Book Summary: How to Win Friends and Influence People

This is a timeless classic that needs no introduction.

The book is divided into four sections, each with concepts. Each part will be introduced with a book quotation and one or two sentences of comments.

Let's get this party started.

Section #1: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Unity in diversity.

1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain.

"Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes them strive to justify themselves."

Criticizing others is never a good way to obtain what you want. Put an end to it.

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."

One of the most basic human desires that are rarely met is the need to be liked. Be generous with your gratitude for those in your life, and they will return the favor. Simply ensure it's genuine.

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

"First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walk a lonely way."

You are the only one who cares about what you desire. And everyone else is solely concerned with what they like. So, instead of giving people what you want, offer them what they want.

Although it appears to be self-evident, the majority of people do not implement it.

Section #2: Six Ways to Make People Like You

A girl have a way to make people like her.

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

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

Spend less time worrying about how to be fascinating and more time focusing on what interests you.

2. Smile.

"You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you."

A beautiful smile may be worth its weight in gold. First and foremost, it improves your mood. Try to be unhappy when you're smiling. Second, it conveys to the other person that you like them and is truly pleased to be in their company without saying anything.

3. Remember that a person's name, to that person, is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

"The average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together."

Saying a person's name when conversing with them is the most effective approach to making them feel valued.

4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

"If you want to know how to make people shun you and laugh at you behind your back and even despise you, here is the recipe: Never listen to anyone for long. Talk incessantly about yourself. Don't wait for them to finish if you have an idea while the other person is talking. Bust right in and interrupt in the middle of a sentence."

Be calm and actually listen to the other person instead of worrying about what you will say next in a discussion. It is preferable to be a good listener to be a great speaker.

5. Talk in terms of the other person's interests.

"The royal road to a person's heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most."

Theodore Roosevelt was known for sitting up late the night before a visitor was scheduled to arrive the next day, reading on whatever the visitor was most passionate about. That would allow him to discuss their main interests with the other individual.

This is similar to having a superpower of rapport.

6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

"If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can't radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return - if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve."

In other words, we need to go out of our way to do something that makes the other person feel special - and we should do it gladly and without expecting to get anything back.

Section #3: Win People to Your Way of Thinking

Win people the way of our thinking.

1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

"There is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument - and that is to avoid it."

It's hard to win an argument since the other person feels lesser even if we win. And that's a proven method to get someone to dismiss your ideas.

2. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say, "You're wrong."

"I'm not revealing anything new in this chapter. Two thousand years ago, Jesus said: "Agree with thine adversary quickly.""

Nobody enjoys being informed they're incorrect. They, on the other hand, enjoy being understood. Although you do not really agree with the other person's point of view, always indicate that you know it.

3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

"Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes - and most fools do - but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one's mistakes."

If you're aware that you're mistaken about anything, accept it before someone else has to call it out to you.

4. Begin in a friendly way.

"A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall."

To get your message across, becoming enraged or yelling is never a helpful tactic. A friendly approach to a quarrel will always provide more outcomes than outright conflict.

5. Get the other person saying "yes, yes" immediately.

"[Socrates] kept on asking questions until finally, almost without realizing it, his opponents found themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly denied a few minutes previously."

When trying to convince someone, always start with the areas where you both agree. The more you can convince the other person to say "yes," the more probable it is that you will get them to agree to more things later.

6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

"If you disagree with them, you may be tempted to interrupt. But don't... Listen patiently with an open mind. Be sincere about it. Encourage them to express their ideas fully."

The one who asks the questions is in charge of the conversation. Questions, not arguments, should be used to persuade others to your viewpoint.

7. Let the other person feel that the idea is theirs.

"Don't you have much more faith in ideas that you discover for yourself than in ideas that are handed to you on a silver platter?"

No one really likes it when they are told what to do. They do, however, like acting on their ideas. Find a technique to make them feel as though they came up with the idea on their own.

8. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.

"There is a reason why the other man thinks and acts as he does. Ferret out that reason - and you have the key to his actions, perhaps to his personality."

Only by comprehending the reasons behind other people's behavior can you begin to persuade them to change.

9. Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires.

"Wouldn't you like to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create goodwill, and make the other person listen attentively? Here it is: I don't blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you, I would undoubtedly feel just as you do."

We all want to know that we're being heard.

10. Appeal to the nobler motives.

"J. Pierpont Morgan observed, in one of his analytical interludes, that a person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one."

People desire to keep their promises. People are more inclined to nobly act when you appeal to their nobler impulses, notably that they are sincere and have integrity.

11. Dramatize your ideas.

"I was presenting the same facts this time that I had presented previously. But this time, I was using dramatization, showmanship - and what a difference it made."

You'll be more adept at selling your ideas if you put more emotion and flair into them.

12. Throw down a challenge.

"They desire to excel! The challenge! Throwing down the gauntlet! An infallible way of appealing to people of spirit."

"The game" is something that every successful person enjoys. Give them a toy to play with.

Section #4: Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

A great leader helping other to achieve he goals.

1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

"Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins his work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain kills the pain."

People you speak with will be much more open to criticism if you first express your admiration for them.

2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.

"Calling attention to one's mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may bitterly resent any direct criticism."

Replacing the word "but" with the word "and" is a great approach to achieve this. For example, rather than saying:

"Billy, we're really pleased with you for improving your grades this semester. However, you might have done much better in mathematics if you had worked harder."

You may put it this way:

"We're really delighted of you, Billy, for improving your grades this semester, and if you keep working hard next semester, your math grade can catch up to the others."

3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

"Admitting one's own mistakes - even when one hasn't corrected them - can help convince somebody to change his behavior."

Nobody is without flaws. If you make it plain that you aren't flawless, the other person will be more willing to listen to you.

4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

"People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued."

Ask "what do you believe you could do better next time?" instead of "you did something incorrectly, and here's what you need to do better next time."

5. Let the other person save face.

"Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face."

If there's a way to save someone's face, do it.

6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be "hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise."

"This great contemporary psychologist (he is referring to B.F. Skinner) has shown by experiments with animals and humans that when criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention."

It has been shown time and time again that what you concentrate on becomes your reality. So, if you want to encourage more of a certain sort of action, praise it.

7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

"If you want to improve a person in a certain aspect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics."

I have always been a fan of Stephen R. Covey, and I think this idea is summed up nicely in one of his sayings:

"Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves."

8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

"Be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person know that you have faith in his ability to do it, that he has an undeveloped flair for it - and he will practice until the dawn comes in the window to excel."

This principle does not require any more explanation.

9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Making people pleased about doing what we want them to do is the final step to being a leader and influencing people without causing animosity.

To do this properly, follow these six steps:

  1. Be truthful in your words. Don't make any promises you can't keep.
  2. You should have a clear idea of what you want the other person to do.
  3. Empathize with others. Consider what the other person truly desires.
  4. Realize the benefits that the other person will get by following your advice.
  5. Tailor the perks to the desires of the other person.
  6. Make sure the other person knows how they will profit from your request.

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