How to Win Friends & Influence People Book Summary - How to Win Friends & Influence People Book explained in key points
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How to Win Friends & Influence People summary

Basic rules for how to make a good first impression

4.7 (186 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

How to Win Friends & Influence People offers timeless principles for improving interpersonal skills, fostering meaningful relationships, and achieving success through effective communication and genuine engagement with others.

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    How to Win Friends & Influence People
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    Praise is more effective than criticism.

    Think about Al Capone for a second.

    I bet a few associations spring to mind – like mob violence, corruption, and criminal-protection rackets.

    Whatever you know about the famous gangster, you probably don’t think of him as a do-gooder or public benefactor. But one man did – Capone himself. As he put it, “I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.” The notorious mobster who terrified Chicago believed that, deep down, he was a good man.

    What can we learn from this? Well, like Al Capone, we tend to believe we’re in the right, no matter what we’ve done. But if we struggle to criticize ourselves, just imagine how we feel when we’re criticized by others.

    The problem with criticizing people is that it puts them on the defensive. People take it personally when they’re told they’re in the wrong. Their natural instinct is to justify their behavior. What’s worse, people tend to bear lasting grudges against those who criticize them, even if the criticism was well-intentioned.

    So what’s the solution? It’s true that people need to be urged to change their ways from time to time. But if we can’t help them by criticizing them, what can we do?

    The answer’s simple: we can praise them. Everyone wants to feel valued and important, and a few words of appreciation can get you closer to your desired result than any amount of criticisms and complaints. 

    That was the philosophy of Charles Schwab, a phenomenally successful steel magnate. According to Schwab, his ability to manage people was the key to his success in business. Unlike most senior businesspeople, Schwab tried to criticize others as little as possible. Instead, he focused on praising them.

    In his decades of business experience, Schwab found that you can achieve far more by encouraging and praising people than you can by criticizing them. Praise inspires us to work harder and better, and makes our relationships much warmer.

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    What is How to Win Friends & Influence People about?

    How to Win Friends & Influence People (1936) provides a masterclass in managing and dealing with people. From making a good first impression to disagreeing effectively, it contains all you need to know about becoming skillful, pleasant, and assured in your personal and business dealings.

    How to Win Friends & Influence People Review

    How to Win Friends & Influence People (1936) by Dale Carnegie is a timeless guide on building meaningful relationships and enhancing communication skills. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • Employs practical techniques that can be applied in various aspects of life, fostering positive interactions and personal growth.
    • Spotlights the importance of empathy and understanding others, laying the groundwork for successful social interactions and collaborations.
    • Offers real-life examples and anecdotes that bring the principles to life, ensuring the content remains engaging and relevant for readers.

    Who should read How to Win Friends & Influence People?

    • Salespeople, managers, parents, teachers – anyone dealing with people
    • Business leaders trying to boost their charisma
    • Self-help enthusiasts interested in a genre-defining classic

    About the Author

    Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) was an American speaker, author, and communication and motivation consultant. In his own lifetime, Dale Carnegie’s professional training courses helped to advance the careers of almost half a million people, and his books have sold over 15 million copies.

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    How to Win Friends & Influence People FAQs 

    What is the main message of How to Win Friends & Influence People?

    The main message is to build strong relationships and influence others positively through communication and empathy.

    How long does it take to read How to Win Friends & Influence People?

    It typically takes a few hours to read the book, while the Blinkist summary can be read in a fraction of the time.

    Is How to Win Friends & Influence People a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The book is worth reading for its timeless advice on improving interpersonal skills and achieving success.

    Who is the author of How to Win Friends & Influence People?

    The author of How to Win Friends & Influence People is Dale Carnegie.

    What to read after How to Win Friends & Influence People?

    If you're wondering what to read next after How to Win Friends & Influence People, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job by Dale Carnegie
    • Phaedo by Plato
    • Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • The Self-Made Billionaire Effect by John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • Slow Productivity by Cal Newport
    • The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear