Book Summary: How to Win Friends and Influence People — PART 01

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In this article I’ll write about a summary of a book which is quite interesting for me. The title of the book is How to Win Friends and Influence People, written by Dale Carnegie.

The book consists of several main parts in which there are some key principles that become the building blocks of the main part. So let’s start with part 1.

PART 01 — Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

I. If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive

  • Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be

  • Criticism is futile as it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes them strive to justify themselves. Criticism is dangerous, as it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts their sense of importance, and arouses resentment

  • B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. The same rule also applies to humans. By criticizing, we don’t make lasting changes and often incur resentment

  • Do you know someone you’d like to change and regulate and improve? Good! That’s fine. But why not begin on yourself? From a purely selfish standpoint, that is a lot more profitable than trying to improve others-yes, and a lot less dangerous

  • “Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof”, said Confucius, “when your doorstep is unclean”

  • When dealing with people, we’re not dealing with creatures of logic. We’re dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity

  • The secret of Benjamin Franklin’s success? “I will speak ill of no man”, he said, “.. and speak all the good I know of everybody”

  • Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving

  • “A great man shows his greatness”, said Carlyle, “by the way he treats little men”

  • Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all”

  • As Dr. Johnson said: “God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of His days”. Why should you and I?

PRINCIPLE #1 — Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain

II. The Big Secret of Dealing with People

  • The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want

  • John Dewey, one of America’s most profound philosophers said that the deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important”

  • Lincoln once began a letter saying: “Everybody likes a compliment”. William James said: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”

  • How you get your feeling of importance determines your character. That is the most significant thing about you

  • Some authorities declare that people may actually go insane in order to find, in the dreamland of insanity, the feeling of importance that has been denied them in the harsh world of reality

  • Charles Schwab, one of the first people in American business to be paid a salary over a million dollars a year (when there was no income tax and a person earning fifty dollars a week was considered well off) said that he was paid this salary largely because of his ability to deal with people. Precisely, he considers that his ability to arouse enthusiasm among his people was his greatest asset he possessed. And the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement

  • Charles Schwab also said: “There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I’m anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise”

  • This is what Charles Schwab did. But what do average people do? The exact opposite. If they don’t like a thing, they bawl out their subordinates; if they do like it, they say nothing. As the old couplet says: “Once I did bad and I heard ever. Twice I did good, but that I heard never”

  • The difference between appreciation and flattery? One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out, the other comes from the teeth out. One is unselfish, the other is selfish. One is universally admired, the other is universally condemned

  • General Obregon’s philosophy: “Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you”

  • Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him”

  • Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”, and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime — repeat them after years you have forgotten them.

PRINCIPLE #2 — Give honest and sincere appreciation

III. He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World with Him. He Who Cannot Walks a Lonely Way

  • Why talk about what we want? It’s childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want

  • The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it

  • Harry A. Overstreet, in his illuminating book Influencing Human Behavior said: “Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire.. and the best piece of advice which can be given to would-be persuaders, whether in business, in the home, in the school, in politics, is: First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way”

  • Before you ask someone to do something, ask yourself “how can I make this person want to do it?” That question will stop us from rushing into a situation heedlessly, with futile chatter about our desires

  • Henry Ford said: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own” (I really loved this)

  • William Winter once remarked that “self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature”. Why can’t we adapt this same psychology to business dealings? When we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think it is ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea by themselves? They will then regard it as their own; they will like it and maybe eat a couple of helpings of it.

PRINCIPLE #3 — Arouse in the other person an eager want

This article was originally posted on as Book Summary: How to Win Friends and Influence People — PART 01