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How to win friends and Influence people By Dale Carnegie - Book summary

How To Win Friends And Influence People Summary.

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."

How to win and influence people


Short Summary

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a self-help classic that reads as a life manual. The core idea is that you can change other people’s behavior simply by changing your own. It teaches you the principles to better understand people, become a more likable person, improve relationships, win others over, and influence behavior through leadership.

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1-Sentence-Summary: How To Win Friends And Influence People teaches you countless principles to become a likable person, handle your relationships well, win others over and help them change their behavior without being intrusive.

Executive Summary

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people
  2. Smile
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely

How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong’
  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
  4. Begin in a friendly way
  5. Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives
  11. Dramatize your ideas
  12. Throw down a challenge.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment 

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
  5. Let the other person save face
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise’
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
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Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People.

On criticism

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment. …. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

That reminds me of this famous quote by Thomas Carlyle: “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.”

On dealing with people

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.

On influence

[T]he only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

On the secret of success

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.

Lesson we can learn from Book.


Lesson 1: A simple smile is all it takes for you to make a great impression.

There’s that famous quote about how actions speak louder than words, because in the way we act we truly show whether we follow through on our intentions, instead of just stating them.

The easiest action you can take to make others instantly like you then, is to smile.

Just like we all tear up when a baby laughs or smiles at us, or feel a rush of endorphins from seeing a dog wag its tail in our presence, we can’t help but feel affection towards someone who smiles at us.

Now imagine a smile being the first thing you see the first time you meet someone and shake their hand – of course you’re going to like them!

More than half of our communication is based on body language, so a smile vs. a frown can make the difference between making a new friend or selling a car and striking out.

What’s more, smiling isn’t a one-way road, it helps you directly too.

By consciously smiling you’ll generate positive feelings “by accident”, just like positive feelings can cause you to smile without meaning to.

So the next time you meet someone new, turn that frown upside down and smile as you shake their hand!

Take your time

Lesson 2: You can be interesting to others by getting them to talk about themselves.

What’s everyone’s favorite topic? The weather? Nope. Themselves!

We all love people who listen to us for hours end as we yatter on and on about our own lives.

People always think to be interesting you have to share many fascinating stories and constantly talk about your accomplishments.

That couldn’t be more wrong. You don’t even have to talk to be interesting.

Humans are naturally self-centered, we are our own biggest interest, and boy do we get excited if we meet someone who shares that interest!

Give other people your full attention, don’t interrupt them, be genuinely interested, ask follow-up questions, don’t rant about yourself and, most importantly, listen.

You’ll be amazed at how many people will say things like this about you: “That Nik guy was so great to talk to, what an interesting person!”

If you want to go one step further, you can do what Teddy Roosevelt did, and even prepare yourself before you meet someone by researching them online and trying to pick 2-3 of their favorite topics, which you can then address and get them to talk about.

Lesson 3: In order to convince people, you have to get them to say yes a lot.

Dale Carnegie has 3 steps to help you convince people, the premise of all of them being that they don’t know you’re trying to change their mind.

We hardly defend anything as strongly as our own opinions, so the second we’re on to someone trying to win us over, it’s a hopeless cause.

Unless you’ve spilled the milk already, here are 3 steps to help you succeed:

  1. Be nice. Do the above. Smile. Listen. Be polite and patient, that’s the basis of any successful persuasion and for that matter, should be the basis of any conversation.
  2. Make it clear you have the same goals. Your conversation partner must believe you share the same interests and vision, so emphasize that by talking about the interests you actually share. They have to know you’re really on their side and want what’s best for them (which you hopefully are anyway).
  3. Ask them lots of small questions that they answer with yes. Once you’re sure you’re both on the same page, you can start laying out your arguments, but do it by asking questions your partner can answer with yes as much as possible. Then, when you make your final point, you’re more likely to get a yes as well.

The idea behind this approach, called the Socratic method, is that the probability of a final yes goes up with every yes you get before. This is due to the human consistency bias – we wan’t to be consistent in our actions, so we’re unlikely to break a long chain of yeses.

How To Win Friends And Influence People Review.

I could easily have summarized every single blink in this summary, such a good one. The tips are incredibly simple, which is why they’re so powerful. All of them you can start applying right now, as How To Win Friends And Influence People carries a strong message of “be the change you want to see in the world.” This book uses less scientific language than Cialdini’s Influence, for example, which makes it a light, but recommended read.

What else can you learn from the blinks?

  • How Abraham Lincoln learned to never criticize others the hard way (swords involved!)
  • Why “Thank You” and “Sorry” will help you call in favors
  • What Dale Carnegie said to a bored employee to brighten his day and show his appreciation and why that’s the golden rule
  • The simplest trick you can use to show others you care
  • How many arguments you should engage in and why (hint: it’s less than 1)
  • Which language to use when others are wrong
  • What to do differently when you yourself are wrong.
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