The Art of People Book Summary

The Art of People – Book Summary – Part 2

Name: The Art of People
Author: Dave Kerpen
Book available in English at: Amazon
Book size: 288 pages

Click here to read the part 1>>


In a world where we are constantly connected, and social media has become the primary way we communicate, the key to getting ahead is being the person others like, respect, and trust.

The Art of People
The Art of People

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Validation is the single most powerful way of connecting with other people. Remember, validation is not agreement; it’s not giving in, giving up, or admitting you’re wrong. It’s just showing the other person that you understand where she’s coming from and genuinely care.

A. The most important question you’ll ever ask in a first meeting

“There are two possibilities for what can happen when you ask, “How can I help you?”

  1. The person will tell you, giving you an opportunity to help, after which he will feel indebted/connected/appreciative of you, and will eventually feel compelled to return the favor and help you one day.
  2. The person will decline politely, probably because she doesn’t know how you can help her, but will appreciate your concern and eventually get connected to you.
B. Who you are online is who you are in your life

Always make sure your digital life and your real-in-self life are in sync, learn to harmonize them. Find and share your authentic voice.

C. Crying is for winners

If you can get yourself to experience a level of vulnerability with someone to the point where you’re moved to tears, you will be able to relate to that person—and he or she can relate to you—on a much deeper level.

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The key is to help people come up with YOUR idea:

  1. Never say, “I have an idea” – take the pronoun out of the equation.
  2. Instead, paint a picture of the broad brushstrokes of your idea or the results of that idea.
  3. Alternatively, paint a picture of the converse of your idea. What are the negative implications of not embracing it? The other person will envision the downside of not adopting your idea and then come up with a solution to prevent it from happening.
  4. When the other person says anything close to your idea, fully embrace it and enthusiastically praise her for her idea.
  5. If what he or she’s proposing is not quite what you want, give him/ her a detailed feedback, complimenting their efforts!
A. Passion is nothing without persistence

Persistence is trying until you get what you want or go down swinging. Persistence is continuing until you are certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s time to move on and collect the lessons from the failure. Persistence is trying until you drop.

B. Don’t sell it, story tell it

Nobody likes to be sold to, but everybody likes a good story. Storytelling persuades, compels and conveys emotion to people in a way that nothing else can. Storytelling actually sells products, services, and ideas better than selling can.

C. The paradox of persuasion: shut up

The point is that to influence others, you have to know when to shut up and listen.

Listen to the other person rather than talking. Of course, eventually you have to talk to share your idea or product or otherwise make your case, but if you’ve laid the groundwork by listening, that part is actually surprisingly easy.

D. You never get what you don’t ask for

They don’t actually ask for what they want. And guess what? You probably won’t get what you want unless you ask for it.

Many people are so afraid to get a “no” that they don’t ask for a “yes.” Don’t assume it will always be a “no!” Embrace the fear of “no.” Then ask for the “yes”.

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To win influence, don’t change the other person’s mind. Just change your own mindset.

A. Always manage up

Managing up doesn’t mean kissing butt or being a yes man. It means having a very solid understanding of what’s important to your boss and the leaders at your organization and then paying attention to delivering on what’s specifically important to them. Think like your manager and you will reap the benefits of getting your way when you need it most.

B. Go beyond the humble brag

Be unafraid but as authentic as possible in sharing accomplishments on social media. You’re going to be judged by people no matter what, so just be your authentic self and stand behind that authenticity no matter what people may say.

Heap lots of authentic praise on others via social media as well, it makes people feel good and comfortable. Show the world that you’re not all about yourself and are just as apt to sing another person’s praises as your own.

C. Make time your friend
  1. Review your weekly routine for last few weeks.When you analyze the time you spent with each person and doing each activity, are you happy with how you’re prioritizing your time?
  2. Invest your time on more important tasks and people. Check in with the people you want to spend more time with and let them know what you’re doing.
  3. One month from now, review how well your new system is going. Brainstorm with the people you wanted to spend more time with, get their views.


No matter who your students are, there is an enormous difference between telling them how to do something and showing them how to do it.

Patience is the key here. Patience is the best teacher. By modeling each step along the way and simplifying every part of a task, you can teach just about anything to just about anyone. Just imagine that your student is a first-grader.

A. Soar with your strengths, and theirs

Understand your strengths and then use them to identify others strengths, teach them and manage it..

Remember, you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. All people can learn and be successful at something as long as they soar with their strengths.

B. Don’t be a teacher (or a manager), be a coach (and a student)
  1. If you’re a manager, make a list of the people who report directly to you. If you are not, consider which people you influence as a teacher (kids, friends, colleagues) and write down at least three names.
  2. Write down the names of three of your favorite and best schoolteachers from your youth. How did their ability to coach you and/or their willingness to learn from you affect your performance and your choice to listen to them?
  3. Reflect on and write down how you can become a better manager and/or teacher at work or at home by better embracing your role as coach or student the way your favorite teachers did.
C. Don’t hold yourself accountable

Whether you are a manager or not, teaching people about the power of goals and accountable partners, finding accountable partners for them, and helping facilitate the coaching and reporting process will have an enormous dual effect.

The three keys to making this work are as follows:

  1. Assigning accountability partners who trust and respect each other
  2. Setting SMART goals together
  3. Checking in at least once a week, ideally twice a week, with one another

If you can teach this process to yourself and others, you will find that everyone will get more things done faster.

With this we come to an end of the 2nd part of the book “The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want” written by Dave Kerpen. See you in the 3rd part tomorrow.

This summary was taken from Booklet – ‘Make India Read’ app by Amrut Deshmukh.

If you love the summary of ‘The Art of People’ book part 1 and want to read the whole book, you can take it from Amazon.

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