Want to understand and get along with others? Wish to be well-liked and win people to your way of thinking? In this summary, we’ll give a synopsis of the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Do download a FREE pdf infographic, text and audio summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People here!
Although it was first published in 1936, Carnegie’s principles and insights are still powerful today for any situation that involves people. In this summary, we outline the timeless tips and insights from this book. Do get a FREE copy of our full summary here.
Each of the points here can be applied on their own, but the tips are most effective when they are applied sincerely from the heart, rather than used as techniques to cajole or manipulate others.
3 FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN HANDLING PEOPLE
1) Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Everyone wants to feel important/ wanted. Criticizing someone is not only fruitless, it will put him on the defensive, hurt his sense of pride, and even arouse resentment. Instead of criticizing, try to understand why people do what they do.
2) Give honest and sincere appreciation.
The only way to make someone do something is to make them want to do it. People want to do things because of the gratification they get, and the need to be appreciated or feel important is one of the deepest human desires. If you can fulfil that need, people will love you. Constantly ask yourself: “What can I honestly admire about this person?”, and show people your appreciation, every time, everywhere.
3) Arouse in the other person an eager want.
To inspire an “eager want” in someone, you need to first think from his perspective and put his needs before your own. Talk about what they want and explicitly explain how your suggestions will accomplish their goals. Try to enjoy the feeling of unselfishly trying to serve others without any recourse to yourself.
6 WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU
1) Become genuinely interested in other people.
“We are interested in others when they are interested in us”, and we tend to like people if they admire us. Greet others with enthusiasm that shows you are pleased to see and talk to them, genuinely care about them and their interests, and take time and energy to do thoughtful, selfless things that matter to them.
Give a real, heart-warming smile that is uplifting and shows you are happy to see the other person. Even when you smile on the phone, your smile will come through in your voice. Insincere grins, however, have the reverse effect. If you don’t feel like smiling, you can start by getting yourself in a better mood by acting as you if you were happy – force yourself to smile in private, and manage your thoughts.
3) A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
People value their names, as it is the one item that they own completely, and sets them apart from others. Make an effort to remember their names and make them feel important. This includes pronouncing and spelling it correctly.
4) Be a good listener.
To be a good conversationalist, you need to be an attentive listener. Take genuine interest in people, ask questions that they will enjoy answering and listen attentively. Encourage people to share about themselves and their achievements; share yours only if they ask.
5) Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
Focus on what the other party is interested in, and talk about it first (don’t talk about your own interests unless asked). It is worthwhile to invest time and effort to do prior research on the topics of interest. Talking about what people cares about most opens the way to their heart, and also broadens your horizons.
6) Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
People want others’ approval, they want to feel important, and they want to be recognized. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” – In order to feel important and appreciated, start by giving others that feeling first.
In the book, Carnegie also shares 12 Ways to Win People to your Way of Thinking and 9 Ways to Change People without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment. Do get a copy of the book, or our free summary and infographic here.
Getting the most from “How to Win Friends and Influence People”
The core idea of this book is to always consider things from the other person’s point of view besides your own. Carnegie conveys his ideas using examples and stories from English kings, Civil War generals, and other famous personalities like Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, John D. Rockefeller. There are many powerful situation-specific tips and useful phrases embedded in his case studies that can be applied in our day-to-day dealings with people.
To get the most from this book, Carnegie recommends that you:
• Develop a keen desire to master human relationship
• Read each chapter twice before going on to the next one
• As you read, stop often to consider how to apply the suggestions
• Underline important ideas
• Apply the principles whenever possible, to solve your daily problems
• Create a game: Give a friend a dollar each time he catches you violating the principles
• Review your progress and learning points weekly
• Keep notes of how and when you have applied the principles
Click here to get a copy of the book, or download How to Win Friends and Influence People summary for free here! Are these principles still relevant in our modern world? Check out our book summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age to find out!