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The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want Hardcover – March 15, 2016
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Praise for The Art of People
"People skills— they can't be computerized, outsourced, or reduced to a rubric. That's why Dave Kerpen's The Art of People is more important now than ever— this book will teach you a set of irreplaceable skills that will help you in every area of your life. After all, what is more important— what will get you farther in life —than understanding and getting along with other people?”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
“Strong people skills are how I built my business. I find it’s a common thread amongst all successful people, and no matter what level your people skills are at today, after reading this book you will see a dramatic improvement!”
—Barbara Corcoran, star of ABC's Shark Tank, Entrepreneur & Author of Shark Tales
"Smart, funny and immediately usable. In our fast paced world, we educate and train on technical skills, but neglect the greatest predictors of success: your ability to connect and influence others. In short, this is one of the few books that might actually get you a promotion, or a successful company of your own."
—Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage
"The world of communication is rapidly shifting. To keep up, you could spend thousands of hours trying to figure out how to win fans and customers using the latest social networks (by the way, they may change next week), or you could buy this book, read Kerpen's proven-and-practical advice, and begin seeing the success you want right away. Bonus tip: the second choice is better."
—Chris Guillebeau NYT bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup
"People skills aren’t about how many friends you have on Facebook or how many people tweet at you— it’s about truly connecting and understanding those you work and live with. The Art of People hands you the tools you need to build meaningful relationships and transform your future."
—Adam Braun, New York Times bestselling author of The Promise of a Pencil
"Forget conferences and seminars and courses. Dave’s tips and strategies won’t just make you the smartest person in the room; they’ll make you the most successful — and most liked — person in the room, too."
—Jeff Haden, Contributing Editor, Inc Magazine & Bestselling Author, Transform
“The secret to success in business and life? People. This book is the blueprint you need to #win. Dave knows people, and knows that understanding people is the key to reaching your goals — and helping them reach their own. In The Art of People, he pulls back the kimono and shows you exactly what you need to understand about those around you to live the life you dream.”
—Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Author, Speaker, Early Twitter Employee
“Once again, Dave Kerpen delivers priceless strategies and profound advice for success and influence. The way Dave applies timeless wisdom and proven methods to practical applications is second to none. I highly recommend this book!”
—Dr. Steve Maraboli, Bestselling Author and Speaker
“This outstanding book is chock full of powerful strategies that you can use immediately to better yourself and your relationships with others.”
—Dr. Travis Bradberry, #1 bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0
"Most people who claim to be a 'people person' actually aren't. Kerpen's book shows how to actually become one. Thoughtful and inspiring, The Art of People is as important for leaders as it is for the rest of us."
—Shane Snow, bestselling author of Smartcuts
“Full of good sound advice – things we should always keep in mind and utilize for better relationships.”
—Lori Greiner, Best Selling Author, Inventor, Entrepreneur, and TV Personality
“This book is like How to Win Friends and Influence People—only better suited for today’s world.”
—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals
"Dave Kerpen is one of my favorite people in the world. And now I know why! He has figured out the secrets of being absurdly likable. Now that Dave is revealing his methods in a book, I like him even more."
—AJ Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically, My Life as an Experiment and The Know-It-All
"If there is one axiom that applies across any and all business, it is that you need to build relationships first, then do business. No one lives this mantra everyday more consistently or more effectively than Dave Kerpen. That's why The Art of People is such an important and enjoyable read. Dave's insights and unique perspective make this mandatory reading for anyone and everyone interested in how to engage with their customers and build meaningful and valuable relationships. Buy it. Read it!"
—Jim McCann, Founder and CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.
"From the guru of people skills comes an essential guide to building the relationships that will help you succeed in work and life. The Art of People offers terrific tips on becoming a better listener, networker, and communicator— the things to be if you want to get ahead and have the success you crave."
—Kate White, Author of I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion and Create the Career You Deserve
"An invaluable resource, full of practical, manageable tips, for anyone who deals with people. Which, of course, is all of us."
—Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of Happier at Home and Better Than Before
"Accomplishment involves connecting your dots to those of others and vice versa. Great people skills maximize dot-connecting because they create relationships grounded in mutual trust and respect. The 11 skills Kerpen identifies come with 53 tips on how to build them. Here are my favorites:
When meeting new people, 'be interested instead of interesting.' Most people are more interested in themselves than you. They talk about what’s important to them. Let them talk, talk and talk. Using 'tell-me more' questions allows you to continually glean information from what they say and use it to provide ‘we’re on the same page’ responses. Like-mindedness builds connection.
'Hire slow and fire fast – at work and in life.' There are two types of flat tires – a puncture (which can be fixed) and a sidewall blowout (which can’t be fixed). Remember the difference when dealing with relationship issues. The more time you spend trying to deal with what can’t be fixed, the less time you’ll spend building productive relationships.
'You never get what you don’t ask for.' The fear of hearing 'no' keeps people from asking for a 'yes'. Great salespeople are great closers; they always ask for 'yes'.
'Make time your friend.' How? Spend most of your people time on ‘priority’ relationships and situations. Kerpen’s high-demand schedule has 'two office hours' each week set aside for meetings with new people.
To get the most out of Kerpen’s tips, complete the personality-type assessment in Appendix A. The results frame your mindset for adapting the tips to your people skills."
—Jim Pawlak, Syndicated Writer for BIZ BOOKS
About the Author
DAVE KERPEN is an entrepreneur, speaker, bestselling author. He is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software company, and the chairman and cofounder of Likeable Media, an award-winning content marketing firm for brands. He is among the most popular writers in LinkedIn's Influencer program, one of the most-read contributors for Inc.com, and has been featured by CNBC, BBC, ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Early Show, the New York Times, and more. Dave has keynoted conferences and webinars across the globe. He is father to 3 beautiful children, husband to one amazing business partner, and trusted friend, colleague, and mentor to thousands.
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Let’s tease out some of the important ideas from Dave’s book that support his wife’s comment. On page 58 Dave tells us “that if there’s just one people skill you take away from this book, it should be listening.” That’s active listening, of course, which means giving your entire attention to the person who is talking, supporting that person through your nonverbal communication, repeating to the person’s satisfaction just what he or she has said, and connecting emotionally to what the person is saying, which Dave tells us is often the most important part of the message. These are wise words and as Dave tell us, easy to understand, but difficult to put into practice.
Dave uses all of page 85 to tell us that “The most important question you’ll ever ask is How can I help you?” Throughout his book Dave makes the point that we must first change ourselves, become less self-centered and selfish, and genuinely learn to support, encourage, and help others. If we are lucky, we have met a few people in our lives that were genuinely interested in us. They are like gold, their value never fades.
On page 97 Dave supports this suggestion about helping others by adapting The Golden Rule in this fashion. “Do unto others as they would want done to them.” This new rule requires us to talk with the people we want to help to find out just what they want and value, and sometimes this may surprise us. That is, what people want and value may not be about money. Instead, they may value the satisfaction they experience from being productive and achieving at work. Dave’s wife Carrie understands this point very well.
At one point in his book Dave tells us not to be worried about being original. By that he means that so many wise people have come before us that much of what we want to know has already been discovered by others. The fact is that Dave has relied heavily on Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dave quotes Carnegie frequently and appropriately. Dave’s book takes many of Carnegie’s wise words and suggestions and updates them for a modern audience with appropriate stories and examples to make his points come alive for his readers. Dave is an effective story teller and he suggests that we also learn how to translate our message into a good story.
When Dave arrives at his section on Leadership, he tells us on page 165 that he received this great bit of advice from Verne Harnish. Leaders need to: set and communicate the overall vision for the team; make sure they have the right people doing the right jobs, and making sure the resources are sufficient to get the job done. This sounds like Management 101, but that does not make this excellent advice less valuable to us.
On page 216 Dave devotes an entire page to tell us that “A random act of kindness is an instant cure for any bad mood.” By this time readers of this review have surely gotten the idea that was suggested by his wife Carrie in our opening paragraph that caring for others is what is truly important in business and in life. Always pay it forward, that is, respond to a person’s kindness to yourself by being kind to someone else. We have all had the experience in our cars when we have been trying to enter a busy street when a kind soul waves us on and then a few minutes later we see someone in a similar situation trying to enter the highway and we wave them on. Kindness is contagious and throughout his book Dave emphasizes kindness and praise to build an emotional bank account with people that does just what his wife Carrie says; that is they will help you without your even having to ask them.
Dave Kerpen would be the first to tell us that not much is new in his book; he is not attempting to be original. But I am going to disagree with him; what is new is Dave’s treatment of many good ideas. His conversational style makes it seem as if he is talking directly to us. Dave invites us to connect with him on the Internet and he welcomes the opportunity to get to know us. His stories about himself show us that he is imperfect and each day is a learning experience for him. Dave knows how to say I’m sorry, and then move on. I enjoyed reading his book and recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about people, how they behave, and what they value.
Having spent the past 19 years working with people on both sides of the "learning line” (the folks who "need to know," and the others who "know they know") I have seen clearly just how disastrous it can be when people are in denial. When they deny what they don't know, it's bad...
There is something we need to know about what makes people like that tick. Why WOULDN'T someone do the self-study necessary to understand themselves? Especially when they're in a position of power and influence, such as many people I meet are...
But first, we need to explore what makes US tick. When we know what drives us - as I say, "what we want to be known for" - it makes it possible (but be careful, NOT probable) to meet them where they are.
Where Dave starts is by giving his story of getting to look in the mirror. Want to make a change out there? Start in here...
Over 53 essays, you'll discover not just tactics you could use to meet people, stand out from the crowd, and make a positive, influential difference. Do that and more. Stop. Often. And ask yourself, "What would I have done?"
There are 6 specific essays that I grabbed on to (printed them out, in fact!):
1. Myers-Briggs Means Nothing; This Means Everything
Or, as I think about it: Know Yourself To Lead Yourself
As I read essay #1, I clicked pause, went to the BACK of the book, and went through the Personality Assessment that Dave leaves for us there. Look, this isn’t the first (or the last) one of these that I’ve ever taken, and just like the ones before it, there weren’t that many surprises. What I love about it, again, is how easy it is to see ME. Thank you Dave for giving me the gift of my own attention. Now, I have some work to do!
8. Create Your Own Advisory Board
Or, as I think about it: Build Your Team Before You Need It
60 months from now, you’ll be where you are, doing what you’re doing, eating what you’re eating, living where you’re living (you get it!) based on the 5 or so people you spend the most time with this weekend. Here’s the challenge: Add a new 5th person! Where can you go to meet people who will influence your future? Want to change your game? Change the players. I promise, works every time.
13. Always Accept the Glass of Water
Or, as I think about it: Make Their Comfort Your Priority
I needed this one, Dave. I’ve been on the “Oh-no-thanks” side of making the offer to someone, and like Dave says in his book, it just makes everyone feel a little uncomfortable. When you show up to someone’s house, or their office, and they offer you something…Take it. Every time. Doing so puts everyone at ease. Read essay #13, and you’ll see why!
31. Be a Model
Or, as I think about it: They're Always Watching
Someone is going to see you today. I don’t care where you work, how you commute, or who you live with…SOMEONE is watching. Always watching. So, be a model of what you hope happens. What you hope happens at work, in your home, around your community. Also - and this is HUGE - practice FINDING models. As I was reading this essay, I reflected back on my own student teaching days. (Yes, Dave and I were both teachers!) I can remember the exact same thing happening to me… My master teacher set me up, and left the room. Best thing that he could have done.
37. How to Get Everyone to Want to Be Around You, with One Word (Maybe Two)
Or, as I think about it: Energy is Polarizing
Oh boy, people like us (I’m including you, if you think you’re going to read and learn from this book) are energetic. We’re open to learning, we’re willing to experiment, we’re ready to show up when called upon. And, as such, we’re also accused of being the “Tall Poppies.” The ones that get attention, and the ones that people talk about. As I was reading this essay, I wrote in my notebook, “Make it so that what they talk about is what you want them to notice.” It’s important.
41. If You're There to Help, You're There to Win
Or, as I think about it: To Be Continued
No one event happens in isolation. This essay about blew me away with the empathy that Dave said his principal showed to him and his buddy back in their school days. Just let the title of this chapter sink in, and see where you can apply it today. Be there to help. And, help them win.
I downloaded this book to my iPhone kindle app. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of the ones that I come back to time and time again...