Book:  How to Win Friends & Influence People

Author:  Dale Carnegie

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Carnegie, D. (2009). How to win friends and influence people. New York: Simon & Schuster.

 

Three Big Takeaways:

  • If we want to make friends, let's put ourselves to do things for other people - things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness. For example, make it a point to find out the birthday of friends. Try and figure out when their birthday is and when the day arrives write a letter. (pg. 58)

  • When you meet a new acquaintance, find out his name and some facts about his family and business. Find a way to remember these facts and the next time you meet them you should be able to shake hands, remember a name, and inquire about family and business. (pg. 76)

  • Experience has taught me that when no information can be secured about the customer, the only sound basis on which to proceed is to assume that he or she is sincere, honest, and truthful. The exceptions to that rule are comparatively few. (pg. 179)

Other Key Ideas:

  • When you read, read with a pencil, pen, or highlighter in your hand. When you come across a suggestion that you feel you can use, draw a line beside it.  Marking and underscoring a book makes it more interesting and far easier to review rapidly. (pg. XXIV)

  • If you want to get a real, lasting benefit out of a book, skimming through it once will not suffice. After reading it thoroughly, spend a few hours reviewing it every month. The use of a books' principles can be made habitual only by a constant and vigorous campaign of review and application. (pg. XXIV)

  • Never should you ridicule anyone. You should almost never criticize others. Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men. (pg. 9)

  • The deepest principle in human nature is craving to be appreciated and the desire for feeling of importance. I have yet to find the person who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism. (pg. 18)

  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can get in two years by trying to get other people to be interested in you. (pg. 52)

  • It isn't what you have or who you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about. (pg. 67)

  • Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is important. Nothing else is so flattering as that. Even the most violent critic will soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener. (pg. 82)

  • There is one all-important law of human conduct: Always make the other person feel important. (pg. 96)

  • There is only one way to get the best of an argument - to avoid it. Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right. You can't win an argument. (pg. 110)

  • I have quit telling people they are wrong. If a person makes a statement that you think is wrong - yes, even that you know is wrong - isn't it better to begin by saying: "Well, now, look. I thought otherwise, but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put right. Let's examine the facts." You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong. (pg. 117)

  • There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one's errors. It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error. (pg. 130)

  • No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas.  It is best to let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers. (pg. 156)

  • If after reading this book, you get only one thing - an increased tendency to think always in terms of the other person's point of view, and see things from that person's angle as well as your own - it may easily prove to be one of the stepping-stones of your career. (pg. 165)

  • "I don't blame you for feeling as you do. If I were you I would feel just as you do." An answer like that will soften the most cranky old man alive. Self-pity for misfortunes real or imaginary is, in some measure, practically a universal practice. (pg. 167)

  • By simply replacing "but" with "and" we are able to call attention to the behavior we wish to change indirectly. Calling attention to one's mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism. (pg. 200)

  • It isn't nearly so difficult to listen to your faults if the person criticizing begins by humbly admitting that he, too, has made the same mistakes. Admitting one's mistakes - even when one hasn't corrected them- can help convince somebody to change his behavior. (pg. 204)

  • Letting someone save face is vitally important - let's remember this the next time we are faced with the distasteful necessity of discharging or reprimanding an employee. (pg. 211)

  • You should praise even the slightest improvement. This inspires the other person to keep on improving. You can probably look back on your life and see where a few words of praise have sharply changed your entire future. (pg. 215)

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