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How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The book notes for "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is a little different than for most books. The book was split up into short 3-4 pages of Principles and those pages gave some short examples of those principles. Here is a list of all the principles:


Section 1: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Principle 1: Don’t criticize condemn or complain.

  • People come from different environments and everybody is able to justify whatever they do. Even criminals can justify the crimes. Learning to forgive and forget is a powerful character trait.
  • One of the core wants of humans is to be important. People just have different ways to get to that. Rockefeller did it by building lots of stuff. And murderers do it by showing up in the newspaper.
  • Most super successful people got there by being about to handle people well. With the “ability to arouse enthusiasm. In giving a person incentive to work”.

Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation

  • Show appreciation for people when they do things. There’s a difference between appreciation and flattery. Flattery is insincere and can be easily condemned and seen.

Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want

  • Influence people by showing them things that they want. Talk about what the other person wants instead of what you want.
  • Henry Ford “if there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other persons point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own”.
  • Nobody cares about what you want. They only care about what they want. Focus on their wants.

Section 2: Six Ways to Make People Like You

Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people

  • Everybody cares about themselves. Trying to convince others to care about you is a lot harder. Take an example from dogs. The reason everybody loves dogs is because dogs wholeheartedly only care about the person in front of them. In order to have some one care about you, you should care about them.

Principle 2: Smile

  • Actions seem to follow feelings, but really action and feeling go together. And by regulating the action which is under the more direct control of the will we can indirectly influence our feelings.

Principle 3: Remembering that a persons name is to the person the sweetest and most important sound in any language

  • Remembering people’s makes will make them feel good. There’s a reason things like libraries and museums have a name attached to it. Use their name whenever talking to them.

Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves

  • The best conversationalist is the one that listens the hardest.

Principle 5: Talk in terms of other person’s interests

  • Learn about what the other person is interested in, and talk about that. The conversation will be a lot better.

Principle 6: Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely

  • Be nice and friendly just to be nice and friendly. You don’t need to get anything out of it.

Section 3: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

Principle 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

  • Best way to deal with argument is to avoid it. It’s a lose lose, if you win you make the other person feel inferior, if you lose you lose.

Principle 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “you’re wrong”

  • Admit that you may be wrong whenever trying to correct another person. Ben Franklin used to not be a very likable person because he was always correcting and contradicting people. He then took a 180 degree shift to never directly contradict anyone. Instead ask questions and lead them to learn about it themselves.

Principle 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically

  • If you are dramatic about how bad you did something others will try to defend you. You will be wrong a lot, be quick to admit it.
  • “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected”

Principle 4: Begin in a friendly way

  • If you’re going to be asking for something that the other person isn’t likely to give up do it in a friendly and nice way. If you attack them, they are more likely to not cooperate

Principle 5: Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately

  • Instead of telling someone they are wrong as questions that the answer is yes to, and lead them to discovering they are wrong themselves

Principle 6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking

  • Let others do the talking. They know more about their problem than you do.
  • Every successful person likes to talk about their early struggles.

Principle 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers

  • People are way more likely to like their own ideas instead of other peoples ideas. So if you can get them thinking about it, and find a way to figure out the same thing you did, it is very convincing.

Principle 8: Try honestly to see things from the other persons point of view

  • And when you approach them about something don’t do it angrily instead try to explain with their point of view covered.

Principle 9: Be sympathetic with the other persons ideas and desires

  • Self pity for misfortunes real or imaginary is a universal practice.

Principle 10: Appeal to nobler motives

  • Everybody has 2 identities. One is who they want to be and one who they really are. Appeal to the one they want to be. If they want to be honest and noble. Appeal to that.

Principle 11: Dramatize your ideas

  • They do it in TV shows, in movies and advertisements and you should do it too.

Principle 12: Throw down a challenge

  • People desire a feeling of importance and by doing exciting and interesting work they are motivated to do a good job.

Section 4: Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Principle 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation

  • If you have to present some bad news start and lead with the good things they do to build trust and deescalate the situation.

Principle 2: Call attention to peoples mistakes indirectly

  • There are ways to tell people they are doing something wrong without telling them directly. For example a boss handling customers because employees are just hanging out.
  • Don’t use the word “but” when criticizing after a compliment. It negates the meaning completely. It can remove the sincerity of the complement.

Principle 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

Principle 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders

  • People are more likely to accept an order if they had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.

Principle 5: Let the other person save face

Principle 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”

  • When praise is specific, it comes off as more sincere

Principle 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to

  • Tell them they’re an amazing mechanic and that his recent work isn’t up to par with his own standards.

Principle 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct

Principle 9: Always make the other person happy about doing things you suggest

  • Men are ruled by toys - Napoleon. This technique of giving titles and authority worked for him.

My Thoughts

The title of this book seems to be very controlling, but the points covered are mostly points about just being a good person and a good friend, colleague, boss, etc. Although this book had a lot of great points, it never really went much deeper than just giving some examples from other people experience.

In my opinion, just reading the titles, and really thinking about the meaning and implications of what the title is saying is enough to get the most out of this book.

Overall the points are really great points. But the overarching idea was that this isn't something you should use to manipulate and make people do these things. The goal is to change your approach and see things from a different stand point, so that you can be more genuine and sincere whenever you are implementing one of these principles.

Key Take Away

Lot's of value, but not really a fun read.

Rating: ★★★☆☆