The Art of People – Book Summary – Part 1

The Art of People Book Summary

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


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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Self-awareness is the fundamental building block of the art of people. You can’t understand and influence others until you fully understand yourself at a deep level.

The better you understand yourself :

  • your unconscious motivations
  • what gets you up and what gets you down
  • what makes you tick, and
  • how you best interact with others—the better off you’ll be at understanding other people and getting them to do things for you.
A. How to ‘get’ anyone (even if you don’t like them)
  1. Write down the names of three people in your life whom you’re struggling to get. You may not like them or enjoy their company.
  2. Commit to asking one to have coffee with you.
  3. Walk into the coffee meeting determined to get this person, aim to understand them better.

You may not walk away understanding the person completely or even liking him any better. But you’ll have a fighting chance to build a more productive and beneficial relationship from then on.

How to understand someone better, than the way you understand your friends.

There are lots of questions you can ask early in your first encounter with someone you wish to understand better:  Here are ten questions for your consideration:

  1. What is the most exciting thing in your professional or personal life right now?
  2. If you had enough money to retire, what would you be doing today?
  3. What’s one thing you would like to be doing or would like to have five years from now?
  4. What’s your favorite charity organization to support and why?
  5. If you weren’t doing what you do today, what would you be doing and why?
  6. Other than a member of your family, tell me about your role model.
  7. Who’s been the most important influence on you?
  8. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why?

These questions not only break the ice, they quickly get people talking about the things:

  1. That really matter.
  2. The things that will reveal their true personalities
  3. Their values, their likes, their hopes, and their passions
B. Be interested instead of interesting

We humans love to talk. Just about all of us would rather talk about ourselves than listen in any one-on-one social situation.

But today, if you can focus on listening attentively, you will truly win that person and he/she will appreciate and remember you. It will show that you care; it will help you strengthen relationships with people every single time.

Remember that people care more about themselves than they care about you. Listening and letting people talk is key to winning them over in life, in business, and in all human relationships.

C. Most people are lonely, help them feel connected

Listening and connecting deeply with people will make them feel less lonely.

The key to this lesson, as in many of the lessons in this book, is to do this authentically.

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A. How to meet just about anyone

LinkedIn is the world’s most important social network. You can connect with just about anyone. Here are the steps to take on how to connect with the right people.

  1. Create a full profile with complete personal/educational and professional details. The more you’ll potentially have in common with the people you want to connect with.
  2. Make connection with all your alumni. This will optimize the number of second-degree connections you have on the network.
  3. Use mutual connection to connect to an old friend or colleague!
  4. Once you get connected, set up a meeting with your new connection.

Create your own advisory board

Gather around 7-8 people who would help you to brainstorm. Remember atleast half of them should be people you’ve met, and at least two should be people you’ve never met but could perhaps meet through connections. Determine your preferred meeting format, structure, frequency, and location as well as the compensation you plan to offer, if any. Start contacting people and invite them to be on your advisory board.

B. Hire slow and fire fast – at work and in life

Evaluate your current employees, partners, and relationships. Go by your gut, the people you feel aren’t right for you and your organization, make a plan to fire them as needed!

Always remember the motto “hire slow, fire fast.” Take your time letting them into your inner circle, but don’t be afraid to toss them out the second it stops feeling right.

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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines listening as “hearing something with thoughtful attention: giving consideration.” In other words, listening is clearly more than just hearing. Listening is hard—a lot harder than you might think.

A. Words mean little, listen with your eyes not your ears

Here is a brief guide to the nonverbal signals and cues that people use and what they communicate. In general, the more you practice reading people for understanding, the better you’ll get at it.

  • Facial Expressions – Look closely at people’s facial expressions as they speak.
  • Body Movements & Posture – Does the person you’re speaking with look comfortable or uncomfortable in her posture?
  • Gestures – We wave, point, beckon, and use our hands when we’re arguing or speaking animatedly, expressing ourselves with gestures often without thinking about it.
  • Eye Contact – Eye contact is important in maintaining the flow of conversation and gauging the other person’s response.
  • Touch – Pay attention to how you’re touched at the beginning of a conversation.
  • Space – You can use physical space to communicate many different nonverbal messages, including signals of intimacy and affection, aggression, or dominance.
  • Voice – It’s not just what you say, it’s HOW you say it.
B. Bluffing is only for poker

Practice reading people to determine whether they’re bluffing. Game of Poker does help, and even if you don’t play it, simply have your partner hold up a card so that you can’t see it, let tell you what that card is, and have you predict whether she’s telling the truth. Over time, you’ll get better at reading your partner’s tells and body language and get more accurate at calling bluffs.

With this we come to an end of the 1st 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 2nd part where the author tells us not to be a teacher.

Click here to read the part 2>>

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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