52 in 52 Book Summaries

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to win friends and influence people forces of habit book summary

How to win friends and influence people forces of habit journal summary

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


The Essence

How to Win Friends and Influence People is the most successful and influential business book of all time. Master-communicator Dale Carnegie outlines the key principles and techniques for engaging with others in business and in life. As social animals, all roads involve handing a tough conversation at one point or another. Dale effectively breaks down exactly what we each need in situations like these and much other interpersonal interaction. To do better in any facet of life, it is imperative that we learn to communicate, influence, lead, and most importantly listen to people. It’s likely that we all talk too much about ourselves, and listen little to those we’d like to influence. So smile, nod, and give an honest try to talk about someone else’s passions. Oh, and don’t ever forget their name. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People Journal Entry Notes:

This is my book summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People. My notes are a reflection of the journal write up above. Written informally, the notes contain a mesh of quotes and my own thoughts on the book. The Journal write up also includes important messages and crucial passages from the book.

“The Principles taught in this book will only work when they come from the heart. I am not advocating a bag of tricks, I am talking about a new way of life.”

Fundamental Techniques of Handling People
1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want
Six Ways to Make People Like You
1. Becoming genuinely interested in other people
2. Smile
3. Remember that a person’s Name is to that person the sweetest sound
4. Be a good listener; encourage others to talk about themselves
5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
6. Make the other person feel important
How To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking
1. Avoid argument. Period.
2. Never say “You’re wrong” Show respect to opinion
3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly, and empathetically
4. Begin in a friendly way
5. Get the other person saying “yes-yes” immediately
6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or her own
8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s perspective
9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
10. Appeal to the nobler motive
11. Dramatize your ideas
12. Throw down a challenge
Be A Leader: How to Change People
1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
2. Call attention to peoples mistakes indelicately
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
4. Ask questions instead of giving orders
5. Let the other person save face
6. Praise the slightest improvement and 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 the thing you suggest

• Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. We constantly defend ourselves when we feel criticized. This defense is our mechanism for protecting the idea we have of ourselves.
• Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. This takes finding common ground. Find something that both you and another can become an US rather than a THEM about. I once heard it called “getting them in the same boat”.
• Focus on their wants, not your own, you do not need to start with what you want.
• Your life is not as interesting as you think it is. So talk less about yourself and more about others. You can make more friends in two months than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.
The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back. This is in part why I am grateful for being able to smile each day and willing to own fewer material belongings. They may have some weight in the opinions of others of me, but they do not match staggering effects of one’s attitude displayed in their facial expressions.
• “You CANNOT win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. You have made someone feel inferior, and maybe resented.”
• “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
• “A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall”, Kindness, Kindness, Kindness,
• You may be tempted to interrupt…Don’t.
• Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes (most fools do) but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.
• Even our friends would much rather talk to us about their achievement than listen to us boast about ours.
“He didn’t care about credit. He wanted results” This has deeply resonated with me. I came to a point in my life where I noticed the things that brought me the most joy, are things that I contributed to or maybe even directly caused but will never be credited for. That’s fine. Because ultimately it is the yield that I bask at and cherish. If making a great change in this world means being forgotten by history for my actions, then call me a ghost. A ghost who works diligently to make the change that can perhaps spark the growth of the next great name. I wish to be a part of the great climb towards the betterment of my society, not the figure that society subsequently reveres.
• If you are not satisfied, why not experiment? Never settle. Trial and error are deeply rooted in our genetic makeup. It’s only when we become the scientist of our lives that we can optimize for an impermanent state a becoming.
• It is always easier to listen to unpleasant things after we have heard some praise of our good points: Positive-Negative-Positive Sandwich.
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 old wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.

Reading Recommendations

If you liked what you saw. Here are 3 titles that I recommend based on what was discussed in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  3. To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink

Find the book on Amazon: Print | Audio

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