Summary of Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Written By Dale Carnegie in 1936

I love this book. Initially I dismissed it for its campy title and old fashioned style. Then I realized that multiple people I highly respected, swore by it. Its simple timeless wisdom is worth reviewing every once in a while. I wrote this summary a few months ago to make it easy to review.

Part 1: Fundamental Techniques for handling people
Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
Give honest and sincere appreciation
Arouse in the other person an eager want

Part 2: Make people like you
Become genuinely interested in other people
A persons name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
Talk in terms of the other persons interests
Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely

Part 3: How to win people to your way of thinking
The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
Show respect for the other person’s opinions, never say “you are wrong”
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
Begin in a friendly way
Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers
Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
Appeal to the nobler motives
Dramatize your ideas
Throw down a challenge

Part 4: Be a Leader
Begin with praise and honest appreciation
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
Let the other person save face
Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

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