Female Friends on a Dock

Dale Carnegie’s 29 Principles on How to Win Friends and Influence People

Paul Gallipeau Business Book Notes 0 Comments

Dale Carnegie was a fellow New Yorker who died in 1955. He wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936 and it is still published and relevant today. Dale Carnegie grew up in poverty and ended up becoming a famous writer and lecturer. One of Dale Carnegie’s core ideas in his books is that you can possibly change other people’s behaviors by changing your own behavior towards them.

My copy of the book, in MLA form, is:

Carnegie, Dale. How to Win Friends and Influence People: Revised Edition. New York: Pocket Books, 1981.

My Review of How to Win Friends and Influence People

As most of you may know, I am an advocate of self-education and autodidactism and Carnegie’s book is one of the most important reads for any entrepreneur, especially if you’re self-taught. The principles in How to Win Friends and Influence People are timeless and you will internalize them with practice. The most important advice to remember if you’re trying to become a better person or a better leader is that you must be sincere. If you try to fake Dale Carnegie’s advice it will have the opposite effect.

Part 1: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

“Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.” (pg. 17)

  • People hardly ever criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong they may be. (pg. 5)
  • Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment. (pg. 5)
  • “By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.” (pg. 6)
  • People change from positive reinforcement not punishment for bad things. (pg. 6)

“Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.” (pg. 31)

  • The only way to get anyone to do anything is to make them want to do it. (pg. 18)
  • People need/want a feeling of importance, appreciation, and compliments. (pg. 19)
  • People can satisfy their desire for a feeling of importance by doing great things, terrible things, or seeking attention/sympathy. (pg. 21-22)
  • Schwab said that his greatest asset is his ability to arouse enthusiasm in others. He uses appreciation and encouragement. (pg. 24)
  • Carnegie quotes Charles Schwab: “I am anxious to praise and loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.” (pg. 25)
  • “Flattery will do you more harm than good.” Appreciation is sincere and flattery is insincere. Appreciation is unselfish, from the heart out, and universally admired. Flattery is selfish, from the teeth out, and is universally condemned. (pg. 29)
  • Motivationally, honest appreciation gets results where criticism and ridicule fail. (pg. 31)

“Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.” (pg. 50)

  • It is necessary to bait the hook to suit the fish. We use worms to fish, not steak and potatoes. DO the same with people. (pg. 32)
  • “The only way on Earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” (pg. 33)
  • Henry Ford: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” (pg. 37)
  • William Winter: “Self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature.” Therefore, help others develop the idea you want them to have and agree with. (pg. 50)

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Part 2: Six Ways to Make People Like You

“Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.” (pg. 65)

  • “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” (pg. 54)
  • Alfred Adler: “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.” (pg. 55)
  • “One can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought-after people by becoming genuinely interested in them.” (pg. 59)
  • To make friends one must invest time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness to do things for other people. (pg. 60)
  • How to get birthdays subtly: ask “do you think birthdays provide any indication of one’s personality?” Then ask for the person’s birthday and secretly write it down later. (lost citation)
  • Publilius Syrus: “We are interested in others when they are interested in us.” (pg. 64)

“Principle 2: Smile.” (pg. 74)

  • “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.” (pg. 66)
  • “Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.'” (pg. 66)
  • Professor James V. McConnel, psychologist at the University of Michigan: “People who smile tend to manage, teach, and sell more effectively, and to raise happier children. There’s far more information in a smile than in a frown. That’s why encouragement is a much more effective teaching device than punishment.” (pg. 67)
  • Smile when you answer/speak on the phone. It “comes through” in your voice. (pg. 68)
  • “You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.” (pg. 69)
  • Psychologist/Philosopher William James: “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not. Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there.” (pg. 70-71)
  • “If you act and behave as if you are happy, there is a tendency that you will actually become happy.” (pg. 70)
  • “Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.” (pg. 71)
  • Shakespeare: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (pg. 71)
  • Chinese Proverb: “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” (pg. 73)

“Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” (pg. 83)

  • Remembering names pays a subtle and effective compliment. (pg. 77)
  • Naming things after others has enormous impact and advantage. Carnegie did it all the time. (pg. 78-79)
  • When you learn a new name, use it in your conversation to help remember it. Write it down when you can.If it is strange, ask how to spell it. (pg. 82-83)
  • Emerson: “Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.” (pg. 83)

“Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.” (pg. 93)

  • From Strangers in Love by Jack Woodford: ” few human beings are proof against the implied flattery of rapt attention.” Combine this with hearty approbation and lavish praise. (pg. 85)
  • Don’t argue with angry people. Listen and let them get their anger out. It will fade afterward. (pg. 88)

“Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.” (pg. 98)

  • Talk about what the other person is interested in. Be like Roosevelt and study it ahead of time. (pg. 94)

“Principle 6: Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.” (pg. 111)

  • Find something to honestly admire about other people and vocalize it. (pg. 99)
  • “Always make the other person feel important.” (pg. 100)
  • Jesus: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” (pg. 101)
  • Use these phrases: “I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind as to…” “Won’t you please…” “Would you mid…” “Thank you!” (pg. 102)
  • Emerson: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.” (pg. 104)

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Part 3: Win people to your way of thinking

“Principle 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.” (pg. 122)

  • Never argue, no good can ever come from it. (pg. 116)
  • Ben Franklin: “If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponents good will.” (pg. 118)
  • Buddha: “Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love.” (pg. 120)
  • Welcome disagreements and be thankful to learn of other perspectives. “Distrust your first instinctive impression.” Control your temper. (pg. 120)
  • “Listen first.” “Look for areas of agreement.” Be honest. Admit errors. “Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully.” Thank your opponents for their interest. (pg. 121)
  • “Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.” (pg. 121)

“Principle 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions/ Never say ‘you’re wrong.'” (pg. 134)

  • Lord Chesterfield: “Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.” (pg. 124)
  • Galileo: “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” (pg. 124)
  • Alexander Pope: “Men must be taught as if you taught them not // And things unknown proposed as things forgot.” (pg. 124)
  • “If you are going to prove anything, don’t let anybody know it. Do it so subtly, so adroitly, that no one will feel that you are doing it.” (pg. 124)
  • Admit that you may be wrong and that you frequently are. (pg. 125)
  • “When we are wrong, we may admit it to ourselves. And if we are handled gently and tactfully, we may admit it to others and even take pride in our frankness and broad-mindedness. But not if someone else is trying to ram the unpalatable fact down our esophagus.” (pg. 128)
  • Martin Luther King Jr.: “I judge people by their own principles – not by my own.” (pg. 134)

“Principle 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” (pg. 142)

  • Admit mistakes and condemn yourself as the other would as quickly as possible. Most of the time, the other will defend you. (pg. 136)

“Principle 4: Begin in a friendly way.” (pg. 151)

  • “A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” (pg. 150)

“Principle 6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.” (pg. 163)

  • “Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately” (pg. 157)
  • La Rochefoucauld: “If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.” (pg. 162)

“Principle 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.” (pg. 169)

“Principle 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.” (pg. 175)

  • Show that you believe that the other’s ideas, feelings, and beliefs are as important as your own.” (pg. 171)

“Principle 9: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.” (pg. 247)

  • Use this phrase: “I don’t blame you one [bit] for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.” (pg. 176)
  • “Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.” (pg. 184)
  • “A person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one.” and “to change people, appeal to nobler motives.” (pg. 185)
  • Appeal to nobler motives and avoid using “I.” Try “You know that…” (pg. 187)

“Principle 10: Appeal to the nobler motives.” (pg. 190)

“Principle 11: Dramatize your ideas.” (pg. 195)

“Principle 12: Throw down a challenge.” (pg. 199)

  • Charles Schwab: “The way to get things done is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid, money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.” (pg. 197)
  • If you find a fault use principle 1, begin with praise and honest appreciation.

Return to Table of Contents

Part 4: Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

“Principle 2: Call attention to peoples’ mistakes indirectly.” (pg. 214)

“Principle 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.” (pg. 219)

“Principle 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.” Give indirect orders. (pg. 222)

“Principle 5: Let the other person save face.” (pg. 226)

“Principle 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your your approbation and lavish in your praise.” (pg. 232)

  • Jess Lair: “Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.” (pg. 227)

“Principle 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.” (pg. 237)

“Principle 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.” (pg. 242)

  • If you must give someone a job over the other, consider honestly exploring why they are too important for the job. (pg. 243)

Keep these in mind when seeking to change attitude or behavior: (pg. 246)

  1. Be honest and sincere.
  2. Know exactly what you want the other person to do.
  3. Be empathetic.
  4. Consider the benefits for the other.
  5. Match those benefits to wants.
  6. Make your request in a form that lets the other know how he/she will benefit.

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What do you think? You can get a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People on Amazon or at your local library. If you’re interested in listening to the audiobook, you can get two free audiobooks with your 30-day free trial on Audible.

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