How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie was first published in 1937. The book increased in demand and became an all-time international bestseller.

With over 10 million readers in 36 languages, this book will help you:

  • Make friends quick.
  • Increase your fame.
  • Influence and Win people to your way of thinking.

And five more…

If you decide to read How to Win Friends and Influence People, here is an absolute summary of it.

Also, you can get the book here to read in full


Introduction To How To Win Friends And Influence People

Dale Carnegie discovered a major problem we humans all face is dealing with people.

So, he conducted research and reported that a man’s financial success depends on 15 per cent technical skills and 85 per cent human skills.

He went further to interview many successful people to discover these secrets to human relations.

Some of these people are:

  • World Famous inventors like Marconi and Edison; 
  • Political leaders like Franklin D. Roosevelt and James Farley;
  • Business leaders like Owen D. Young; 
  • Film stars like Clark Gable and Mary Pickford; and 
  • Explorers like Martin Johnson.

He even hired a trained researcher to spend one and a half-year reading whatever he had missed. 

Let’s start.


Part One: Fundamental Techniques In Handling People

1. If You Want To Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over The Beehive

John Wanamaker, the founder of an American store, said, “I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”

When you criticize, the victim becomes defensive and tries to justify himself.

At all costs, avoid criticism, because it kills a man’s esteem and sense of purpose.

Would you have done better if you were in the same condition as the person you are criticizing?

Even Jesus said, “While complaining of the log in your brother’s eyes when you are yet to remove yours.”

Principle: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.


2. The Big Secret Of Dealing With People

According to the author, there is only one way to make anybody do anything in this world.

And that is by making the other person want to do it.

If you give a man what he wants, he will give you what you want.

The question now is, what does a man want?

Dale Carnegie mentioned eight things he believed every man want.

1 Health and the preservation of life.

2 Food.

3 Sleep.

4 Money and the things money will buy.

5 Life in the hereafter.

6 Sexual gratification.

7 The well-being of our children.

8 A feeling of importance. 

In my experience, every man wants three things. They are:

  • Money,
  • Love, and
  • Meaning.

The author continued, let’s stop thinking about ourselves but for others.

Give sincere appreciation, and people will treasure your words for a lifetime.

Principle 2: Give Sincere and Honest Appreciation


3. He Who Can Do This Has The Whole World With Him

Dale stroked the fact that everyone wants what they want.

So, the only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

Don’t preach to your children not to smoke. That’s you talking about what you want, not what they want.

Instead, show them how smoking can prevent them from achieving their dreams in life.

He wrote of how Andrew Carnegie learned early in life that the only way to influence people is to talk about what the other person wants. 

Principle 3: Arouse in the Other Person an Eager Want


Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You

1. Do This and You Will Be Welcome Anywhere

We live in a selfish world. 

A world where everyone concerns about himself or herself alone.

Alfred Adler’s statement said in his book, What Life Should Mean To You:

It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who have the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.

I count shyness as a sign of selfishness.

You think, What are they saying? What if I am wrong? And more.

The day you have a deep desire to help others, nothing else will matter but to help.

Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.

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2. A Simple Way To Make A Good First Impression

You can wear the best of clothing and perfume and still, people won’t look at you.

Action speaks louder than words–your voice is the action.

Your smile is powerful even when no one is seeing it. 

It is a cure for your wounds and healing to your soul.

I got my first corporate job on the added advantage of smiling.

At the end of the interview, the human resource manager said, “I like your smile.”

Everyone wants happiness. Your smile can do a lot of helping people become happy.

Principle 2: Smile


3. If You Don’t Do This, You Are Headed for Trouble.

The ability to call people by their first name will set you higher than you can imagine.

Dale Carnegie mentioned a man called Jim Farley.

Jim can call over fifty thousand by their first name.

Rather than try to learn a name, we ignore it because it seems difficult to remember.

If you don’t get someone’s name right away, do well to ask the person to spell it.

Then take a pen and write on a book the name–spelling out as you write.

If you do that, that name becomes final in your memory.

Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.


4. An Easy Way To Become A Good Conversationalist

The former Harvard president Charles W. Eliot said about business interviews

“There is no mystery about successful business intercourse . . . Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that.”

You don’t need a college degree to know that people like to talk about themselves.

So, give them room to do so.

We are in a generation where everyone has an opinion.

Yes, we all have something to say about a topic. Nothing bad about being versatile.

But here is the mistake we make: 

Having something to say is not the same as saying something.

Improve your listening skill and see how people will always be eager to meet with you.

Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.


5. How To Interest People

I could relate to the point Dale Carnegie made here.

When I meet with clients who need my digital marketing services.

I am almost tempted to speak with industry words.

While these words are correct, they mean nothing to the listener (clients).

Because they don’t understand them and are not interested.

If you go to the bank, the language and interest, there is money.

At the college, the language and interest is grade score.

Communicate in a language your audience understands and watch them sell over you.

Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

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6. How To Make People Like You Instantly

Who is that man who does not want to feel important?

I know of a girl who will always tell me whenever we meet, “Oluboba, your face is shining.”

And for goodness’ sake, I find myself happy and always go check the mirror.

She has sold me that sense of importance, and that alone makes me remember her.

Are there compliments you are holding back? 

Now is the time to unleash them in all sincerity of hearts.

Last, remember the words of William James: 

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

Principle 6: Make the other person feel important–and do it sincerely.


Part 3: How To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking

1. You Can’t Win An Argument.

Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you?

You can’t win an argument, instead, you lose it.

Because even when you convinced your opponent he is wrong, you have lost him as a person.

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Trying to correct a man who didn’t ask your opinion is a waste of time?

Save yourself the headaches.

This part of the book contains nine ways to avoid a disagreement turning into an argument.

Principle 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.


2. A Sure Way Of Making Enemies And How To Avoid It.

Never tell people they are wrong.

You can tell people they are wrong through your looks, gestures, and words.

But what positive changes happen after announcing they are wrong?

I bet none.

And that’s because you have killed their intelligence and hurt their ego.

Dale Carnegie explains why it is not good to start statements with, “I am going to prove…”

It is an indirect way of saying, “You are dull, and I am smart.”

Here is a powerful from this chapter of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.” – Galileo

Principle 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong.’


3. If You Are Wrong, Admit It

Dale Carnegie told a story of his encounter with a police officer for breaking the law with his dog.

There is quiet satisfaction you get when you admit your error.

But it takes a vast amount of courage to do so.

When we are wrong, let’s admit our mistake with joy.

By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.

Principle 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

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4. A Drop Of Honey

These words of wisdom from Woodrow Wilson summarize this chapter.

‘If you come at me with your fists doubled, I think I can promise you that mine will double as fast as yours.

But if you come to me and say,

“Let us sit down and take counsel together, and, if we differ from each other, understand why it is that we differ, just what the points at issue are,”.

We will presently find that we are not so far apart after all, that the points on which we differ are few and the points on which we agree are many.

And that if we only have the patience and the candour and the desire to get together, we will get together.’

“A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” – Lincoln.

Principle 4: Begin in a friendly way


5. The Secret Of Socrates

When we say, “NO”, we want to stick with it, not to hurt our pride.

So when discussing with people, don’t start with your differences.

Begin on points you both agreed with.

Then, keep emphasizing this point, letting the other person know you are both headed the same way.

You are doing all this to avoid the other person saying, “NO”.

As Professor Overstreet has said,

“A NO is a most difficult handicap to overcome”.

Principle 5: Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately.

6. The Safety Valve In Handling Complaints

If you want to win a man, let him do the talking, and you the listening.

Let him talk himself out with no interruptions from you.

He knows the problems of his life and business better than you.

So, listen with an open mind and encourage him to speak up about all he has to say.

Principle 6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking


7. How To Get Cooperation

As humans, we accept more of our own ideas than one given to us.

Then, it is best to suggest to others and allow them to conclude.

Humans don’t want you telling them what to do.

They want a feeling they are doing what they believe to be true.

Don’t convince people, only make a suggestion.

Principle 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or her.


8. A Formula That Would Work Wonders For You

While people may be wrong, don’t condemn them–any fool may do that.

Instead, try to understand why they think or act in a certain way.

Dr. Gerald S. Nirenberg said,

“Cooperativeness in conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own. 

Starting your conversation by giving the other person the purpose or direction of your conversation, governing what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener, and accepting his or her viewpoint will encourage the listener to have an open mind to your ideas."

Principle 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.


9. What Everybody Wants

Dale Carnegie claimed if there is any magic phrase that would bring goodwill, it is this:

I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you, I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.

Most people you meet in your day-to-day activities hunger and thirst for sympathy.

So, feed them with it, and they will love you.

The best way to win people into your way of thinking is to show them some self-pity.

Principle 9: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.


10. An Appeal That Everybody Likes.

Dale Carnegie mentioned in his book, How To Win Friends And Influence People that we have two reasons for doing a thing:

  • The good reason, and
  • The true reason.

If you want to win a man’s heart, speak of the good reason.

He will take care of the real reason himself.

Rather than telling people, you don’t like a thing, give it a reason that sounds good to the ear.

Principle 10: Appeal to the nobler motives


11. The Movies Do It. TV Does It. Why Don’t You Do It?

To go far both in business and in life, you must learn how to dramatize your ideas.

Every physical creation starts in the mind.

Your ability to bring the future into reality will make people like and agree with you faster.

You see how TV adverts show a product solving a problem in the real world.

In the same way, you must learn to create a picture of your solution to a problem.

Principle 11: Dramatize Your Ideas.


12. When Nothing Else Works, Try This.

“The way to get things done is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.”

Charles Schwab

Throw a challenge and people will do everything to complete it.

Money, benefits, or good working conditions will not motivate men as much as the work itself.

You can see people doing excellent work in their churches than at the office.

We all want to prove our worth, excel, and win.

And the only we can do this is via our works.

Principle 12: Throw down a challenge.

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Part Four: How to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment

1. If You Must Find Faults, This Is The Way To Begin.

We all like when people give us sincere compliments.

So, it is easier to listen to something unpleasant after we have heard enough praises at first.

It’s like a doctor giving us painkillers before a treatment.

The treatment still took place, but the painkiller that comes before won’t make us feel it.

Principle 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation


2. How To Criticize And Not Be Hated For It.

Instead of saying,

“You did a good job here, but you didn’t submit early”.

Instead, say,

“You did a good job here, and I will appreciate you submitting early next time.”

You see the difference between the two.

Both started with a sincere compliment, and only the second end well.

Principle 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.


3. Talk About Your Own Mistakes First

It is common for a boss to complain about his junior’s mistakes.

But the truth is…

No one likes you to correct them when they can see your own errors too.

When you accept your mistake, it can help people looking up to you change their own behaviour.

Principle 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.


4. No One Like To Take Orders

Give people the opportunity to do things themselves, and they would do it better.

It will help them learn from their own mistakes and grow faster.

When you ask questions like:

  • Do you think that would work?’
  • What do you think of this?

It makes not only the order more presentable, but also stirs up the person’s creativity.

Principle 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.


5. Let The Other Person Save Face

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote:

“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”

When we make others lose face, we only destroy ego.

It doesn’t matter whether we are right or wrong.

Principle 5: Let the other person save face.


6. How To Spur People On To Success

When we want to make our dog do something for us, we use meats.

But for humans, we want to use force.

It doesn’t work that way.

Praise rather than condemnation inspires a man to keep improving.

We all need recognition and will exchange anything for it.

Principle 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’

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7. Give A Dog A Good Name

What do you do when your best worker acts funny?

Complaining or sacking him will solve the problem.

Labelling him with wrong names will do the worst.

In all you can, avoid calling people:

  • Bad boy
  • Stupid son
  • Wicked partner.

These names make them act the behaviour.

Principle 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.


8. Make The Fault Seem Easy To Correct.

There are two things you can help a man with.

Tell him he is doing everything wrong and has no gift whatsoever.

Or tell him he can do it and let him see your faith in him.

The first will grow to become worse than you met him.

The second will help him become the best of himself.

Go for the second.

Principle 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.


9. Making People Glad To Do What You Want

Dale Carnegie wrote in this chapter of his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:

The effective leader must:

  • Be sincere
  • Know what he wants of others
  • Be empathetic
  • Let others know the benefits they stand to gain
  • Match those benefits with the other person’s desire.
  • Let people see every idea as their own.

Principle 9: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Conclusion On How To Win Friends And Influence People

This is the end of the How to Win Friends and Influence People summary.

Get the book to read in full.

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