How To Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie (10/10)

A comprehensive guide to living a better life by building more meaningful and enduring relationships

How To Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie (10/10)

Rating: 10/10
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🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. A comprehensive guide to living a better life by building more meaningful and enduring relationships
  2. A book on psychology, business, negotiation to be used throughout your life in all sorts of situations
  3. Would recommend this to basically anyone in the world and feel it's worth regularly re-reading

🎨 Impressions

I loved this book - it gets a bad wrap for being fake and manipulative, but for me I interpreted it in a much more positive light. I feel it's just a great way to be a nicer, kinda, more compassionate and socially intelligent and thoughtful individual and if everyone in the world acted the way this book recommends, we'd be living in a much nicer, friendlier, more productive and successful society.

🔍 How I Discovered It

Incredibly famous, well-known and highly recommended business book of the last 100+ years. Goodreads.

🥰 Who Would Like It?


☘️ How the Book Changed Me

It's given me lots to implement - mainly to really put myself in other people's shoes and feel what they're feeling.

📒 Summary + Notes

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

1. Don't criticise, condemn or complain

Human nature does not like to admit to fault. When people are criticised or humiliated, they rarely respond well and often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticise, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behaviour we desire.

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation

People rarely live up to their potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best. Appreciation is not flattery, it must be sincere, meaningful and with love.

3. Arouse in the person an eager want

To get what we want from another person, we must forget our perspective and see things from their point of view. When we combine our desires with their wants, they become eager to work with us and we can mutually achieve our objectives.

The next time you want to persuade someone, ask yourself “How can I make this person want to do it? How can I frame this in terms of her wants?”

When you’re writing an email that contains a request, try replacing “I” and “my” with “you” and “your” as much as possible. Craft your language to make it about them.

Six Ways to Make people Like You

1. Become genuinely interested in other people

The only way to make quality, lasting friendships is to learn to be genuinely interested in them and their interests. Make it a priority to keep an eye out for things that might improve other people’s lives.

2. Smile

Happiness depends on inward attitudes, not outside circumstances. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything you do.

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

We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name. Take the time to become good at remembering names.

4. Be a good listener

Encourage others to talk about themselves. The easiest way to become a good conversationalist is to become a good listener. We must care about what people have to say. People often just want someone to listen. Exclusive attention to the person speaking is very important - nothing else is so flattering as that.

Aim to do 75% listening and 25% talking. Pay attention to what causes you to jump in with more talking. Are you filling awkward silences? Do you tend to get carried away when you tell stories or share ideas? Think of some ways you can encourage others to do more of the sharing.

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

Talk about the things he or she treasures most. If we talk about what they’re interested in, they’ll feel valued and value us in return. Take the time to understand or even research a topic you know is of interest to someone. Ask them about their past: “almost every successful person likes to reminisce about their early struggles”. Doing so will not only improve your relationship, it might enlarge your life.

6. (Sincerely) Make the other person feel important

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. Use phrases such as:

“I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind as to -?”, “Would you mind?” “Thank you.”

We love to feel important and so does everyone else. “Almost all people feel superior to you in some way - in a subtle but sincere way, let them realise you recognise their importance.” Allow people to talk about themselves, and make people feel important in a sincere and appreciative way.

Find someone who isn’t having a good day - go out of your way to offer them words of kindness through a genuine compliment.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

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

Whether we win or lose an argument, we still lose. The other people will either feel humiliated or strengthened and will only seek to bolster their own position. We must avoid arguments whenever we can.

  1. Welcome the disagreement - this might be an opportunity to avoid a serious mistake
  2. Watch out for and distrust your first instinct to be defensive
  3. Control your temper
  4. Listen first
  5. Look first for areas of agreement
  6. Be honest about and apologise for your mistakes
  7. Promise to think over your opponent’s ideas and study them carefully
  8. Thank the other person sincerely for their time and interest
  9. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem
“No, you’re wrong.” -> “Why do you see it that way?”
“No, that’s the wrong way to tackle.” -> “Why do you think that’s the best option to pursue?”

2. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say "You're wrong"

Never tell people they’re wrong. It offends them and insults their pride. No one likes to be humiliated. We must not be so blunt. Even if you know you are right, say “I may be wrong. I frequently am. If I am wrong, I want to put it right. Let’s examine the facts.”

3. If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically

When we are wrong, immediately admit it. “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.” Admitting you are wrong helps people trust you and sympathise with your way of thinking.

4. Begin in a friendly way

Start with and glow with friendliness - it begets friendliness! People become more receptive. Even if we are greatly upset, we must be friendly to influence people to our way of thinking. Before scolding someone, have >5 minutes of pleasant conversation before you bring up the issue at hand.

5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes

Begin by emphasising (and continue emphasising) things you both agree with. Try to begin with questions to which the only conceivable reply is ‘yes’. Starting in the affirmative direction helps things get off on a collaborative foot.

Point out that you share the same ultimate goal early in the conversation to help set a more agreeable tone, for example:

  • “The goal of this meeting is to decide on the best way to onboard new customers to minimise frustration with the product, correct?”
  • “We both want Johnny to feel comfortable in his social environment at school, right?”

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

People do not like listening to us boast. They enjoy talking about themselves. “Let others talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you. Ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things… don’t interrupt…”

Be comfortable with short silences in conversation. Fight the urge to talk about yourself. We’re often tempted to jump in when the other person stops talking. If we stay quiet, they will likely have more to say.

7. Let the other person feel the idea is theirs

People inherently like ideas they come to on their own. Allow others to design and become invested in their own solutions. Rather than present a final solution, consult with them - collaborate and influence a half-finished idea.

For example, if you’re convincing your boss to let you lead a new project or trying to close a sale with a customer, before entering the conversation, write a list of questions that would result in this conclusion:


  • How big a priority is getting this project done in a timely manner?
  • Would you trust this project to an entry-level employee or prefer someone more senior?
  • How does the priority of this project compare to the priorities of my current projects?


  • What goal are you trying to solve by purchasing this type of product?
  • How do you see our product helping you solve these goals?

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

Take the time to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. When people are wrong, we cannot condemn them. We must seek to understand them. Success in dealing with people requires a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint.

9. By sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires

Begin with “I don’t blame you for feeling as you do. If I were you, I would undoubtedly feel the same.” The great thing about this phrase is it’s 100% sincere - if we were the other person, faced with their situation, problems, needs, desires, etc., we would indeed see things just the way they do.

Be honest about your own flaws and idiosyncrasies. It will help you be more sympathetic with those of others. People hunger for sympathy. They want us to recognise all they desire and feel. If we can sympathise with others, they will appreciate our side as well and will often come around to our way of thinking.

Next time you approach a disagreement, take a moment to imagine yourself in their shoes:

  • What sort of pressures would you be working under?
  • What would your goals and priorities be?
  • What sort of relationships do you have with the other people involved?

10. Appeal to the nobler motives

Everyone likes to be glorious in their own eyes. People believe they do things for noble and morally upright reasons. If we can appeal to others’ noble motives we can successfully convince them to follow our ideas.

11. Dramatise your ideas

Stating a truth is not enough. Present your ideas in vivid, interesting and dramatic ways. How can you present data in a creative way that encourages interaction and engages more of the senses than just sight?

12. Throw down a challenge

Pay is not enough to motivate people. The work itself must be motivating and exciting. The game itself motivates most people - everyone desires to excel and prove their worth. If we want someone to do something, we must give them a challenge and they will often rise to meet it. Make performance metrics public.

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

1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation

People will do things begrudgingly for criticism and an iron-fisted leader, but will work wonders when praised and appreciated. “Beginning with praise is like a dentist who begins with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain-killing.”

Use the ‘criticism sandwich’. Compliment -> negative feedback -> positive compliment.

2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly

No one likes to make mistakes, especially in front of others. Scolding and blaming only serves to humiliate. If we show people their mistakes subtly and indirectly, they will appreciate us and be more likely to improve.

Use “and” instead of “but”. This avoids devaluing the initial praise and moves feedback to a “good to greater” mindset.

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

“Admitting one’s own mistakes - even when one hasn’t corrected them - can help convince somebody to change their behaviour.” Call attention to when you also struggled with what you’re giving feedback on. Be specific with examples. Talk about how you (wish you’d) worked through them instead of criticising directly. When something goes wrong, take responsibility; people don’t like to shoulder all the blame - taking credit for mistakes helps remove the sting from our critiques.

Ask yourself:

  • What was I like at that age?
  • What was I thinking when I was at their level of experience?

You have the opportunity to be a great mentor to this person. Try to be a positive influence. Think of yourself as a mentor instead of their boss, their friend instead of their parent.

4. Ask questions instead of giving orders

Questions help make orders more palatable and often stimulate the person’s creativity. No one likes orders - offer suggestions instead. It boosts confidence and allows them to learn from mistakes.

5. Let others save face

“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity (through insult) is a crime”. Do not condemn your employees. Especially in front of others. Allow them to save face, and they will be motivated to improve in future and be confident that they can.

6. Praise every improvement

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.” People love to receive praise and admiration. Look back on your own life and see where a few words of praise sharply changed your future. Be sincere and specific. If we truly want someone to improve, we must praise their every advance. Remember, “we all crave appreciation and recognition, and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wants insincerity. Nobody wants flattery.”

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

“If you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait were already one of their outstanding characteristics.” By giving people a great reputation to live up to, they desire to embody the characteristics with which we have described them. People will work with vigour and confidence if they believe they can be better.

Give a reputation such as “I respect the fact that you’re always willing to listen and are big enough to change your mind when the facts warrant a change.”

8. Use encouragement

Make the fault seem easy to correct. If the desired outcome seems like a momentous task, people will give up and lose heart. But if a fault seems easy to correct, they’ll readily jump at the opportunity to improve. If we frame objectives as small and easy improvements, we’ll see dramatic increases in desire and success in our employees.

9. Make the other person (as) happy (as possible) about doing what you suggest

People often respond well when they desire to do the behaviour put forth. We must learn to frame our desires in terms of others’ desires.

  1. Be sincere. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver. Forget about yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person
  2. Be clear. Know exactly what you want them to do
  3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what they really want
  4. Consider the benefits they will receive from doing what you suggest
  5. Match those benefits to their other person’s wants
  6. Convey the request in a form that highlights those benefits