There is only one way under high Heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it. What do people want? Not many things but the few things that you wish, you crave with an insistence that will not be denied. Almost every normal adult wants:

  • Health and the preservation of life
  • Life in the hereafter
  • Food
  • Sexual gratification
  • Sleep
  • The well-being of our children
  • Money and the things money will buy
  • A feeling of importance (the desire to be great)

Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want. So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it. Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it?

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.”

-Henry Ford

Looking at the other person’s point of view and arousing in him an eager want for something is not to be construed as manipulating that person so that he will do something that is only for your benefit and his detriment. Each party should gain from the negotiation.

*Compilation taken from “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie