It is not every day that great books like ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ are written. When the bestselling author Dale Carnegie wrote his first book in 1936, neither the writer nor its publishers anticipated such huge success.
This book almost became an overnight success and its copies after copies were printed out. Today, the book has sold over a whopping 30 million copies worldwide and is one of the best selling books of all time. The book has also been translated in several languages.
Let us know more about this self-help classic and why it remains a favorite among people even after 80 years of its first publication.
How to Win Friends and Influence People : A Short Summary
A timeless classic, the book teaches you some principles on how you can better understand people, make people like you, improve your relationships and win others over. These principles have been tried and tested and after applying these principles in life, people have only seen success.
The principles have been very meticulously explained with several examples and Carnegie’s real experiences. The book also draws wisdom from the lives of eminent people like Abraham Lincoln. This guide is divided into smaller parts and chapters, each revealing secrets on how you can win people over.
Some Life Hacks from How to Win Friends and Influence People
Whether you have read the book or not, we have summarized some classic lessons from this bestseller. Applying these lessons in your life can help you better your relationship with others, improve your rapport and win them over.
- Refrain from criticizing, condemning or complaining
In the book, Carnegie states that most fools criticize, condemn or complain; but, it takes someone with real character and self-control to be forgiving.
This will act as a major breakthrough in your relationships with people. Whether you are in a leadership position and the relationship is with a subordinate, whether it is your relationship with your family/ friends, this hack is important to remember.
- It is important to praise others
Carnegie has stated that it is important to praise people lavishly, but only in a genuine way. Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement- Dale Carnegie has written in his book. He also writes that we all crave appreciation and recognition and can do anything for it. He then adds that yet, nobody wants insincerity and flattery.
So, be lavish with your praise but make sure that it is genuine and you mean it.
- Show genuine interest in other people
Showing genuine interest in other people is the key to a good relationship. Ask them about themselves, encourage them to talk about themselves, listen to them with interest and know about their passions. This, in turn, will develop their liking for you. Basically, focus on becoming a better listener.
Instead of trying to get other people to be interested in you, first show genuine interest in them. He believes that you should only talk 25% and listen to them 75% when engaging in a conversation.
- Remember peoples’ names
Dale Carnegie, in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, writes that the sweetest and the most important sound for a person in any language is his/ her name. Carnegie has always given a lot of importance to remembering people’s names.
When you meet a lot of people, it might get difficult to remember each and every person’s name. But, you can always find a way and train yourself to remember it. For this, you can repeat their name several times during the conversation. Associate the person’s name with their physical features/ expressions and overall appearance.
- Don’t shy away from acknowledging your own mistakes
Carnegie says that true leaders aren’t those who believe that they are flawless. He states how important it is to acknowledge one’s own mistakes.
Be humble enough to accept when you are wrong, even when somebody hasn’t corrected you. Being humble and admitting your own mistakes can help convince somebody to change their behaviour. This also helps make people less defensive and more agreeable.
This approach also works best when you wish to wish to end disagreements or a tense situation.
- Respect the dignity of others
In How to Win Friends and Influence People, another principle/ hack that has been given importance to is this.
Whether higher authorities are firing employees or demoting them, it is crucial that their dignity is taken care of and that they are not humiliated.
Always, always respect the dignity of others when you communicate with them.
- Don’t try to ‘win’ an argument
You don’t actually achieve anything even after you tear someone’s argument down. Dale Carnegie says that the best way to win any argument is to avoid it. In the book, he has cited an old saying- “A man convinced against his will/ Is of the same opinion still.”
- Reach a common ground
If you ever have disagreements, being on a common ground that you both agree on. Begin with emphasizing and keep emphasizing.
- Let others to believe that your conclusion is their own
You can never force people into believing anything. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie says that persuasive people know the power of suggestion over demand.
So, don’t force your opinions on others but instead give suggestions and let the people think of the conclusion.
Last, but not the least- smile. Your smile acts as a messenger of your goodwill. Moreover, it also goes a long way in showing the other person that you are interested in them. Nothing works quite as magically the way that a smile does.
These were some of the many principles to be remembered from How to Win Friends and Influence People. To truly understand these and see for yourself how they influence your life, we strongly advise you to give this book a read.
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