Monday, January 03, 2011

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

This book gives very effective and doable principles on dealing with people with lots of examples and instances, and it delivers what it promises. Written by Carnegie in 1937 after extensive research, it is amazing to see the stated principles still holding true. The extent of his understanding the human nature simply shows. This is certainly a ‘oh yes’ book, and is very difficult to practice what it preaches. But as they say, Rome was not built in a day. There is room at the top, when you know how to win friends and influence people.

What others want?

Barbara Anderson was working in a New York bank and wanted to move to Phoenix in Arizona for her son’s health. So she wrote the following letter to 12 banks in Phoenix:

Dear Sir,

My ten years of bank experience should be of interest to a rapidly growing bank like yours.

In various capacities in bank operations with the Bankers Trust Company in New York, leading to my present assignment as Branch Manager, I have acquired skills in all phases of banking including depositor relations, credits, loans and administration.

I will be relocating to Phoenix in May and I am sure I can contribute to your growth and profit. I will be in Phoenix the week of April 3 and would appreciate the opportunity to show you how I can help your bank meet its goals.

Sincerely, Barbara L. Anderson

Unsurprisingly, 11 of 12 banks invited her to be interviewed. Why? Mrs. Anderson didn’t state what she wanted but wrote how she could help them. She focused on their wants and not her own. An increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle may easily prove to be one of the building blocks of our career!

Compel to say ‘yes’

Socrates is honored as one of the wisest persuaders who ever influenced this world. He asked questions with which his opponent would have to agree. He kept on winning one admission after another until he had an armful of ‘yes’es. He 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.

Joseph Allison was a sales representative for an electric company. After 13 years of sales talks, his company had persuaded a customer to try their motors and if satisfied the customer would place a large order. The customer complained that the motors were too hot and did not want to place further orders. Joseph patiently listened to all the complaints the customer had to say and instead of arguing, he correctly struck the customer to say so many ‘yes’es before making the customer place an order for $35000.

Gift a smile

There were a room full of people waiting to have their pets inoculated at a vet’s place. No one was talking to each other and were thinking of things they would rather be doing than “wasting time” sitting in that office.  A young woman came in with a nine-month-old baby and a kitten. She sat down next to a gentleman who was more than a little distraught about the long wait for service. The next thing he knew, the baby just looked up at him with that great big smile that is so characteristic of babies.

What did that gentleman do? Of course, he smiled back at the baby. Soon he struck up a conversation with the woman about her baby and his grandchildren, and soon the entire reception room joined in, and the boredom and tension were converted into a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

An insincere grin? No. That doesn’t fool anybody. We know it is mechanical and we resent it. It is a real smile, a heartwarming smile, a smile that comes from within, the kind of smile that will bring a good price in the marketplace.

This book also gives ways to give constructive feedback, ways to criticize without hurting, the importance of showmanship and giving others their feeling of importance, and on being hearty in approbation and lavish in the praise. Certainly, there is room on the top, when one can completely master the principles from this book.

Bottom line

It’s not the wind’s fury and force, but the sun’s smile and gentleness that makes a man take off his coat.

Personal take aways
  • Ability to speak – raises above the crowd and is a shortcut to distinction.
  • Hearty in approbation and lavish in praise – we nourish the bodies, but not nourish their self esteem.
  • Remember and repeat names as many times possible – a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Give the brightest smile possible.
Quotes garden
  • Judge not that ye be not judged.
  • Once I did bad and that I heard ever, twice I did good, but that I heard never.
  • People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.
  • He who threads softly goes far.
  • By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.
  • A man without smiling face should not open a shop.
  • Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof, when your own doorstep is unclean.
  • Criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home.
  • A great man shows his greatness, by the way he treats little men.
  • 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.


  1. Nice review mate! :D Happy new year!

  2. Thank you! :) Happy new year to you too!