“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

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“I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish.”

How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the first bestselling self-help books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1936, it has sold 15 million copies world-wide.

Leon Shimkin of the publishing firm Simon & Schuster took one of the 14-week courses given by Carnegie in 1934. Shimkin persuaded Carnegie to let a stenographer take notes from the course to be revised for publication. In 1981, a new revised edition with updated language and anecdotes was released. The revised edition reduced the number of sections from 6 to 4, eliminating sections on effective business letters and improving marital satisfaction.

The book has six major sections. The core principles of each section are quoted below.

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
  4. Never show others that you are not interested in what they have to say.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re Wrong.”
  3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.

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

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise every improvement.
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.

Letters That Produced Miraculous Results

This section was included in the original 1936 edition but omitted from the revised 1981 edition.

In this chapter, notably the shortest in the book, Carnegie analyzes two letters and describes how to appeal to someone’s vanity with the term “do me a favor” as opposed to directly asking for something which does not offer the same feeling of importance to the recipient of the request.

Seven Rules for Making Your Home Life Happier

This section was included in the original 1936 edition but omitted from the revised 1981 edition.

  1. Don’t nag.
  2. Don’t try to make your partner over.
  3. Don’t criticize.
  4. Give honest appreciation.
  5. Pay little attentions.
  6. Be courteous.
  7. Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage.

Enjoy this book! You’ll never regret you’ve read it!

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