Lessons from how to win friends and influence people

Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer who was also the developer for several courses on self-improvement skills and interpersonal skills. He was the author of “ How to win friends and influence people” one of the best selling self-help books till date.

Over a 100 years Dale Carnegie has been helping about 9 million + graduates and helping them out to lead business, career and life through his courses. Though the book, “ How to win friends and influence people” was published in 1936 the principles mentioned hold good and are still deemed the best in improving the self. And the reason being that Dale did not put them out based on trends or fad and they still serve to be the building blocks of social intelligence.
Though the language and references( Abraham Lincoln) that the book contains might seem to be dated, the book was of great help during the Great Depression and one of the books picked up by Warren Buffet.

The book is based on principles that help makes one a successful person in all aspects of life. Becoming a financial success requires 15% of professional knowledge and 85% of the ability to express the ideas, to be a leader and to arouse enthusiasm among others.

The book definitely shows you the sure shot way to not only attain success but also build and establish a career.

Let me take you through the lessons from the book .

Praise others’ achievements

We need to be genuine when we praise people. It has to be lavish is what he exactly says, but at the same time be true. He puts it as,

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement,” We all crave to be recognized and appreciated. We also would do almost anything to get that. At the same time, it shouldn’t be something that was said to flatter and be put out showing insincerity.

Be empathetic

“The only way on how to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it”. He also explains by quoting Henry Ford,“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.” Looking at a situation from an other person’s perspective sure does help in most situations to frame our actions.

Avoid criticizing, condemning, or complaining.


“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do,” Carnegie writes. “But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

Being a leader, one should acknowledge the subordinate who doesn’t meet expectations or a competitor whose approach is inferior compared to them. But thus should be done in a way which would acknowledge what is working and encourages improvement

Acknowledging own mistakes

When being a best leader, one should not lionize themselves, to make it appear that they are not flawless.

“Admitting one’s own mistakes — even when one hasn’t corrected them — can help convince somebody to change his behavior,” Carnegie wrote. How true is this? Have you tried this out?

Acknowledging when a mistake is made and admitting to have committed it, is a great step and requires a lot of courage to do so.

Respect others’ dignity

When a leader demotes and employee or lets the employee go away, he/she needs to recognize the person with dignity and not use the opportunity to humiliate them. To be practical, the leader has to remain on good terms with the person who didn’t work out, because there is a future possibility that they might have to cross paths or even have the chance to work together again.

Know the value of charm

Steel magnate Charles Schwab claimed his smile was worth a million bucks — literally. For a man like him, the charm he holds and his capability to make people like him was one of the factors he remained successful. His smile was definitely captivating. So the charm is one of the factors that makes you and the people around you cheerful.

Encourage people to talk about themselves

People tend to relax in tense situations when they talk about things they know and which includes themselves. And when you listen to someone when they speak that would be the greatest compliment you could offer them.

Know when to use suggestions instead of direct orders

Leaders instead of barking orders to employees who instead lead them with suggestions tend to see more success. A classic example would be Owen D. Young , an Industrialist. Helping employees do things by themselves instead of directing them with orders helps them learn from their mistakes.

Be friendly, no matter how angry the other person may be


We are humans and we tend to handle aggression with aggression but instead if the high road is taken by maintaining composure when you make efforts to try and persuade the other person by appreciating their perspective, the result sure is surprising when you know what you just accomplished.

With you being cool and collected the other person sure would be embarrassed themselves.

Reach common ground as soon as possible

Stressing out the opinion or emphasizing things you agree and keep doing it which would put out the message that both of you want or strive for the same ending bu the only difference being in the method that is being implemented and not the purpose.
Carnegie says,”Begin by emphasizing — and keep on emphasizing — the things on which you agree,”

Get others to think your conclusion is their own.


Most persuasive people are the ones who would understand the power of suggestion over demands . This helps to win situations and emphasizes the fact that you cannot force a person to believe something.

He also says that when planting a seed and it blossoms , curb the urge to take credit for it.

Don’t try “winning” an argument

You achieve nothing when you tear apart an argument with another person. Carnegie cites by quoting an old saying, “A man convinced against his will/Is of the same opinion still.” When we need to persuade someone, make sure to avoid argument in the first place.

Click here to purchase your copy.

This post is part of blogchatter’s half marathon.

18 Replies to “Lessons from how to win friends and influence people”

  1. This book is very close to my heart. It is a very practical book that everyone must read. You are coming up with some wonderful posts.

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  2. I love the subject of this book, would surly love to read this soon. the lessons you have mentioned in this post, sounds amazing to me, I feel if someone apply this in their daily life, he can surly win friends and influence people.

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  3. You have explained this so well, having a healthy relationship and building trust in all the connections is very vital and once you have that, influencing becomes a part of that relation.

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  4. This was one of the first self-help books I bought in college days. It has some valid points that help us improve our social skills and make better friends.

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  5. I love the subject of this book. This is a very inspiring book for everyone. And yes we should have an ego with us, this is the one thing that can destroy any relations.
    Thanks for sharing a review of this book

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  6. Dale carnegie has been one of the first writers I read when I was young for his motivational books. I have not read this one completely but in parts and have loved the writings and opinions shared.

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  7. Thanks for writing this post. I feel this book though has got all the glory in this world isn’t relevant in the present day. As people of modern times don’t do friendships they prefer making alliances. Sorry just my POV but nice pointers shared by you.

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