How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Here are my comments on the book:

How do you win friends and influence people? Dale Carnegie, American writer and lecturer on self-improvement, salesmanship corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills, states several principles on becoming more likeable to win friends and ways on handling sensitive situations. Some of these principles include: giving honest and sincere appreciation, smiling, being a good listener, and sincerely making the other person feel important. A lot of what is written in the book, I feel, is common sense. However, just because we believe that we know it doesn’t mean that instinctively act upon it which is why Carnegie states in the beginning of the book to review the book every so often. Just as Bruce Lee has said before, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Here are some points to the book:


1. No one likes to be criticised. No one likes to hear about their faults. If you must criticise someone or if you feel the need tell someone about what they’re doing wrong, find the underlying reason for why they do it that way and work from there. It’s easy to just look at something and state the obvious, but it requires much more emotional intelligence to handle it in a sensitive manner. By criticising, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment. Hans Slye, another great psychologist, said, ‘As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.’ The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralise employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned. George B. Johnston of Enid, Oklahoma, is the safety coordinator for an engineering company. One of his responsibilities is to see that employees wear their hard hats whenever they are on the job in the field. He reported that whenever he came across workers who were not wearing hard hats, he would tell them with a lot of authority of the regulation and that they must comply. As a result he would get sullen acceptance, and often after he left, the workers would remove the hats. He decided to try a different approach. The next time he found some of the workers not wearing their hard hat, he asked if the hats were uncomfortable or did not fit properly. Then he reminded the men in a pleasant tone of voice that the hat was designed to protect them from injury and suggested that it always be worn on the job. The result was increased compliance with the regulation with no resentment or emotional upset.


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2. Just as is said in the book Never Eat Alone by networking master Keith Ferrazzi, to better win friends and influence people, you first need to develop strong genuine relationships with them. Influence comes from having built up goodwill with another person that you can “leverage” later on. It’s much more difficult to persuade or influence a stranger to so something for you than a friend because of a lack of a genuine connection. I have discovered from personal experience that one can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought-after people by becoming genuinely interested in them. Let me illustrate. Years ago I concluded a course in fiction writing at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, and we wanted such distinguished and busy authors as Kathleen Norris, Fannie Hurst, Ida Tarbell, Albert Payson Terhune and Rupert Hughes to come to Brooklyn and give us the benefit of their experiences. So we wrote them, saying we admired their work and were deeply interested in getting their advice and learning the secrets of their success. Each of these letters was signed by about a hundred and fifty students. We said we realised that these authors were busy-too busy to prepare a lecture. So we enclosed a list of questions for them to answer about themselves and their methods of work. They liked that. Who wouldn’t like it? So they left their homes and travelled to Brooklyn to give us a helping hand. By using the same method, I persuaded Leslie M. Shaw, secretary of the treasury in Theodore Roosevelt’s cabinet; George W. Wickersham, attorney general in Taft’s cabinet; William Jennings Bryan; Franklin D. Roosevelt and many other prominent men to come to talk to the students of my courses in public speaking.


3. Everyone loves to feel important. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and boast their accomplishments to feel like they’re making a difference in the world, it’s human nature to crave significance. Knowing this, use this to your advantage and size other people up, in a genuine manner that is. Obviously don’t go overboard with it but throwing in some compliments about another person’s accomplishments here and there can’t hurt. There is one-all important law of human conduct. If we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. In fact, that law, if obeyed, will bring us countless friends and constant happiness. But the very instant we break the law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law is this: Always make the other person feel important. John Dewey, as we have already noted, said that the human desire to be important is the deepest urge in human nature; and William James said: ‘The deepest urge in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.’ As I have already pointed out, it is this urge that differentiates us from the animals. It is this urge that has been responsible for civilisation itself.


4. Try to see things from the perspective of the other person. Too often are we all very in to ourselves and really only look at situations from our point of view. It’s human nature to be selfish and want everything to work out in our favour. Having said that thought, if you become more willing to see things from the perspective of others, you’ll be able to better problem solve. Seeing things through another person’s eyes may ease tensions when personal problems become overwhelming. Elizabeth Novak of New South Wales, Australia, was six weeks late with her car payment. ‘On a Friday,’ she reported, ‘I received a nasty phone call from the man who was handling my account informing me that if I did not come up with $122 by Monday morning I could anticipate further action from the company. I had no way of raising the money over the weekend, so when I received his phone call first thing on Monday morning I expected the worst. Instead of becoming upset, I looked at the situation from his point of view. I apologised most sincerely for causing him so much inconvenience and remarked that I must be his most troublesome customer as this was not the first time I was behind in my payments. His tone of voice changed immediately, and he reassured me that I was far from being one of his really troublesome customers. He went on to tell me several examples of how rude his customers sometimes were, how they lied to him and often tried to avoid talking to him at all. I said nothing. I listened and let him pour out his troubles to me. Then, without any suggestion from me, he said it did not matter if I couldn’t pay all the money immediately. It would be all right if I paid him $20 by the end of the month and made up the balance whenever it was convenient for me to do so.’

My rating:
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Check out the book here:

Amazon US
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Amazon UK

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By Ryan Lee



  1. Ryan, a stunning post! You have actually wriitten down a few life principles, lots of wisdom to find and apply from your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annalize, thank you so much for the awesome feedback! I love posting/writing about the books I read as my hope is to change the world through books just as a book has changed mine!


  2. Bunya

    Ryan you are the great. Thank you for you knowledge.


  3. Bunya, thank you for the wonderful and positive feedback! It’s greatly appreciated. I enjoy writing these up as much as people enjoy reading them!


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