How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People gives methods of instruction and examples as to how to triumph in the social world. It includes chapters on how to handle people, how to make people like you, how to win people to your way of thinking, and how to be a leader. The book begins with a preface of suggestions on how to get the most of the book. These include reviewing it periodically and taking the suggestions with an open mind and sincerity.
The first chapter exposes the reader to the technique of how to handle people successfully. It emphasizes that in order to understand people one must regard the situation from their point of view. Most people have reasons for deciding what they do. Those who commit crimes and rob stores do not view themselves as bad people. Gangsters such as Al Capone regarded themselves as unappreciated and unrecognized public benefactors, not as enemies of the state. People do not condemn themselves, so why should one condemn others? Lesson one explains to the reader that one should never criticize, complain, or condemn other people. Principle two suggests that you give people your sincere and honest appreciation. A person should not think of his accomplishments or successes, yet compliment others on theirs. The most important thing one can give another is his genuine appreciation. “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” —Charles Schwab You can threaten people by force or harsh words, but the only way to get others to do what you wish is to give them what they want. What do they want? Appreciation. Principle three in the fundamental techniques of handling people deals with how to arouse in the other person an eager want. It is easy to tell people your needs, but no one wants to hear them. People are only interested in their wants and needs. So, why not try to get what you want by inferring how it would benefit the other persons involved? A good example of this is fishing. When one goes fishing, he does not think about what he wants. He thinks about what the fish wants. One does not bait the hook with Twinkies and candy, he baits it with worms and asks, “Wouldn’t you like to have that?” Again, look at the situation from the other’s perspective.
Part two of the book discusses ways to get people to like you. The first guideline is to become genuinely interested in people. People will like you if they feel you admire them. One must instill in them a sense of fondness. “Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.” —Dale Carnegie This is the reason the dog is man’s best friend. Dogs do not criticize or complain and always greet you with animation and enthusiasm. Another point is that people are not interested in you. Do not speak of your accomplishments and your success. They are only interested in themselves. Get them to talk about themselves and their achievements. Compliment them on their accomplishments and show them how you feel by your genuine interest. “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.” —Dale Carnegie Ideal number two deals with the power of a smile. Actions speak louder than words and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.” One of the most important elements in getting people to like you is recognition of their uniqueness. One can do this using a person’s name. A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Remember a person’s name, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. The name sets the individual