This week I read How to Win Friends and Influence People, published in 1936 and written by Dale Carnegie.
A friend and I have been talking about the idea of there being a list of books that everyone be required to read just to get to be a person in the world. I would put this book on that list. This book challenged so many of my defaults for how I interact with people. It affirmed others of them as well. I listened to the audiobook version of this book but I intend to buy a copy so I can continually refer back. I would especially recommend this book to anyone in a position of influence- business owner, manager, teacher, parent, mentor or counselor, etc.
Dale writes an “in a nutshell” list at the end of each chapter. I will include those and a few other takeaways and quotes here. Read the book if you want to learn more! You won’t regret it, I promise. 🙂
Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.”
Some of the things most people want:
- Health and the preservation of life.
- Money and the things money will buy.
- Life in the hereafter.
- Sexual gratification.
- The well-being of our children.
- A feeling of importance. (Dr. Brene Brown calls this concept Self-worth. Dr. Glenn Hill calls this concept Identity. Learning a lot about this concept this year…)
“He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”
In a Nutshell:
Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You
“Philosophers have been speculating on the rules of human relationships for thousands of years and out of all that speculation, there has evolved only one important precept. It is not new. It is as old as history. Zoroaster taught it to his followers in Persia twenty-five hundred years ago. Confucius preached it in China twenty-four centuries ago. Lao-tse, the found of Taoism, taught it to his disciples in the Valley of the Han. Buddha preached it on the bank of the Holy Ganges five hundred years before Christ. The sacred books of Hinduism taught it a thousand years before that. Jesus taught it among the stony hills of Judea nineteen centuries ago. Jesus summed it up in one thought- probably the most important rule in the world: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. So let’s obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others what we would have others give unto us. How? When? Where? The answer is: All the time, everywhere.”
In a Nutshell:
Become genuinely interested in other people.
Remember that a person’s 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 person’s interests.
Make the other person feel important- and do it sincerely.
Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
In a Nutshell:
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’re 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 that the idea is his or 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 Four: Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
In a Nutshell:
A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish this:
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.
If any of these ideas connect with you or intrigue you, I strongly encourage you to read the book! It is a fairly short, easy read with a lot of personal stories and antidotes from Dale’s life and the life of many successful and influential people that Dale knew or read. I believe applying the ideas in this book to our day to day lives could drastically improve our work life, our parenting, our marriages and friendships as well as our financial success and general well-being. Whether you only read my post or go on to read the book as well, I would love to hear your thoughts about these ideas. I am grateful to the friend that recommended it to me and glad to have read it at this point in my life.