How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: Book Summary

Techniques in Handling People: Don’t Criticise, Condemn or Complain. Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation. Appeal to there interests.

1. Don’t Criticise, Condemn or Complain

  • Remember that people are “creatures of emotion,” with their own biases and motivated by ego and pride no matter how wrong they may be.
  • Criticism hurts a person’s pride and sense of importance
    • People continue to justify their actions and harbor their resentment in the long run
    • It takes real character to understand and forgive.
  • Wait overnight before sending an angry message to someone

2. Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation

  • People crave the ‘desire to be important’ as much as they do for survival needs
  • Appreciation arouses enthusiasm. Criticism kills ambitions.
  • Appreciation is sincere. Flattery is insincere.
  • “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him” — Ralph Emerson

3. Appeal to their Interests

  • Before you speak, ask yourself “What can the other person get out of this?”
  • “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.” — Henry Ford
  • Start with what the other person is missing out on by not doing something, and the benefits they gain by following your suggested action.
  • Self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature. Let them cook and stir the idea themselves.
  • Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested.

4. How to Approach Arguments

  • Control your temper
  • “I may be wrong. I often am. And if I’m wrong, I want to change and be right.”
  • Praise the other person for a trait that will help resolve the argument.
  • Express sympathy for their situation
  • Listen first
  • Talk about common goals, and what you agree on
  • Ask a series of questions that lead them to your conclusion

5. How to Give Feedback

  • Appreciate the other person for specific things
  • Introduce your related mistakes: “When I was in your position, I did the same thing.”
  • Ask questions instead of giving orders.
  • Give the person a fine reputation to live up to. Act as though the trait were already one of their outstanding characteristics.
  • Make the fault seem easy to correct. Make it clear it is not a matter of ability or talent.
  • Message the improvement in terms of the person’s own interest. Target what they care about (doing better work; ascending in their career)

6. Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  • Avoid arguments
  • Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re Wrong’
  • If you’re wrong, admit it quick and empathetically
  • Begin in a friendly way
  • Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately
  • Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
  • Let the other person feel that the idea is theirs
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
  • Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
  • Appeal to the nobler motives
  • Dramatise your idea
  • Throw down a challenge


“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.”
“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself.”
“A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.”
“Every man I meet is a my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
“Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies.”
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
“You cannot teach a man anything: you can only help him to find it within himself.”
“Why prove to a man his is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? Always avoid the acute angle.”

How to Win Friends and Influence People

By Dale Carnegie