How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Summary

by Accessory To Success December 23, 2020

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How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Summary

Main Takeaway

This book is a guideline towards approaching life. It implies that by changing your behaviors, you can influence the behavior of others. Through leadership, it guides you to become more likable, win people over, improve relationships, influence behavior, and understand people better. This is a classic that must be read.

What You Will Learn

  • Fundamentals of dealing with people better
  • Making people like you
  • How to be convincing
  • How to be a leader

The Book Summary

Fundamentals of dealing with people include avoiding criticism and complaining. Criticism is dangerous as it makes a person justify themselves, putting them on the defensive, arouses resentment, and hurts one's sense of importance and pride.

Rewarding good behavior leads to faster learning and higher knowledge retainment as opposed to punishment of bad behavior. It takes self-control and character to be forgiving and understanding.

Responding sincerely and honestly. Through encouragement and appreciation, a person ends up feeling important. It is important not to confuse appreciation with flattery. Flattery is cheap praise and is not sincere, as it is telling the other person precisely what they think of themselves. Appreciation is sincere and unselfish, and it happens when we consider the other person's reasoning.

How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Summary Quote 1

Showing interest in the other person. Everyone is mostly interested in what they want, and the way to influence others is by talking about their interests and giving your input.

If you want to make people like you remember to smile. A smile says, 'I'm glad to see you, you make me happy, and I like you.' Inner conditions determine happiness, and this can be managed by controlling your thoughts. A smile brightens people's moods and is your messenger of goodwill as opposed to a serious look. This and other specific leadership tactics are shared in depth in the book The Messy Middle.

Remembering people's names. Forgetting names is a common issue with most people as they do not take the time to fix the names into their minds. Some ways of remembering include repeating the name during the conversation several times and asking for the spelling.

Being a good listener. One has to be interested so as to be interesting. Encourage the other person to talk about their accomplishments and themselves. An attentive listener is a good conversationalist. Interesting things to say are called Social Proof. For more on Social Proof and being the life of the party without ruining it read the book Contagious.

Talking about other people's interests. When expecting a visitor, Roosevelt had the habit of researching the guests' interests. Today this could mean looking at a person’s LinkedIn account to see who they follow or what groups they are in. If they mention something they like, as questions about it.

Acknowledge their importance. This simple rule brings constant happiness and countless friends. Being courteous is a subtle way of letting people realize you sincerely acknowledge their importance. This also means sharing credit. It’s a big part of being a leader and a great book on that is Extreme Ownership.

A big part of being convincing is avoiding arguments. Arguments leave both people sure that what they are saying is true. A dilemma approaches as one can't win an argument as to whether you win or lose it, the conversation is lost as the other party is left feeling inferior. It is best to avoid arguments altogether.

Some ways of avoiding an argument from a disagreement are controlling your temper, welcoming the disagreement, being honest, taking some time to think about the issue, and promising to consider your opponent's ideas. When facing a difference of opinion, Ray Dalio has a lovely way of telling himself: “maybe they are right.” He talks all about it in his book Principles.

How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Summary Quote 2

Respect other people's opinions. Pointing out people's wrongs bruises their self-respect, pride, and intelligence. It makes it difficult for the other person to agree with you or change their mind. When attempting to prove someone wrong, do so subtly in a way they do not know what you are doing.

Admitting when you are wrong. Self-criticism is easier to handle than condemnation from others. There is satisfaction in admitting one's errors as it clears the air of defensiveness and guilt as well as solving the issue. The author of the book Creativity Inc talks about leading your team like this in great detail as well.

Agreeing during conversations emphasizes on the topics you agree on when talking with someone. Make it seem as if both parties are striving towards the same conclusion. Numerous 'Yes' responses are an indication that the conversation is going well. While this may seem forced to do at times, it is very effective for productive conversations.

Let most of the talking be by the other person. Listening with an open mind and patience is crucial in making others feel important. Most people would rather talk about their lives than listen to someone else's story. They get a feeling of importance if they feel they've excelled you and feel inferior if the scenario is the other way around. It’s the difference between waiting to talk and simply responding. A great book about this is The No Asshole Rule.

Let them feel the idea is theirs. Lead them to make the conclusion themselves by giving suggestions. One is more convinced to act on their ideas as opposed to another's idea. I’ve even heard it said that if you reject someone’s idea they will never like any of your ideas.

Seeing things from their perspective. Try understanding the other person rather than condemning them. Being sympathetic to another person's perspective is key in dealing with people successfully.

Honest appreciation and Praise. It is easier to accept criticism after being bombarded with praise for good ideas. Sandwich difficult feedback in between complements.

How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Summary Quote 3

Addressing mistakes indirectly. Avoiding the use of 'but' as this makes the listener question the authenticity of the previous statement. This can be overcome by replacing 'but' with 'and' for more positive feedback from the listener. Sensitive people tend to hate direct criticism. This book is full of subtle, but impactful tips like.

Asking questions rather than giving orders. Asking questions sparks the creativity of the listener rather than giving an order. Having a part in the decision-making process makes it easier to accept the order.

When praise is emphasized and criticism reduced, the positives will be improved. Specific praise is perceived as sincere and is thus recommended. One's abilities blossom under praise and deteriorate under criticism.

Being encouraging. Insults and negative approaches lead to no motivation to improve. Showing faith in the person's ability and making the task seem easy leads to the person working with the aim to succeed. Maybe the best book on this from a team lead perspective is High Output Management.

About The Author

Dale Carnegie was an American lecturer and writer who was born on November 24, 1888, and died on November 1, 1955. He was the developer of courses such as salesmanship, self-improvement, interpersonal skills, public speaking, and corporate training.

Despite being born in Missouri into poverty, he managed to write books that have guided many to success. He also wrote Lincoln the Unknown and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

He enjoyed public speaking as a youth as well as debating, leading him to join his school's debate team. In 1908, he graduated from a teacher's college. He got a job afterward selling lard, armor, soap, and bacon. In 1911 he quit sales after saving up $500 and pursued his dream of being a Chautauqua lecturer.

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