14 ways to win friends and influence people

He’s the hardest working person I know, yet he has no special skill or talent. What my father does have, however, is a gift with people.

Since I was a kid, I’ve watched him win people over to his ideas and suggestions. This is more than just a matter of persuasion. It’s deeper than that. I’m talking about building strong, genuine relationships that are mutually beneficial.

Whether it’s business or friendships; relationships are an essential part of success. If you can’t win with people, you won’t get very far.

Even those few entrepreneurs who’ve managed to achieve some success while not being great with people have only achieved a fraction of what they could, if they knew how to inspire, lead, and win people to their side.

So how do you win people over?

While there are many ways to achieve this, I’ve outlined 14 key ways that will help you yield better results right away.

1. Get Yourself Together.

It all starts with you. If you’re a mess, your influence will be greatly limited. You have to take care of yourself and have your act together. No one wants to be friends with someone who is always needing help and is incapable of helping someone else. Put yourself in a position of strength by having your life together (as much as possible…no one has it ALL together)

2. Make Everyone Feel Important.

Pretend that every person you meet and come in contact with has a sign above their head that says “MAKE ME FEEL IMPORTANT”. Everyone wants to be acknowledged. Everyone wants to feel like they matter. Even a quick encounter with a stranger can impact them in positive ways if you make them feel important. You’ll never get everyone to like you, but if you make everyone feel important, you’ll have a much easier time achieving your goals.

3. Encourage Them & Their Dreams

There’s an abundance of people spouting off negativity. People who are waiting to knock someone down a peg by telling them not to dream too high. Don’t be one those people. Be an encourager and supporter of people. Your opinion on whether or not someone can achieve their dream doesn’t matter. You’re not in charge of their potential. Be the person who lifts people up rather than drags them down.

4. Compliment Them In Front Of Others.

My wife is quite possibly the most humble person on the planet. She doesn’t seek compliments. She’s the opposite of me. Sometimes I feel like I spend my day fishing for compliments. And by “sometimes” I mean “all the time”. Regardless of whether or not a person is seeking that type of recognition or not, they appreciate it when it happens. Complimenting someone is always a good thing. Doing it publicly increases its effectiveness by 100.

5. Help Them.

Want to make friends with someone and win them over to your side? Help them. Ideally, help them with something they can’t do themselves. Here’s the key that can be easily missed…volunteer your help, don’t wait to be asked. It shows you’re thinking of the person and that you care. Even if they don’t accept your offer, they’ll appreciate that you thought of them and were willing to help.

6. Don’t Just Hear Them, Listen.

Why is listening so hard? I’m not complaining about how listening has become a lost art. I’m not the best listener myself. Don’t just hear what someone is saying. Listen. Then show them that you’ve listened. A simple test that you can do to see if you listened to someone or just heard them is to see if you can remember and repeat their story.

7. Let Them Know You Need Them.

Everyone wants to be needed. Your friends want to be great friends. You need to be vulnerable and let people know when you need them. I’m the worst at this. Asking for help isn’t easy. But when you do, you’re giving someone the chance to be the hero. They’ll love you for that. It makes them feel good to be of assistance. Never be so macho that you can’t tell someone you need them.

8. Openly Give Credit.

Give credit, take blame. All great leaders do this. If you want to win people over, give them credit whenever it’s due. Do it publicly and do it often. No one is going to get tired of you giving them credit for their contributions and achievements.

9. Treat Them Better Than They Treat You.

Friendship 101: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Perhaps there’s a relationship that you feel could be more beneficial than it is currently. For example, a business acquaintance that isn’t sending you as many referrals as they could. How do you handle this? Easily, make it a habit of treating people better than they treat you.

10. Enthusiasm & Positivity Are Contagious.

There is so much negativity, fear, and scarcity-based attitudes in the world. Stand out by being a positive person. Enthusiasm is like a magnet. People can’t help but be attracted to it. The world follows enthusiastic leaders. It’s a key element of getting people on board with your vision. Don’t hide it.

11. Keep Their Story In Mind.

Everyone you meet has a story. When someone shares their struggles, secrets, or parts of their story, never forget it. Some people share openly but most don’t. Never take for granted the trust someone places in you.

12. Give 10x More Than You Ask.

You know that person who is always asking for favors but is nowhere to be found when you need one? Don’t be that guy. I think I can speak on behalf of the world when I see no one likes that person. Make it a habit of giving more than you take. Just as important, give without the expectation of receiving. Give and help because it’s the right thing to do. Don’t do it just because it earn you favor with someone.

13. Add Value To Their Life.

Want someone to appreciate you and support your goals? Make their life easier. If someone’s life is better because you’re in it, then they will bend over backward to help you achieve your goals. If you’re wondering if you add value to people’s lives, here’s a quick test: if you’re doing all of the things on this list, you are.

14. Be There When They Fail AND When They Succeed.

Good friends are there for you when you’re down. That’s not a surprise. But great friends are there for you when you succeed. Don’t be jealous of someone’s achievements. Support them in the good times and bad. Don’t be there for someone part-time.

Business and life are all about relationships. As Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.“. Want to win people over to your vision, ideas, and leadership? Listen to Zig.