Introduction

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a self-help book loaded with tips on how we can win friends, influence and generally relate better with people in our everyday life. The book was published in 1936 by Simon and Schuster.

About the book

As the title of the book implies, How to Win Friends and Influence People teaches readers ways to make friends and understand people better which in turn will result in better relationships. In the book, Dale Carnegie was not just communicating, he also found ways to motivate his readers through his words.

Before going to the core of this book, the author did a good job of introducing readers to the subject of human behaviour and the book also prepares the readers’ minds. It provides guidance on how to get the most out of the book. Dale Carnegie did not just dish out rule and principle, he shared stories from his past experiences and of great leaders from the past. It was good to learn a thing or two from history.

The major points from the book

The book is in four different parts which include: how to be liked by people, how to change someone’s mind, how to criticise without hurting someone’s feelings, and how to achieve a happier family life.

According to Dale Carnegie, the six ways to make people like you are:

  • Become genuinely interested in other people: “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.
  • Smile: Happiness is not dependent on outside circumstances, but on inward attitudes.
  • Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. We make people feel important when we remember their names.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves and listen to what they have to say. 
  • Talk in the interest of the other person. Talking about what matters to people is one way to win their hearts.
  • Sincerely make the other person feel important. Think about how you would want to be treated and treat people that way; this helps put us in check.

Making the mind connection

Beyond winning friends and influencing people, I think Carnegie’s book teaches kindness, treating people with respect and care. It is what many of us must learn. This book had an almost immediate effect on me and I must say it was a good break from reading financial intelligence books.

Here’s one of the expressions I found in the book that made me pause a bit:

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

My opinion

This is an incredibly timeless book. It espouses principles that are not time-bound because people still want the same things (such as kindness and respect). Reading the book is encouraging and motivating especially because of how the author used facts to bring his points forward.

Action points

Smile more

Be more interested in people

Show genuine care

Be a good listener.