Skill with People

Skill with People Book Summary

Book Review, Personal Development and Psychology 11 Comments


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Skill with PeopleYour skill with people determines the quality of your social life, your business life and your family life. To be better in our interactions with other people, we must properly understand people and their nature. After understanding people, we can tweak various behaviors to create a fantastic social environment around us.

Skill with People, by Les Giblin, provides you with actionable advice to help you in your interactions with others. Skill with People goes over many practical tips to dealing with people, ranging from talking to people, to making people feel important, to critiquing some successfully, to making a good impression.

Interacting with other people is extremely important in today’s world. Communication is the #1 skill many employers and people look for. To be able to navigate a variety of social situations – disagreements, negotiations, friendly conversations – is a skill we can all work on.

For the rest of the post, I give a brief summary and my takeaways and recommendation for you.

Summary of Skill with People

Understanding people and human nature simply involves recognizing people for how they think and what they are:


Put another way, any given person is 1000x more interested in themselves than they are in you.Once you understand most people care primarily about themselves, you can start creating great social situations. Next time you talk to someone, put 100% of your focus on looking to make that person feel special and wanted. Ask them good, penetrating, and thoughtful questions about their life – it doesn’t really matter about what.

Actionable Steps and Tips

Like I mentioned above, Skill with People is PACKED with actionable steps on interacting with others. These subjects include 10 “how-to’s”:

  • How to Skillfully Talk to People
    • Talk to people about the most interesting subject – THEMSELVES!
    • Remove the following words from your vocaulary: “I, me, my, mine”
  • How to Skillfully Make People Feel Important
    • Listening to them and complimenting them (when appropriate) are 2 great ways to making people feel important.
  • How to Skillfully Agree with People
    • Try to be naturally agreeable – no one likes to be disagreed with. Don’t start arguments.
  • How to Skillfully Listen to People
    • Look at the person talking. A person worth listening to is a person worth looking at.
    • Stick to the speaker’s subject and ask follow-up questions on the topic.
  • How to Skillfully Influence People
    • Find out what people want, and then work towards helping them reach their goal or target.
  • How to Skillfully Make up People’s Minds
    • Give reasons for them to say yes to you. Provide clear benefits for your proposal.
  • How to Skillfully Set People’s Moods
    • Be a leader in your interactions and create a happy environment. Next time you see a friend, co-worker, or family member, SMILE! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
  • How to Skillfully Praise People
    • Praise and be grateful when people help you out or do something amazing. Sincerity is key.
  • How to Skillfully Critique People
    • Critique in private. Make criticism impersonal and on the act, never on the person.
  • How to Skillfully Thank People
    • Thank people for a specific action and task, and include their name: “Thank you Mary for your great work at quarter-end, we could not have done it without you.”

By applying each of these points, you will see great success in your social interactions.

My Takeaways

With all books I read, I look to have a few takeaways and actionable steps for me to apply in my life. Skill with People is packed with actionable items.

The 3 main takeaways I’m looking to focus on in the near future are:

  • I’m going to focus on talking to people about their favorite subject (themselves)
    • Who is the most important person in the world? It’s you!
  • I will look to critique more skillfully
    • Skill with People goes into 7 ways to critique people – one of which I find good: make criticism impersonal – criticize the act, never the person.
  • Be a leader in my interactions by setting other people’s moods appropriately.
    • When I see a friend, family member, co-worker, etc., I will give them a big smile and tell them I’m happy to see them πŸ™‚

What excites me about my continued pursuit of self development is I can always learn more and become better. I read Skill with People about a year and a half ago and I had new thoughts and new takeaways. Given the book is less than 50 pages, I’m going to read it at least every 3 months to refresh my memory on communication, emotional intelligence, and interacting effectively with others.

“Knowledge itself is of no value. It is THE USE OF KNOWLEDGE that makes it valuable. Putting this thought another way – life does not pay off for you on what you can do. Life pays off for you on what you do. ” – Les Giblin

My Recommendation

You need to read Skill with People. Skill with People is written in a very simple manner, yet it’s teachings are so profound. I read How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, while I thought it was good, Skill with People was both shorter and had more actionable steps. I wish I’d read it a few months back – being good with people, both on a conversation, but also an emotionalΒ  level, is key for success in the world.

For me, I want to focus on talking to people about their favorite subject (themselves), looking to critique more skillfully, and to set other people’s moods appropriately. By doing incorporating these action steps into my daily life, I will display more skill with people.

Skill with People

Buy this Book!

Do you look to get people talking about themselves? What tips do you have for dealing with people? Do you enjoy reading books on communication and human interaction?




About the Author

Hi! I'm Erik, the creator of The Mastermind Within blog.

I'm passionate about helping you improve as a person, get better with your finances, and create your dream life over time.

Through setting goals, critical thinking and intentional living and action, I believe you can master your life, win with money, and get on the path to freedom.

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Comments 11

  1. I totally agree “Your skill with people determines the quality of your social life, your business life and your family life.” and People are primarily interested in themselves.

    Thanks for all of tips!

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  2. Sounds like a good read and great advice. It is ironic, though – the people who’d pick up this book probably already have great people skills, while the people who need it the most would never consider reading!

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      That’s true – the people who have a fixed mindset probably won’t read it which is unfortunate πŸ™

      Thanks for the comment Paul πŸ™‚

  3. I too have read How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, which I enjoyed. I’m always looking to get others to talk about themselves and I’m usually successful. Sometimes challenging but usually always interesting! Thanks for sharing this book Erik!

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  4. This sounds like a good one, and I’m putting it straight on my to-read list. I generally do fine in most social situations, except when I have to small talk, at which I am utterly terrible and uncomfortable. It sounds like this book has actionable advice I can apply to those situations, so thanks for sharing, Erik!

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      For small talk, I’d recommend “92 ways to talk to anyone” for a book on small talk.

      For me, I try not to talk about silly things like weather, etc. I usually will ask, “What do you have planned for season X” (summer), OR “What’s going on this weekend, spending time with family?”

      I try to mix it up. A joke always helps πŸ™‚

  5. I can definitely improve my communication skills a bit. On thing that I often struggle with is to complement people and set the mood. I am not very goof at small talks or concentrating on other people. These will be things that I want to work on in the near future. πŸ˜€ There trying to set the mood. Did I mentioned that I learned a lot from reading your book reviews? I sure do. Keep up the good work. I will be looking forward to the next book review.

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      I’d recommend β€œ92 ways to talk to anyone” for a book on small talk.

      You did mention you learn a lot from my book reviews πŸ™‚ I’m glad I can help you out and provide value!

  6. Thanks, I’ll add that to my list as well. And yeah, that definitely works with with people you’re already acquainted with, but I’m not sure how you deliver those convo starters to new people, in an unfamiliar setting!

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