Notes: Art of People by Dave Kerpen


    Art of People by Dave Kerpen

    1. Understanding yourself and people

    3. Questions to get to know someone

    • “What is the most exciting thing you’re working on right now? ”
      • Can separately ask “most exciting” in personal and professional life
    • “If you had enough money to retire and then some, what would you be doing?”
    • “What is your favorite charity organization to support and why?”
    • “If you weren’t doing what you do today, what would you be doing and why?”

    4. Shut up and listen

    • I like the idea of a silent breakfast

    5. Most people are lonely; help them feel connected

    2. Meeting the right people

    6. Wear orange shoes

    • Have something that is a conversation starter, gets you noticed in a crowd
    • Seems like my hair would be an advantage here

    7. How to meet anyone

    • Look for mutual connections you’ve done favors for + likely to have influence over person you want to meet

    8. Form personal advisory board

    • Provide something in return
    • Scheduled meetings throughout year

    9. Hire slow, fire fast

    • Humans like to give benefit of doubt
    • Hate to admit making a mistake
      • Rationalize that you made a good hire

    10. Blow people off

    1. Physical interaction (handshake) to indicate both the beginning and the end of the conversation
    2. Frank, direct, to-the-point conversation
    3. Providing value to the other person before ending the conversation

    3. Reading people

    13. Always accept the water

    • Puts the other person at ease, make them feel like a good host
    • Food can be too distracting

    14. Only bluff in poker

    • May get a financial gain, but erodes trust
    • Not good for a sustainable relationship

    15. Mirroring

    • “I hear you saying“ + whatever they just said
      • Don’t rephrase
      • Never use “but” after the mirrored statement
    • Have to actually care about what you’re mirroring, otherwise comes off as insincere
    • People in general don’t want advice — they just want to be heard

    4. Connecting with people

    16. Validate

    • Takes mirroring to the next level
      • Riskier because this involves interpretation rather than just mimicking
      • Clarify a bit or validate tentatively “Sounds like you’re pretty angry“

    17. The most important question to ask in a first meeting

    • “How can I help you?“
    • Show the other party you care + are there to help them before you ever consider asking something from them
    • Make sure the other person knows a little bit about your background first so they know how you can help
      • Do research about the other party so you know how to help them

    18. Online persona

    • Be authentic and vulnerable
    • Don’t create separate personas for public and private

    20. Platinum rule

    • “Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted.” - How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

    5. Influencing people

    21. Help people come up with your idea

    • Never use “I have an idea”
    • Paint broad strokes of idea or results of the idea
      • Or paint converse of idea, what are negative implications
    • Fully embrace other person, praise them for their idea

    23. Storytelling is a much better communication tool than selling

    25. Walk into the room like you own it

    • Walk with confidence and sneak into award shows

    6. Changing people’s minds

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

    • Embrace the fear of “no,” then ask for a “yes”
    • Wedding idea: partner with minor-league baseball team to create wedding-themed promotion
      • Sell sponsorships, get media attention, raised money for charity

    27. Better to be happy than right

    • Very hard to change people’s minds: they have to come to the conclusion you want by themselves
    • “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” - Dale Carnegie

    28. Manage up

    • Take the focus off what you are doing wrong
    • Figure out what the other person really wants or needs and give that to them
    • Think like your manager and reap the benefits when you need it

    29. Go beyond the humblebrag

    • Heap authentic praise on others on social media
      • Promote the heck out of everyone

    7. Teaching people

    32. Soar with your strengths

    33. Be a coach, not a teacher

    • Admit you’re a student as well
      • Learning, but just for a little longer than them
      • Still have a lot to learn

    34. Use an accountability partner

    • Prevents rationalizing and weak excuses

    8. Leading people

    35. Leadership

    • Setting and communicating overall vision for team
    • Making sure you have right people in right seats
    • Making sure there’s enough resources and money to help team succeed

    37. “Fantastic”

    • You’ll attract whoever you’re talking to and make that person want to be around you, because no matter how anyone else is feeling, fantastic is probably better
    • “Imagine” is another great word, give people the permission to imagine

    38. Always be the one to break bad news

    39. Practice gratitude every day

    40. Everybody wants to be a leader

    • Assign ownership, responsibilities, and pride to get people to feel more involved

    9. Resolving conflict with people

    42. Let cooler heads prevail

    • Don’t try to settle conflicts while in volatile emotional state

    43. Let go

    • Surrender control and outcome if you can’t control situation
    • Focus on what you can control
      • Take care of yourself physically and mentally

    44. Marriage argument system

    • Person who’s upset requests an appointment to discuss with other person
    • Offending party agrees to not get offended or defensive
      • Just focus on listening and understanding
    • Person describes problem and how it makes them feel. Offending party validates and mirrors
    • Offending party genuinely says “sorry”
    • Person offers some solutions to pick from
    • Celebrate conflict resolution by getting freaky

    10. Inspiring people

    45. It’s not about you

    • Your speech should be about how you can help them

    48. Praise

    • Praise is #1 resource as leader
    • Critcism, fear, embarrassment, and shame are never inspirational beyond a very short time window
    • Never give out criticism in front of other people.

    11. Keeping people happy

    49. Surprise and delight

    • Compared to winning sounds you hear at casino - variable rewards principle
      • When someone in company rewarded randomly, makes everyone else hope to be the next one rewarded
    • Make people feel special by doing something unexpected

    50. Write physical thank you notes

    51. An intro a day

    • Adam Grant, writer of Give and Take (mentioned by Cal Newport in Deep Work)
    • Adam Rifkin makes three intros a day
      • If you already have a network, an introduction is the most powerful daily action you can take to build it.
      • In just a few minutes, you can have a dramatic impact on the lives of two people
      • This would make for a fun app idea
      • An advantage of social media is that you can now passively see the cool things people are doing in life

    52. Bonsai as gift

    “Here’s to your growth, our growth, and the growth of this bonsai.”

    • Give memorable gifts
    • “trophies, bottles of wine, mini herb gardens, chocolates, and lots of giant foam thumbs”

    53. Be a good curator

    • People remember who they got cool content from
    • Creating own blog posts is very time-consuming
    • By scheduling curated content, will remain on top of people’s newsfeed forever
      • For more personalized, can use Snapchat or just texting a friend
      • Send private message to a contact with content they might find valuable
    • Look for educational, entertaining, and inspiring content


    • Secret to getting everything you want is not getting what you want, but treating people well
      • Meet the right people, listen well, connect and inspire them, and they’ll want to give you everything that you want