How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

Book cover for how to win friends and influence people

These are the notes which I took while reading the book titled “How to win friends and influence people” written by Dale Carnegie.

Eight things this book will help people achieve:

Nine suggestions in order to get the most out of this book:

  1. Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles of human relations.
  2. Read each chapter twice before going to the next one.
  3. As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how you can apply each suggestion.
  4. Underscore each important idea.
  5. Review this book each month.
  6. Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use this volume as a working handbook to help you solve your daily life problems.
  7. Make a lively game out of your learning by offering some friends a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches you violating one of these principles.
  8. Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvement, what lessons you have learned for the future.
  9. Keep notes in the back of this bok showing how and when you have applied these principles.

Part I: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain

Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people, the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.

There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.

-- Charles Schwab

The difference between flattery and appreciation:

Comes from teeth outComes from heart out
Universally condemnedUniversally admired

Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want

Part II: Six ways to make people like you

Principle 4: Become genuinely interested in other people

It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.

-- Alfred Adler

Principle 5: Smile

Action seems to follow feeling, 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 regulate the feeling, which is not.

Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there…”

-- William James (Philosopher)

Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind of the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon he opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual… Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude — the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.

-- Elbert Hubbard

The Value of a Smile at Christmas

Principle 6: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language

Principle 7: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves

Principle 8: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests

Principle 9: Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely

Part III: How to Win People to your Way of Thinking

Principle 10: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it

A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still.

If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will. -- Ben Franklin

Welcome the disagreement. Remember the slogan, “When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary.’ If there is some point you haven’t thought about, be thankful if it is brought to your attention. Perhaps this disagreement is your opportunity to be corrected before you make a serious mistake.

Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.

Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.

Listen First. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding.

Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which you agree.

Be honest. Look for areas where you can admit error and say so. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help disarm your opponents and reduce defensiveness.

Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. It is a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in position where your opponents can say: “We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.”

Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends.

Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear. In preparation for this meeting, ask yourself some hard questions:

Could my opponents by right? Partly right? Is there truth or merit in their position or argument? Is my reaction one that will relieve the problem, or will it just relieve any frustration? Will my reaction drive my opponents further away or draw them closer to me? Will my reaction elevate the estimation good people have of me? Will I win or lose? What price will I have to pay if I win? If I am quiet about it, will the disagreement bow over? Is this difficult situation an opportunity for me?

— Excerpt from Bit’s and Pieces

Principle 11: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong”

Men must be taught as if you taught them not And things unknown proposed as things forgot — Alexander Pope

You cannot teach a man anything; You can only help him find it within himself. — Galileo

Be wiser than other people if you can; But do not tell them so. — Lord Chesterfield

One thing only I know, and that is I know nothing — Socrates

We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we are wrong, we resent the imputation and harden our hearts. We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear us, but our self-esteem which is threatened… The little word ‘my’ is the most important one in human affairs, and properly to reckon with it is the beginning of wisdom. It has the same force whether it is ‘my’ dinner, ‘my’ dog, and ‘my’ house, or ‘my’ father, and ‘my’ God. We not only resent the imputation that our watch is wrong, or our car shabby, but that our conception of the canals of Mars, of the pronunciation of ‘Epictetus’, of the medicinal value of salicin, or of the date of Sargon I is subject to revision. We like to continue to believe what we have been accustomed to accept as true, and the resentment aroused when dobut is cast upon any of our assumptions lead us to seek every manner of excuse for clinging to it. The result is that most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do. — The Mind in the Making by James Harvey Robinson

I have found it of enormous value when I can permit myself to understand the other person. The way in which I have worded this statement may seem strange to you. Is it necessary to permit oneself to understand another? I think it is. Our first reaction to most of the statements (which we hear from other people) is an evaluation or judgement, rather tha an understandinf of it. When someone expresses some feeling, attitude or belief, our tendency is almost immediately to feel “that’s right”, or “that’s stupid”, “that’s normal”, “that’s abnormal”, “that’s unreasonable”, “that’s incorrect”, “that’s not nice”. Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand precisely what the meaning of the statement is to the other person.

Principle 12: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically

Principle 13: Begin in a friendly way

It is an old and true maxim that ‘a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.’ So with men, if you would win a man to you cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to his reason. — Lincoln

Principle 14: Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately

Principle 15: Let the other person do a great deal of talking

Principle 16: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers

Principle 17: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view

Principle 18: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires

Principle 19: Appeal to the nobler motives

Principle 20: Dramatize your ideas

Principle 21: Throw down a challenge

Part IV: Be a Leader: How to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment

Principle 22: Begin with praise and honest appreciation

Principle 23: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly

Principle 24: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person

Principle 25: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders

Principle 26: Let the other person save face

Principle 27: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”

Principle 28: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

Principle 29: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct

Principle 30: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest

Effective leader must keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Be sincere. Do not promise anything that 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 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.