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Book Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is the go-to classic on human behavior and relationships. The following are the three most crucial points:

Be interested if you want to be intriguing.

It’s all about making them feel good when it comes to winning them over.

It is critical to invest in connections if you want to be successful.

Finally, here’s a one-sentence summary:

How To Make Friends And Have Power People teaches readers how to connect with others, become more likable, close more sales, and enhance their relationships.

Table of Contents

Book Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Its Important Principle

The timeless concepts of Dale Carnegie’s seminal book How to Win Friends and Influence People have endured the test of time. I’d like to provide you a quick overview of the workplace, professional relationships, and the business environment in this post.

Part I:

Principle 1: Fundamental People-Handling Techniques

Let’s begin with the fundamentals. You should constantly employ these three basic people concepts when you come into the office, email a colleague, or attend a networking event.

The first guideline is that you should never criticize, condemn, or complain about anything.

Don’t Kick Over the Beehive if You Want to Collect Honey. Criticism is met with resentment more often than it is addressed with behavioral improvement. It’s difficult not to be critical when you don’t agree with someone, believe they’ve done something wrong, or need to give someone unpleasant criticism. Carnegie, on the other hand, believes that threats and punishments are ineffective in changing behavior. B.F. Skinner, a psychologist, demonstrated in his classic study that when animals are rewarded for good behavior, they learn faster than when they are penalized for bad behavior.

Let us heed Benjamin Franklin’s good counsel: “I shall not talk badly of any man… and tell everyone all the excellent things I know about them.”

Principle 2: Use Curiosity to make others feel Important.

Making everyone feel important is the Big Secret of Dealing with People. There is nothing worse than an office suck-up, so we don’t do it with false flattery or brown-nosing. According to Carnegie, the best approach to make someone feel important is to show interest in them. Ask questions that allow you to be genuinely interested when you’re sitting with a colleague or conversing with someone at a networking event.

“I consider my capacity to inspire enthusiasm among the men the biggest asset I possess,” writes Charles Schwab, “and the way to develop the best that is in a man is via appreciation and encouragement.”

Use one of our 33 Conversation Starters as an action step.

Principle 3: Appeal to the Desires of the Other Person

Whoever is capable of doing so has the entire world on his side. Carnegie was all about putting yourself in other people’s shoes long before empathy became a buzzword. David Lloyd George, the previous Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, provides the best metaphor in this chapter. He claimed he was able to keep his power by “baiting the hook to suit the fish.” When you’re trying to persuade someone to buy your product, join your business, or agree with your idea, tell them why it will benefit them rather than why it will work.

“If there is anyone key to success, it rests in the capacity to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his aspect as well as your own,” Henry Ford once said.

Part 2: How to Make People Like You

Principle 4: Show real interest in others.

If you follow these steps, you will be welcomed anywhere. Rather than trying to impress yourself, focus on allowing others to do so. Invite them to share their achievements with you and keep you updated on their personal and professional endeavors. Be the office cheerleader or a booster of people in your network if you feel comfortable doing so. Here are some suggestions:

Remember the birthdays of others.

When someone in your network receives a promotion or achieves professional achievement, send a LinkedIn message of congrats.

Organize office parties to commemorate personal milestones such as births, achievements, or birthdays.

“We are interested in others when they are interested in us,” says a quote to hang in your office. Publilius Syrus was a Roman emperor who reigned from the year

Principle 5: Smile with Sincerity.

A Quick and Easy Way to Make a Positive First Impression This is the one principle in the entire book with which I disagree. Carnegie claims that the easiest method to show someone you like them is to smile. You brighten my day. I’m delighted to see you.” While this is sound advice, it has the potential to backfire if:

You are not genuinely pleased to see someone.

You, too, are having a rough day.

You’re attempting to imitate it till you succeed.

A grin isn’t always required in a business atmosphere. Yes, a hearty hello! Acknowledgment of someone — without a doubt! Sure, avoiding the negative is a good idea! You don’t have to stroll around the office with a phony smile on your face, though. It comes to appear fake and lacks professionalism. The science behind this can be found in my TED Talk:

Principle 6: Remember People’s Names.

You’re in big trouble if you don’t do this. The sound of our own name is one of our favorite things to hear. Showing that you remember someone’s name and using it on a frequent basis is a simple method to make them feel valued and heard. This also implies that you must work hard to recall names when you hear them. Make a mechanism for remembering people’s names when they are spoken to you. Alternatively, check over the RSVP list before meetings or networking events to brush up on your knowledge.

“The typical person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on Earth combined,” says Dale Carnegie.

Principle 7: Be a Good Listener by Encouraging others to talk about themselves

An Easy Way to Become a Good Conversationalist. We often think that being a good conversationalist means coming up with witty stories and funny jokes. But, actually, we like to hear ourselves talk. If you want to be seen as interesting, ask interesting questions and try to get the other person to open up. This doesn’t mean you have to sit listening in silence. I like to think about listening as an active experience. Ask questions, use ‘aha’s’ and ‘wow’s’ and give them nonverbal encouragement.

Are you really addicted to talking? Or worse, are you an interrupter? You might consider taking a Vow of Silence. I do one of these every year and have found it to be life-changing for my listening ability.

Principle 8: Speak in terms of the Interests of the Other Person.

How to Get People’s Attention. I enjoy trying to figure out what people’s triggers are. These are discussion topics that pique people’s interests. You should be aware of all of your coworkers’ hot buttons – what topics do they enjoy discussing? What are they reading in their spare time? In their spare time, what do they read? What makes them talk? When you’re with them, try to encourage them to talk about their most passionate interests and learn from them whenever possible. This is the most effective technique to persuade someone to join your cause by demonstrating that you care about them.

“The royal path to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most,” Teddy Roosevelt said.

Make the other person feel important — and do it truly.

How to Instantly Make People Like You Treat others in the same way that you would like to be treated. According to Carnegie, you should ask yourself this simple question anytime you meet someone:

“Is there anything about him that I can truly admire?”

Practice with everyone you meet, paying special attention to people you care about.

Part III: How to Convince Others of Your Point of View

Principle 10: Avoiding an argument is the only way to get the best of it.

You can’t win a debate. Carnegie makes a compelling case against arguing: you can’t win. Though you shoot down your opponent or make them feel wrong, they will resent you, even if you have the greatest possible stances and proof. As a result, even if you ‘win,’ you actually lose. In the age of data, rapid Googling, and research, this is extremely difficult. If you want to prove someone wrong, consider what you can do together to figure out what’s right.

“No man who is dedicated to making the most of himself can spare the time for personal strife,” stated Abraham Lincoln wisely.

Principle 11: Never tell someone they’re wrong.

How to Make Sure You Make Enemies – and How to Avoid It Every disagreement or debate should begin with a healthy dose of humility. We have a tendency to believe that we are always correct and that we are impervious to blunders. If we go about life believing “I’m right,” however, we automatically make people wrong if they disagree with us. Nobody enjoys making a mistake. Instead, be receptive to other people’s viewpoints. When you *think* someone is wrong, Carnegie’s script is fantastic. Say:

“Now, have a look!” I got the wrong impression, although I could be wrong. I’m frequently in this situation. And if I’m wrong, I’d like to be corrected. Let’s have a look at the facts.”

Then proceed to find out the facts as a group.

Principle 12: If You are Wrong, Accept It Immediately and Strongly.

Admit When You’re Wrong. Admitting you’re incorrect might help you develop empathy, rapport, and trust. Rather than avoiding or concealing mistakes, Carnegie advises readers to admit wrongdoing “immediately, freely, and with enthusiasm.” This allows others to view you as a person. Other people want to understand and possibly protect you when you criticize yourself.

Principle 13: Make a friendly start.

Kindness is the High Road to a Man’s Reason. Never begin on a bad foot, no matter how furious, frustrated, or upset you are. There’s absolutely no way to get back on track after a horrible start. The best way to describe it is as Woodrow Wilson phrased it:

“If you come at me with your fists clenched, I think I can guarantee you that mine will clench just as fast as yours; but if you come to me and say, ‘Let us sit down and take counsel together, and, if we differ from one another, understand why we differ from one another, just what the points at issue are,’ we will quickly discover that we are not so far apart after all.

Principle 14: As Rapidly as Possible, get the other person to say “yes, yes.”

Socrates’ Secret is a book about the philosopher Socrates. Always strive to start a conversation on a positive note. What do you have in common with the other person? What questions can you ask to elicit a ‘Yes!’ or a ‘Me too!’ response from the other person? It’s simpler to finish with an agreement if you start with an agreement. Carnegie’s argument is based on the “Socratic approach.” His approach to individuals was usually to ask them questions that they had to agree with. People will be more open to new ideas later if they are in a ‘yes’ frame of mind. It also makes ‘no’s’ more difficult, so individuals are more hesitant to say ‘no.’

Check out my book, Captivate The Science of Succeeding with People, for more suggestions on how to encourage people to agree.

Principle 15: Give the other person a lot of the talking time.

Handling Complaints: The Safety Valve People close down and shut down when they don’t feel heard, understood, or valued. If you’re dealing with a difficult person, look for the positive aspects in them. Remind them of their happiest moments. “If you want enemies, excel your friends,” La Rochefoucauld properly said, “but if you want friends, let your friends outshine you.”

You can also try our tactics for coping with difficult or toxic people if you have them in your life.

Principle 16: Make the other person believe that the idea is theirs.

How to Get People to Work Together. This is a difficult decision, but one that must be made. According to Carnegie, credit should not always be given where credit is due. Give credit where credit is due, praise when praise is due, and spotlight someone else’s work wherever possible.

Lao Tzu said it best:

“The reason that a hundred mountain streams pay homage to rivers and seas is that they stay below them.” As a result, they have complete control over all mountain streams. So, if the sage wishes to be above men, he places himself beneath them; if he wishes to be ahead of them, he places himself behind them. As a result, even if he is above men, they do not feel his weight; even though he is ahead of them, they do not consider it an injury.”

Principle 17: Try to see things from the perspective of the other person.

A Formula That Will Help You A Lot. You can put your own opinions to the test with this simple test: Try debating with yourself. If you can convincingly discuss another person’s point of view, it shows you can see both sides. Make it a habit to put yourself in the shoes of the other person and argue their case for them. This allows you to assess your own viewpoints. Also, remind them that you understand and empathize with their feelings on a regular basis.

Principle 18: Show Empathy for the other person’s thoughts and desires.

What Everyone Desires Sympathy. We all want to make sure that others are aware of our viewpoint. In fact, the more you can use other people’s words and inform them about their own perspectives, the better!

“I don’t blame you one bit for feeling the way you do,” Carnegie says. If I were you, I’d be feeling exactly the same way.”

Principle 19: Make an effort to appeal to higher motives.

Everyone likes this appeal. We all want to believe that we are decent people. We like to believe we have morals. We pride ourselves on being law-abiding citizens. Reminding individuals of their higher values is critical. Carnegie, for example, presents the scenario of a landlord whose tenant wishes to terminate his contract four months early. He tries this instead of pointing out the contract details and threatening a claim:

“I’ve heard your story, Mr. Doe, and I’m still not sure you’re preparing to move.” I thought you were a man of your word when I first met you. Give yourself a few days to consider it, and if you still want to move, I’ll regard your decision as final.”

You may often persuade someone to act with good intentions by appealing to their feeling of goodness.

Principle 20: Bring your Thoughts to life.

It’s something you see in movies. It’s done by the radio. Why don’t you give it a shot? The more “vivid, intriguing, dramatic” your language, examples, and tales are, the more people will pay attention. We all enjoy a little flair and drama. Make a fancy slide template instead of a dull one. Instead of speaking from a podium, draw inspiration from the best TED Talks. Don’t do what everyone else is doing; instead, try something new. This is especially vital if you do a lot of presentations or speak in front of groups. Here are some suggestions for enhancing your stage appearance with drama.

People School, our flagship transformational training, can help you take your people abilities to the next level.

Principle 21: Set a Challenge for Yourself.

Try This if Nothing Else Works. A little friendly competition might help to energize people. If you’ve tried real praise, empathy, and making people feel heard but still need to motivate them, you might want to try stoking their competitive juices. In an office, there are a few simple ways to accomplish this:

Set up a scoreboard to keep track of who has the most leads.

Keep track of your sales figures.

Have a competition to come up with new ideas.

Part IV: Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Offending or Arousing Resentment     

Principle 22: How to Avoid an Argument out of a Dispute

This is where you should start looking for fault. What has been accomplished successfully by someone? Where do you find common ground? What has shown to be successful? Carnegie advises readers to begin all contacts with genuine gratitude, including those that may lead to dispute. The Poop Sandwich Method is how I refer to it. Put poopy news between two slices of delicious bread if you have to offer it to someone.

Genuine Gratitude for Bread

It’s Poop Time!

Complimentary bread

It softens the blow of the bad news.

Principle 23: Embrace Conflict.

How to Criticize Without Being Reviled. If you feel the need to critique, attempt to do so in a non-directive manner. This is similar to the Poop Sandwich Method in that you must sometimes be able to deliver bad news. Always say ‘and,’ not ‘but,’ while offering a Poop Sandwich. Most people start their criticism with a compliment, then add the word “but” and proceed to the bad news, such as “You’ve been working so hard, and we truly appreciate it, but…” When someone hears the word “but,” they begin to doubt the sincerity with which the gratitude is expressed. Substitute “and” for “but.” “You’ve been working extremely hard, which we much appreciate, and we have some suggestions on how to make all of your hard work pay off even more.” “This is what we were contemplating…”

Principle 24: Acknowledge your Errors Right Away.

Begin by discussing your own errors. When we are embarrassed by something or make a mistake, we typically want to hide or bury the bad news. Carnegie advises exactly the opposite! He claims that you should immediately disclose your errors and flaws so that others can recognize your honesty. This could involve bringing up a gap in your résumé or skills prior to being asked in a job interview. This demonstrates that you aren’t trying to conceal anything and gives you control over how you present the facts. After you’ve shared a blunder or some unpleasant news, discuss how you’ll fix it!

Principle 25 : Control Your Bossiness

People despise being told what to do. Give directions with caution, even if you’re a manager or boss. Nobody enjoys being dictated to.

Principle 26 : Consider Someone’s Ego

Allow the other guy to save his own skin. You should do it privately if you have feedback for someone or if you want to debate someone’s opinion. Being chastised or corrected in front of a large group of people is humiliating. If you do have to serve a Poop Sandwich to someone, consider their ego. Do it privately, perhaps towards the end of the day or just before the weekend, so they can process in peace at home.

Principle 27: Give a Lot of Credit where it’s due.

How to Motivate Men to Achieve Their Goals While Carnegie advises readers to be cautious and refrain from passing judgment or criticism, he also advises them to shower sincere praise when it is due. Consider the following suggestions:

Appreciate the efforts of others.

Make a point of praising any outstanding characteristics or characteristics.

Don’t give everyone the same compliments and be particular with your compliments.

Principle 28: Make a Commitment to Consider and Research your Opponent’s Arguments.

Make a nice name for the dog. People are motivated by human nature to live up to whatever reputation you give them. When you offer someone a favorable label or a high bar to clear, they are more likely to do so. “The average individual can be easily led provided you have his or her respect and show that you regard that person for some form of competence,” Carnegie puts it succinctly. Always be on the lookout for someone’s natural talents or skills, and then remind them of them so they can use them more frequently!

Principle 29: Thank Your Opponents

Make it appear as if the problem is simple to fix. Praise someone’s strengths while downplaying their flaws as much as possible. People are less likely to feel overwhelmed or threatened when you support them to achieve their goals and conquer their challenges.

Principle 30: Coordinate your Efforts.

Making people want to do what you want is a great way to get people to do what you want. The book’s last message encapsulates Carnegie’s entire philosophy. He urges readers to consider the viewpoints of others, to set high goals for themselves, and to assist others in achieving their goals. Making it about them is part of being good with people.

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