then you are able to wield influence over others.

The book says that you could probably recognize that the most successful people and those who enjoy life the most, have a “certain way” with other people.

In this article I will explain the finer points of the book and by the end you will have learned more about gaining this “certain way” for yourself.

The author, Les Giblin says that the professionals with the best people skills are objective when communicating, this means that they don’t see other people’s actions as good or bad, they just see the actions as they are. When you can see things objectively you are able to see why people do the things they do, this gives you power because you can look into their hearts so to speak and understand what’s driving these people.

Acknowledging The Ego

A man strangles a woman to death because she fell asleep while he was talking to her, a boy robs a bank to prove that he’s a real man after being bullied all his life.

The bigger the wound to the ego, the more the ego tries to seek revenge. Influence comes from being sensitive to other peoples ego. If you can please a person’s sense of themselves then you have them in the palm of your hand.

When you don’t give respect to other people their egos will grow to defend themselves from you.

Any approach with other people must take their ego into account, rich people need compliments just as much as poor people do.

And you will often find that the most loud and boisterous people are also the most in need of validation. How do we deal with these troublemakers? Well you feed their ego, “a hungry dog is a mean dog,” you need to find something you can genuinely compliment them about.

We have been told all our lives that to convince people of something you should make your argument logical but this isn’t really the best way to convince someone, you can argue with the person you trying to sell something to and you may win the argument but you will lose the sale.

The Proper Way To Convince Other People

Three Yale psychologists found that the best way to get ideas accepted is to simply and calmly present all the facts, with no threats or forcing of an argument. People like to make up their own minds.

The one thing you should never do is attack another person’s ego, other researchers studied United Nations debates and found that the ones who attacked the other person’s ego could never successfully get their point across because they bruised the other person’s ego.

“Tell a man that his ideas are stupid, and he will defend them all the more… Use threats, or scare tactics, and he simply closes his mind against your ideas, regardless of how good they may be.”

- Les Giblin

One tip Giblin shares is that often people would change their mind to your way of thinking except there’s just one problem…

They already committed too deeply to their position and can’t back down without damaging their ego.

So what do we do in this situation? Find a loophole through which the other person can save face and be rescued from their own argument.

Skill In Using Words

This is the one thing all successful individuals possess, they are great at small talk and can engage people in conversation. Most people are too afraid of saying something dumb so they are less willing to speak up in a conversation.

English author John Ruskin says that he could only write well when he wasn’t trying to write well. This idea also applies to conversation as well, it’s only good when you aren’t thinking about what to say next, you let the conversation flow naturally. Think about how your conversations are with your closest friends and that’s how smoothly they all should go.

The best way to get people talking is to ask them about their favorite subject: themselves. The expression “strike-up” a conversation is used because talking to people is a lot like building a fire, you start with little twigs of small talk and then bigger branches of conversation until you have a large bonfire of fun and amusement going.

“Nuggets and gems in conversation come only after you have dug a lot of low grade ore.”

- Les Giblin

The last tip for this segment is to never be sarcastic, the majority of people don’t enjoy being made fun of… even by their closest friends.

Motivating Other People

If you want a job done, the best way is not to ask someone to do it for you but ask them to help you with ideas for getting it done. This shows that you aren’t just using them to get something done but that you are appreciating their ideas as well.

let a person know you think they are capable of doing something and they usually will.

In Conclusion

The title of the book may have a Machiavellian taste to it but this book is not about using cheap tricks to manipulate people, it’s really about making our way through the world of dealing with other people in the smoothest way possible.

Even though this is more of a sales book, the information is really applicable to anyone who has to talk to other humans everyday.

And even though the book is old, it has stood the test of time because in it contains a lot of fundamental truths about people and people do not change.

Originally published at on April 17, 2019.

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