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

Dale Carnegie

Basic rules for how to make a good first impression

4.7 (1103 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a classic self-help book that teaches powerful yet practical strategies for communication and conflict resolution. It provides valuable insights on building relationships, managing people, and becoming a more effective leader.

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    How to Win Friends & Influence People#
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    Key idea 1 of 12

    If you want others to like you, don’t criticize them.

    Famous airplane test pilot Bob Hoover was flying back from an air show in San Diego when all of sudden both of his engines cut out. Through some impressive flying he was able to land the plane, saving those on board. Unfortunately, the aircraft was badly damaged.

    The reason for the harrowing engine failure was that the World War Two propeller plane had been accidentally filled with jet fuel.

    Back at the airport, Hoover saw the mechanic who had made the mistake. The young man was in tears, knowing how furious Hoover must be over the loss of his expensive airplane and the danger posed to the three people on board.

    So did Hoover yell at him? Scold him? Criticize him?

    Not at all. In fact, Hoover said that to demonstrate his faith in the mechanic having learned his lesson, he’d like the same mechanic to service his plane the next day.

    The reason for Hoover’s benevolence was perhaps that he knew something that psychologist B.F. Skinner had discovered a long time ago: animals rewarded for good behavior will learn more effectively than those punished for bad behavior.

    The same is true of people: criticizing them won’t encourage them to change their behavior because they’re not primarily driven by reason but by emotion. Thus the person you criticize won’t truly listen to what you’re saying. They’ll just feel like they’re under attack, and their natural reaction will be to dig in and fight back.

    So while voicing criticism might help you blow off steam, in the long-term, it will just make others like you less.

    Many successful people actually made it a habit to never openly criticize others. Benjamin Franklin, for instance, claimed that the secret of his success was to “speak ill of no man.”

    Abraham Lincoln learned this lesson as well. He used to publicly criticize his opponents until one day his criticism so offended someone that he was challenged to a saber duel! The duel was only called off at the last instant, and from then on, he stopped openly criticizing others. Even during the Civil War he famously told those who spoke harshly of the Southerners, “Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.”

    Criticizing someone is easy, but it takes character to be understanding and to forgive others for their mistakes and shortcomings.

    So if you want others to like you, think about why they did what they did, accept their shortcomings and make it a rule to never criticize them openly.

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    What is How to Win Friends & Influence People# about?

    With over 15 million copies sold, How to Win Friends & Influence People (first published in 1936, this edition from 1981) is considered the quintessential self-help book. Many prominent people from Warren Buffett to Lee Iacocca point to its techniques as one of the secrets of their success. Examples and anecdotes will make Carnegie’s advice concrete enough for you to easily implement it in your own life.

    Completely change the way you deal with people – and the outcome of these dealings – with these enormously influential techniques.

    How to Win Friends & Influence People# Review

    How to Win Friends & Influence People (1936) is a classic guide on building relationships and influencing others. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with practical strategies, it offers valuable techniques for connecting with people, fostering empathy, and resolving conflicts.
    • Using real-life stories and examples, it shows how simple actions can have a profound impact on personal and professional success.
    • With its insightful principles and timeless wisdom, the book keeps readers engaged, proving that building rapport and influencing others can be fascinating and rewarding.

    Best quote from How to Win Friends & Influence People#

    You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. – Dale Carnegie

    —Dale Carnegie
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    Who should read How to Win Friends & Influence People#?

    • Salespeople, managers, parents, teachers – anyone dealing with people
    • Those who wish to always make a good first impression
    • Anyone worried about not being likeable enough

    About the Author

    Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) was an American speaker and consultant on communications and motivation. He gave classes on public speaking in New York City until he realized that what his students really needed was guidance on how to deal with fellow human beings. Finding that no book had been written for this purpose, he wrote one to use in his own courses. The rest is history.

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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 of How to Win Friends & Influence People# is to improve social skills for personal and professional success.

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    The reading time for How to Win Friends & Influence People# varies based on reading speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

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

    How to Win Friends & Influence People# is worth reading because it offers practical advice on building relationships and effective communication.

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

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

    How many chapters are in How to Win Friends & Influence People#?

    There are several chapters in How to Win Friends & Influence People#.

    How many pages are in How to Win Friends & Influence People#?

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    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:
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