How to Win Friends and Influence People – A Brief Summary

Key Takeaways

I have briefly summarised some of the key takeaways from Dale Carnegie’s best-selling novel, How to Win Friends and Influence People, here.  This will enable you to regularly review how you are acting on a regular basis.

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticise, 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. Be genuinely interested in other people
  2. Smile
  3. Remember that a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound to that person
  4. Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  6. Make the other person feel important, 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. Respect 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 agreeing and saying “yes” immediately
  6. Let the other person do a lot of the talking
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea was theirs
  8. Be empathetic and try 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 – assume someone is sincere, and know that they are honest and may feel guilty acting unfairly
  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 criticising 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

Dale Carnegie on…


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 criticise, condemn and complain – and most fools do.  But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

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.


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


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