Cover of book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Carnegie Dale
How to Win Friends & Influence People

Author: Carnegie Dale

The book is written in a typical American style - “do this and that, and your life will change forever…” 😄

Applying the book’s rules too bluntly may come off as manipulative, and our conversation partner will sense it. However, it’s worth considering certain mistakes that make it difficult for us to interact with people, such as when we talk too much and don’t let others get a word in.

Either way, I think the book is about manipulation. Yes, if we apply the principles sincerely, it can improve interactions in specific situations. However, if we start using certain techniques automatically, we may influence others “more intensely” than before, as if bypassing their firewall 😄

Regardless, it was an enjoyable read, so I took the liberty of jotting down the rules to occasionally glance at and remind myself 🙂

Basic Principles in Human Relations

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.

    Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s think about why they do what they do. It’s more beneficial, it breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness.

  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.

    Stop thinking about your own accomplishments and wishes. Try to see the virtues of the other person. Forget flattery, give honest and sincere appreciation.

  3. Arouse in others an eager want.

    When we come up with a great idea, instead of emphasizing at every turn that it’s ours, let’s try to let others consider it their own. They will like it more and perhaps even take a few servings.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Show genuine interest in others.

    “We are interested in others when they are interested in us.” Showing interest must be sincere. It must benefit not only the person showing interest but also the one who is its object. It works both ways, and both parties benefit.

  2. Smile.

    “A person who doesn’t smile shouldn’t open a shop.” Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. For someone who sees dozens of gloomy and cloudy faces averting their eyes, your smile is a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds. Especially when that person is being harassed by their boss, customers, teachers, parents, or children, your smile reminds them that not everything is hopeless, that there is still joy in the world.

  3. Remember that a person’s name is to them the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

    We should realize the importance of names and always remember that they are sacred and exclusive property of the person we are talking to. No one else’s! A name distinguishes an individual from others, making them unique among all people. The information we provide or the request we make takes on special significance if we add the name of our interlocutor. From the waitress to the president - a remembered name works wonders in our interactions with them.

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

    If you want to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. Show interest in others, and you will seem interesting to them. Ask questions that the interlocutor will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. Remember that the people you talk to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their problems than in you and the matters that concern you.

  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

    Talking to people in terms of what interests them rather than what interests us benefits both parties.

  6. Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.

    “Talk to people about themselves, and they will listen for hours.”

How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

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

    • Welcome the disagreement.
    • Control your temper.
    • Listen first.
    • Look for areas of agreement.
    • Be honest.
    • Promise to think over your opponent’s ideas and study them carefully.
    • Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest.
    • Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”

    In other words, don’t argue with your customer, spouse, or adversary. Don’t tell them they’re wrong; don’t make them defensive. Use a bit of diplomacy.

  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

    Consider also that I don’t fully agree with everything. Not everything I wrote yesterday speaks to me with the same force…

  4. Begin in a friendly way.

    The sun can make you take off your coat faster than the wind. And kindliness, a friendly approach, and appreciation can induce people to change their minds faster than all the storms and tempests in the world.

  5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

    … He asked questions to which his interlocutor had to answer in the affirmative. And he gathered affirmative responses one after another, until he had a whole mountain of agreements behind him. He asked questions so persistently that his opponent, without realizing it, came to conclusions he would have vehemently protested against just a few minutes earlier.

  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

    Even friends prefer to tell us about their achievements rather than listen to us bragging about our own.

  7. Let the other person feel that the idea is theirs.

  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

    If reading this book achieves nothing else but making you always try to see things from the other person’s point of view… you will quickly find it to be a turning point…

  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

    “All of humanity craves sympathy and understanding.”

  10. Appeal to the nobler motives.

… People are honest and want to live up to their obligations… even those who want to take us for a ride will, in most cases, react honestly if we let them know we consider them honest, decent, and upright.

  1. Dramatize your ideas.

It’s not just the facts, but the way they are presented that matters.

  1. Throw down a challenge.

This is what every successful person loves: the gamble. The chance to show their worth. The chance to prove themselves, to compete, and to win.

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

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

    Suggest alternative usage, propose looking in the mirror, and making decisions independently.

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

  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

  5. Let the other person save face.

    It’s not what I think of him that matters, but what he thinks of himself.

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

  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

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

  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

    Show the benefits of the task for the performer to reduce their resistance.