The book presents Carnegie’s advice on relationships, and it is even more relevant in this age where many of us communicate more by text and social media than we do face to face. This was the first book that opened up the human psyche to many people and gave us a key to understand both ourselves and those around us. I soaked up the advice in the book and, still, today, apply it every chance I get. It has been good all the way.
There have been times when I certainly have not followed this advice and, naturally, things went wrong between myself and others. I can honestly say that where I have applied Carnegie principles, things have turned out very well in my relationship with people. When you read this book, something will change in your mindset. At the very least, you will understand and become more aware of your interpersonal skills and work with people every day. Even though some people still find it difficult to apply all his rules, a little thought and effort are all you need.
This book has been around for many years (85 years, to be exact). This book is great for both personal and professional communication. It is filled with well-grounded, basic, and interesting advice for building great relationships in your life and your business.
- Don’t criticise, condemn or complain. When you come from a place of positive solutions and understanding, it does wonders for communication;
- Give honest and sincere appreciation. Be authentic with people, fake appreciation is insincere and quite transparent, and it can come across as condescending.
- Arouse an eager want. My interpretation of this is that you generate interest and motivation in others so they do what you want them to do.
- Become genuinely interested in other people – we can’t fake genuine any more than we can appreciate. Be mindful and present when people are talking to you;
- Smile. It’s contagious and always welcome.
- Remember a person’s name is the most important thing . So always remember people’s names and use it. We all hate it when people address us by the wrong name.
- Be a good listener – Encourage others to talk about themselves. Active listening is one of the hallmarks of good communication.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Think about common grounds and common things when you are with another person and talk about those things. That is what makes for interesting conversation.
- Make the other person feel important, and to do it sincerely, you need to actually believe that they are important. Talk about the value this person brings, it’ll make them feel great, and they will want to come back for more.
But these were not the only principles in the book. In total there are 30 principles, grouped into 4 parts. Part One is about the Fundamental Techniques in Handling People. In this part, there are three principles. Part Two is Three ways to make people like you. Here there are 6 principles. Part Three deals with How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking. In this part, the author discusses 12 principles. Part Four is on Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment. Here, Carnegie discusses 9 principles that will help us achieve this.
This book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ teaches us about the best strategies to use in having a great relationship with people around. Though there have been other written materials that teach about pleasant relationships; Carnegie says that his method is way better and will help us to get whatever we want at home and in the office. There’s a kind of simplicity in Carnegie’s ideas, even though it may be ironic. In life, these are obvious habits but extremely hard to practice. Reading contemplative books like Carnegie’s is an opportunity to think about our self-centered nature and improve the quality of our interactions with other people.
Though the book has many great points, there are still some cons in the book. Its major failing shows itself in the claim that the biggest problem human beings face on earth is getting along with and influencing other people. This might seem like an innocent piece of salesmanship, but it is not. The pursuit of popularity can be a dangerous, ephemeral, and corrupting affair. By elevating its import, readers may be misled, and the book may create a moral ranking that subverts the rightful order of things.
Whereas Aristotle, the great philosopher, teaches us that virtue should be practiced for its own sake, Dale Carnegie’s book instructs us to take an interest in people, in order to be able to engage better with them. He says we should be genuine because that way lies the route to popularity & friendship, also to empathize with people so that we may be able to influence them.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a commonsense, realistic, practical, natural understanding of how human beings do things and live their lives. To add to this, it is full of decency and kindness plus mutual respect and understanding of your fellow human being. This book teaches you how to be a nice person and to treat others much the same. The results were, and still are, remarkable. Of course, you are at liberty to decide to use the principles or not to apply them. You also get to decide when and where to use them and with whom to apply the principles.
Is Andrew Carnegie related to Dale Carnegie?
No, Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate is not related to Dale Carnegie, the writer. Dale Carnegie was born Dale Breckenridge Carnagey. Carnegie changed the spelling of his last name to the same spelling as Andrew Carnegie, to whom he was not related. Andrew Carnegie is a Scottish-American industrialist who amassed a great fortune with his businesses.
What did Dale Carnegie die of?
Carnegie died of Hodgkin’s disease on November 1, 1955, at his home in Forest Hills, Queen, New York, USA at the age of 66. Carnegie died from complications of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. He was buried in the Belton, Cass County, Missouri cemetery.
Part Two: How to make people like you?
1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
Everyone is only interested in themselves. When you see a group photo you’re in, you try to find yourself first. We are interested in others when they are interested in us! If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that need time and thoughtfulness.
Actions speak louder than words. A smile says “I like you. You make me happy, I am glad to see you.” Avoid fake grins. Make it a habit to have a real, heart warming smile. Even when you talk on the phone, your smile comes through in your voice! Every morning, greet people you meet with a smile. It also helps very much in business: “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”
3. Remember Names.
Everyone is more interested in their name than all the other names combined. Remember their name and call them by it, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. Forget it or misspell it, and you have placed yourself at a disadvantage!
Whenever you meet a new person, ask about their name. If you didn’t hear it distinctly, ask about it again. If it’s unusual ask about how it is spelled? Repeat it in your head and try to associate it in your mind with the person’s appearance.
4. Be a good listener and let people talk.
To be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other people will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. Be genuinely interested, and just listen attentively.
5. Talk about the other person’s interests.
If you’re talking with someone who is interested in boats, talk about boats. If you’re interviewing someone, study them and talk about their interests and goals. Talking in terms of the other person’s interests pays off for both parties.
6. Make people feel important, sincerely.
Whenever you meet someone, ask yourself: What’s there about them that I can honestly admire? Always make the other person feel important. If a waiter brings you a wrong order, say: I’m sorry to trouble you, but I prefer X. They’ll probably reply with: No trouble at all!
Almost all people you meet feel superior in some way. A sure way to their hearts is notice their best traits, try to learn from them, and let them realize in a subtle way that you recognize their importance.
Part three: How to win people to your way of thinking?
1. Avoid arguments.
Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each party more convinced that they’re absolutely right. You may achieve a victory sometimes, but it will be empty because you will never get your opponent’s good will. You have made them feel inferior and hurt their pride.
The correct way to handle arguments if imposed on you is: welcome the disagreement, listen first, don’t be defensive, look for areas of agreement, try to look for areas where you can admit error, promise to think over your opponents ideas, and thank them for their interest. Still, to get the best of an argument is to avoid it!
2. Never say “you are wrong.”
If you tell someone they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! Don’t start by saying you are trying to prove something; This is a challenge that arouses opposition and makes the listener want to battle with you. You can start with “Well, now, look, I thought otherwise, but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to put it right.”
When you say to someone you are wrong, you only succeed in stripping that person of self-dignity and make yourself unwelcome in any discussion. Use a little diplomacy.
3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly.
If you know you’re wrong, and you’ll be criticized for it anyway, why not beat the other person to it and do it yourself? Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person wants to say before they have a chance to say it. You’ll be surprised by the response. Your eagerness to criticize yourself will take all the fight out of them, and they will start defending you! If you are wrong, admit it quickly and clearly.
4. Begin in a friendly way.
If you begin with anger, the other person will get even more angry. You may have a fine time unloading your feelings, but with your hostile attitude, you’ll lose any chance of them agreeing with you.
5. Get the other person to say “yes, yes, yes”.
When talking with people, don’t begin by discussing your differences. Begin by emphasizing many things on which you agree. Emphasize that you both are striving for the same end and that the difference is method not purpose. Get the other person to say “Yes, yes,” and keep them from saying “No.” When they say no, they become nervous, and their pride demands to stay consistent with it. When they say “yes”, they become more accepting and have an open attitude.
6. Let the other person do a big part of the talking.
Don’t try to win others by talking way too much about yourself. People know more about their businesses and problems than you do. Ask them questions and let them tell you a few things. Pay attention, listen patiently and don’t interrupt.
7. Let the other person feel like it’s their idea.
You believe in ideas you discovered yourself more that ones that are handed to you. So isn’t it wiser to make suggestions and let the other person find the conclusion? No one likes to feel that they are being sold something or told to do a thing. We like acting on our own ideas and doing things we want.
8. See things from the other person’s point of view.
Try to put yourself in other people’s place, ask yourself “How would I feel or react if I was in their shoes.” Success in dealing with people depends on you being sympathetic with the other person’s viewpoint. For a conversation to be cooperative, you need to show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own.
9. Be sympathetic.
“If I were you, I would feel just like you do.” Most people you meet are hungry for sympathy. Give it to them and they will love you. If a piano teacher wants to convince a teenage girl to cut her long fingernails to help her play the piano. The teacher needs to sympathize with how beautiful the girl’s fingernails are, and how is it a big sacrifice to do it. Try to see the world from the other’s point of view, and sympathize with the way they see it.
10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
In order to change people, appeal to their nobler motives. If a newspaper published a photo of you that you don’t like, don’t send them: “please don’t publish it, I don’t like it”. But instead: “Please don’t publish it, my mother doesn’t like it.” Appeal to the respect we all have for motherhood; to nobler motives.