Book Summary: How to Win Friends & Influence People

win-friends

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

My Thoughts

Simple, profound and actionable advice on all aspects of relationships. Useful for everyone including leaders, managers, supervisors and anyone that desires better friendships and relationships.
At the end of the summary are action steps that I put into practice after reading.

This is the 42nd book in my 2018 reading list.

My Favorite Quotes

  • It is foolish to scold.
  • The way to develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.
  • You can never say anything but what you are. -Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want.
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.
  • Happiness doesn’t depend on outer conditions, happiness depends on inner conditions.
  • The truth is, almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way.
  • You can’t win an argument because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.
  • Men must be taught as if you taught them not, and things unknown proposed as things forgot.
  • You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it within himself. -Galileo
  • You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong.
  • Even our friends would much rather talk about their achievements than listen to us boast about ours.
  • When our friends excel us they feel important, when we excel them they will feel inferior. (at least some of them will)
  • People will not flower and grow without praise.

Best Questions

  • What do you expect from me? (boss to employee)
  • What can I expect from you? (boss to employee, follow-up question)
  • How do you suppose this would sound?
  • Do you think it would be good idea to…?
  • Have you thought about trying this?

Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Chapter 1: If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive

It is foolish to scold.
Do not fret over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.
99 times out of 100 people won’t criticize themselves for anything no matter how wrong they are.
Criticism is futile.
Criticism is dangerous.
Positive reinforcement is more effective than criticism and negativity.
As much as we thirst for approval we dread condemnation.
The person we are going to correct will justify himself and condemn us in return.
Sharp criticisms and rebukes almost invariably end in futility.
Do you know someone you would like to change, regulate and improve? Good, why not start with yourself?
Remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic, we are dealing with creatures of emotion.
Instead of condemning people, try to understand them.
To know all is to forgive all

Principle one: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

Chapter 2: The Big Secret of Dealing with People

The only way to get people to do anything is to get them to want to do it.
The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.

Some of the things most people want include:

  • Health and preservation of life
  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Money
  • Life in the hereafter
  • Sexual gratification
  • Well-being of our children
  • A feeling of importance
  • The desire to be great

People have a craving to be appreciated.
The rare person who satisfies this heart hunger (to be appreciated) will hold people in the palm of his hand.

The desire to be important and appreciated is the desire that drives people to buy big houses, want to wear the latest clothes, drive the latest cars, talk about your brilliant children, etc.

If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I will tell you what you are. That determines your character. This is the most significant thing about you.

People will become ill or insane on purpose to attain a feeling of importance.

Imagine what we can achieve if we give people honest appreciation.

Charles Schwab was one of the first business men in the world to earn a million dollars a year. Paid this salary by Andrew Carnegie.

Charles Schwab claims he was paid this because of his ability to work with people.
His secret. He considered the ability to arouse enthusiasm among his people as his greatest asset.
The way to develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. Nothing kills the ambition of a person as criticism from superiors.
If you like anything in a person lavish praise.
I have never met a person who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval.

Lack of appreciation is one of the main reasons a spouse leaves.
Show appreciation not flattery.
Flattery does more harm than good.
King George maxim. Teach me neither to prefer nor receive cheap praise.
Flattery is telling another person exactly what they think about themselves.
You can never say anything but what you are. Ralph Waldo Emerson

We think about ourselves 95% of the time. Stop to think about the other person.

Principle two: Give honest sincere appreciation.

Chapter 3: He who can do this has the whole world with him; he who cannot walks a lonely way.

Fishing, use the bait fish want, not what you like to eat. Use the same principle when fishing for people.
Bait the hook to suit the fish.

The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Arouse in the other person an eager want.
When persuading someone, before you speak pause and ask yourself. How can I make this person want to do it?

Henry Ford secret of success. The ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.

People who can put themselves in the place of other people, who can understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them.

Principle three: Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You

Chapter 1: Do this and you will be welcome anywhere

Most animals have to work for a living.  Not a dog, a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.

The individual not interested in his fellow man has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others.

You have to be interested in people to be successful.

One can win the time and attention of even the most sought after people by becoming genuinely interested in them.

We are interested in others when others are interested in us.
Interest must be sincere.

Principle one: Become genuinely interested in other people.

Chapter 2: A simple way to make a good first impression

The expression one wears on ones face is far more important than the clothes one wears on ones back.

A smile says I like you, you make me happy, I am glad to see you.

The effect of a smile is powerful.

Find happiness by controlling your thoughts.
Happiness doesn’t depend on outer conditions, happiness depends on inner conditions.

Principle two: Smile.

Chapter 3: If you don’t do this you are headed for trouble.

Using a person’s name.

Principle three: Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Chapter 4: An easy way to become a good conversationalist.

Be a good listener and encourage them to talk.

Illustration of boy who bought an encyclopedia of biographies and started writing questions to James Garfield, Grant, Ralph Waldo Emerson, etc. asking questions about their lives and many wrote back.

Many people fail to make a favorable impression because they don’t listen attentively.

People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves.

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

Chapter 5: How to Interest People

Roosevelt stayed up late reading about the interests of people that were going to visit him.

Principle five: Talk in terms of other people’s interests.

Chapter 6: How to make people like you instantly.

Always make the other person feel important.
The desire to be important is the deepest urge in human nature.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
You want:

  • The approval of those with whom you come in contact.
  • Recognition of your true worth.
  • Feeling of importance.
  • Don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery.
  • Sincere appreciation.

Obey the golden rule all the time, everywhere.

Almost everyone considers themselves important.

The truth is, almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way. A sure way to their hearts is to let them realize, in some subtle way, that you recognize their importance and recognize it sincerely.

Every man I meet is my superior in some way, in that I learn of him.

Frequently those who have the least justification for a feeling of achievement, bolster up their egos by a show of tumult and conceit which is truly nauseating.

Principle six: Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

Part 3: How to Win People to Your way of Thinking

Chapter 1: You Can’t Win an Argument

You can’t win an argument because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.

Distrust your first instinctive reaction. It will probably be defensive.
Control your temper. You can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.

Listen first.
Look for areas of agreement.
Be honest and admit error.
Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are.
You may turn your opponents into friends.

Ask yourself: could my opponents be right or partly right?

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

Chapter 2: A sure way of making enemies and how to avoid it.

If you can’t be sure you are right even 55% of the time, why should you tell other people they are wrong?

If you tell people they are wrong they will never want to agree with you.
Telling someone they are wrong is taken as a personal attack.

Men must be taught as if you taught them not, and things unknown proposed as things forgot.

You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it within himself. -Galileo

Quit telling people they are wrong. Even if you know they are wrong.

Make statements such as “I think differently but I may be wrong, let’s examine the facts.”

You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong.

Permit yourself to understand the other person.

Agree with thine adversary quickly. -Jesus

Principle two: Show respect for the other person’s opinion, never say “you’re wrong.”

Chapter 3: If you’re wrong, admit it.

There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit ones errors.

General Robert E. Lee blamed himself for Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg.

By fighting you never get enough, by yielding you get more than you expected.

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

Chapter 4: A Drop of Honey

Illustration of Rockefeller speech to employees during  a strike.

Find common interests.
If a man’s heart is wrangling with discord and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom.
If we are gentle and friendly people can be led to agree with us.
If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his dear friend.
Be friendly. Friendliness begets friendliness.

Story of the wind and sun arguing over who could get the coat off a man.
Gentleness and friendliness are always stronger than fury and force.
A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.

Principle four: Begin in a friendly way.

Chapter 5: The Secret of Socrates

Begin by emphasizing the things on which you agree.
Keep emphasizing that you are both striving for the same end and your only difference is one of method and not of purpose.
Keep your oponent, if possible, from saying no. Keep him saying yes.

The skillful speaker will get a number of yeses from the start.

When a person says no, his entire body and physical system reacts to resist and reject.

Socratic method: asking a series of questions resulting in a “yes” answer by your opponent.

He who treads softly goes far.

Principle five: Get the other person saying yes, yes immediately.

Chapter 6: The Safety Valve in Handling Complaints

Let them talk themselves out of it. Ask questions.
If you disagree, don’t interrupt, it is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression.
Listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere about it.

Even our friends would much rather talk about their achievements than listen to us boast about ours.

If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.

When our friends excel us they feel important, when we excel them they will feel inferior (at least some of them will).

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

Chapter 7: How to Get Cooperation

You have more faith in ideas you discover yourself than ideas handed to you on a silver platter.
It is wiser to make suggestions and let the other person think out the conclusion, instead of trying to ram your opinions down the throat of other people.

Ask your people exactly what they expect from you. Write them down. Tell them you will give them the qualities they expect from you.

Next ask them what you can expect from them. Example, loyalty, honesty, initiative, optimism, teamwork, 8 hours a day of enthusiastic work.

When selling, get ideas from the other person on what they want, like or need.
Let them sell themselves.

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The reason rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them. Thus they are able to reign above them. – Chinese sage.

If you wish to be above men, put yourself below them. If you wish to be before them, put yourself behind them. Thus though his place be above them, they do not feel his weight. Though his place be before them, they do not count it an injury.

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

Chapter 8: A Formula That Will Work Wonders for You

Try honestly to put yourself in the other person’s place.
How would I feel?
How would I react if I were in his shoes?

By becoming interested in the cause we are less likely to dislike the effect.
Book suggestion: How to Turn People Into Gold

Stop to contrast your keen interest in your own affairs with your mild concern about anything else. Realize that everyone else in the world feels exactly the same way.

Success in dealing with people depends upon a sympathetic grasp of the other persons viewpoint.

Before asking someone to do something, ask yourself why he or she should want to do it.

Have a perfectly clear idea of what you are going to say and of what the other person is going to answer.

Principle eight: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Chapter 9: What Everybody Wants

“I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do, if I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”

3/4 of the people you meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them and they will love you.

Principle nine: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

Chapter 10: An Appeal that Everybody Likes

All people you meet have a high regard for themselves.

A person will usually have two reasons for doing something. One that sounds good, and a real one.

In order to change people, appeal to the nobler motives.

Principle ten: Appeal to the nobler motives.

Chapter 11: The Movies Do It, TV Does It, Why Don’t You Do It?

Dramatization. Showmanship.
Merely stating a truth isn’t enough. You have to make it interesting, vivid, dramatic.

Principle eleven: Dramatize your ideas.

Chapter 12: When Nothing Else Works; Try This

Stimulate competition.
Charles Schwab writing in chalk on the mill floor how much work was completed. Day shift vs night shift.
Competition to overcome your fears.
“The game.” The work itself is often the single most motivating factor in employees.

Principle twelve: Throw down a challenge!

Part Four: Be A Leader

How to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment.

Chapter 1: If you must find fault, this is the way to begin.

Praise before correcting.

Principle one: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

Chapter 2: How to criticize and not be hated for it.

Charles Schwab illustration how he handled employees smoking in a non-smoking zone and gave them cigars.
Change the word “but” to “and” when following praise with criticism.
Calling attention to mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.

Principle two: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

Chapter 3: Talk about your own mistakes first.

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

Chapter 4: No one likes to take orders.

Asking questions makes an order more palatable.
How do you suppose this would sound?
Do you think it would be good idea to?
Have you thought about trying this?

Principle four: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

Chapter 5: Let the other person save face.

Negative effects of fault finding.

Principle five: Let the other person save face.

Chapter 6: How to spur people on to success.

Use praise instead of condemnation.
Praise even the slightest improvement.
People will not flower and grow without praise.
When criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poor things will atrophy for lack of attention.
When praise is specific it comes across as sincere.
Abilities whither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.

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

Chapter 7: Give a dog a good name.

If you want to improve a person in some area, act as though that particular trait were already one of their outstanding characteristics.
Assume a virtue if you have it not.

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

Chapter 8: Make the fault seem easy to correct.

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

Chapter 9: Making people glad to do what you want.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior:

  1. Be sincere. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
  2. Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
  3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what it is the other person really wants.
  4. Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
  5. Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
  6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit.

If you increase your successes by 10% you become a 10% better leader.

Principle nine: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

My Action Steps After Reading

  • Stop scolding.
  • Appreciate and encourage people.
  • Make people around me feel important and treat them as being important.
  • Be genuinely interested in other people.
  • Be a better listener and talk less about myself.
  • Smile more.
  • Do not argue with people because I cannot win an argument.
  • Created a series of “yes questions” for an under-performing employee using the Socratic method described in part 3, chapter 5.
  • Utilized the method in part 3 chapter 7 for some employees. Ask people exactly what they expect from me. Tell them they can expect that. Next ask them what I can expect from them.
  • Start asking more questions of employees instead of giving direct orders.
  • Praise employees more often for every slight improvement or task done well.

Related Book Summaries

Hope you enjoyed this and got value from my notes.
📚Here is my complete list of book summaries.

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