Skill with People Book Summary

Skill with People

Your 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! 🙂 🙂
  • 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 🙂

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

Our Recommendation for Skill With People

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 emotional  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.

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?Save