How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

Some names have turned to brands unto themselves and speak for the high quality of their work. Like Rockefeller. That name immediately rings tones of wealth and charity. So it is with Dale Carnegie whose mere mention reminds us of his immensely popular books on self development. For several decades now post the world wars, the western world has been obsessed with what they call the New Movement.



Author : Amy Webb
Originally Published : 1936
Publication : Simon and Schuster
Pages : 291
Genre(s) :-
Non-Fiction, Self Help

 A lot of this is based on philosophies of the world. Self help books have crowded the shelves of book stores ever since and millions of copies have been sold. Amidst this crowd of authors, Dale Carnegie stands out. 

Carnegie started out with his lifelong passion of developing Self development content and the How to series of books by being a passionate in debates and an orator himself. He loved speaking in public. When he took over the job of a salesman after college, he excelled in sales and saved up $500 to start out on his own. He ended up at the YMCA and persuaded the manager to allow him take a public speaking class on profit sharing basis. At a time when the MBA and finishing schools of today were barely existing, Carnegie’s courses became immensely popular among the average Americans who wanted to become confident. To just imagine that the first edition was of a mere 5000 copies published in 1937 and the book is read and appreciated (and is useful) even today, is an indicator of its massive success and utility. 

The book is dedicated to Homer Croy who hailed from the same village school that Carnegie studied at. Now one must understand that the title actually summarizes the two basic facets of success- winning friends and influencing people. 

The book is divided into four parts 

  1. The Fundamental techniques of handling people
  2. Six ways to make people to like you
  3. How to win people to your way of thinking
  4. Be a Leader- How to change people without giving offense

By handling people, Carnegie meant -anyone. 

He quotes several examples of notable people in this section: from Abraham Lincoln to Richard Harding Davis and Benjamin Franklin to make a point that one must not kick the beehive if one wants the honey. Point noted. Page after page and through a rich list of anecdotes, Carnegie drives the point home that it takes some effort to achieve both the goals and it’s possible. 

Have a look at some of the principles he lists out: 

  1. Don’t criticize or condemn people -but instead try to understand them. Well, who likes to be ridiculed anyway?
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation because, generally speaking, people hate feedback but love appreciation nonetheless. 
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want – only then can you rule the world
  4. Become genuinely interested in other people- when you’re faking it, it shows. Plus you earn respect and loyalty for a long time by doing so.
  5. Smile- Ha Ha! I loved this advice. I know of several people whom I have never seen smiling. Even in photographs. And everyone knows what a smile can do even to strangers.
  6. Remember people’s names- Yes. I swear by this rule. It makes a huge difference. 
  7. Be a good listener- in a hurry to speak and react, many times we forget to listen

There are many such gems of principles- like talk in terms of other people’s interest. Make others feel important, the best way to get out of an argument is to avoid it. 

I absolutely love this one for its utility factor- Admit if you’re wrong! Difficult but practical, isn’t it? This is some solid advice that a mother would give her daughter or a dad to his son. Here, Carnegie dons the role of a mentor and guide who knows the knack of being a people-friendly person, that people’s magnet everyone strives to become but few can.

Key Takeaways-

  1. The book is full of advice and suggestions, coupled with real life examples that underline the importance of what he’s talking
  2. Way back in 1937, Carnegie has mastered the art of coaching. He even gives away a method to read this book- read it, highlight key points, revisit the book every month, review it, remember it, make notes…you get it?
  3. This is practical advice no one would bother to put it in a few pages the way Carnegie has done. No wonder it has stayed relevant even almost century later. 

Why I recommend this book

Because it has worked for several people in the past few decades, including famous people and so can it for you. Read it for its uncanny knack for telling you what people want from you. To be a popular person, one cannot afford to be self-centered but people-centered. That makes all the difference. I would even say, if you’ve read this book, like 10 times in the past few years, it wouldn’t hurt to read it one more time. You already know how it can change your life after every page. Trust me. Pick one right away. 

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