This classic text on human, therefore business relations, was first published 1936. How many readers have read it?

It is a required reading in UAF’s ABUS 154 – Human Relations course, BUT, since this course was canceled last fall due to low enrollment, please allow me to highlight some of the book’s key — and timeless — concepts for the next several weeks in this space.

In this book, Dale Carnegie outlines six ways to make people like you, and 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking.

BUT WAIT!

How in the world can one make people like you?

I am glad that I asked. I suspect that each of my readers would never so much as hurt a pesky fly ... however, please be honest ... are there some two-legged creatures walking around that, while you would not wish them any harm, you will not break down and sob if they fall into a manhole while crossing the street?

Is your disgust for them because of their race, color, creed, sex, or are your feelings against them caused by the things that they do?

In 30 years of teaching human relations, the answer from my students has always been because of things that they do.

Science teaches that action breeds equal, opposite reactions, and if we can dislike people because of things that they do, then we can also do things that will make people LIKE us, and there is nothing they can do about it, but … like us!

I once had a boss who prided himself on not being in a “popularity contest." Funny thing was, none of his employees ever nominated him for the honor either. Statistically, popular bosses (who know what they are doing), get the most production and loyalty.

Here is Dale Carnegie’s tip No. 1:

Who is the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known? Who is she? You may meet her skipping down the street today.

When you get withing 10 feet of her, she will start to wag her tail. If you reach down and pet her, she will nearly jump out of her skin to show you how much she like you. Yet, behind that display of affection, she has no ulterior motives. She doesn’t want to marry you, she doesn’t want to sell you real estate, she may want to lick your face, but, have you ever considered that the dog – yes, we are referring to the dog — is the only animal who does not have to work for her living? Canaries have to sing, cats must breathlessly chase mice, cows have to give milk, but the dog earns her living by giving you nothing but love.

Now, my dog, Swirls (named for her coloring, but now I think is was more for her temperament), never read a book on customer service or psychology, yet she knows by some divine instinct that she can make more friends in five minutes by becoming sincerely interested in others than I can in five years trying to wig-wag people into becoming interested in me.

I would do anything for that dog.

According to Dale Carnegie, the first key to successful relationships with others is to become sincerely interested in others, be they customers, or pets. He writes:

“It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”

Charlie Dexter is a professor of applied business emeritus at the UAF Community and Technical College. He can be reached at cndexter@alaska.edu. This column is brought to you as a public service by the UAF Department of Applied Business.