Maybe Dale Carnegie was on to something?

In his famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People (first published in 1936), Dale Carnegie – the great public speaker, personal improvement trainer, and prolific author – showed that success very much hinges on your ability to ‘influence people’.

In fact, as I think back, my greatest successes have been with people who have liked and admired me … and my greatest challenges have been with those who haven’t.

You can invent the greatest mouse-trap in the world, but nobody will beat a path to your door if they smell a rat 😉

This is Dale Carnegie’s summary of his own book; apply some of these ideas and you will succeed in life.

Remember, no matter what you do other people are the key to your success:

Part One

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Part Two

Six ways to make people like you

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.

Part Three

Win people to your way of thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for 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 saying "yes, yes" immediately.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try honestly 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.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.

Part Four

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

A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish this:

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing 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.

Sound advice from one of the 'soundest advisors' of all time ... just wish I had paid attention sooner ... I would have been sitting on the beach, sipping pina-coladas 10 years earlier!


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9 thoughts on “Maybe Dale Carnegie was on to something?

  1. I love Dale Carnegie. I’ve still got his tapes on how to ‘Stop Worrying and Start Living’.

    I like all old-school productivity/self improvement gurus over the new ones.

  2. @ bogrdoc – some of the ‘old standards’ are still the best .., still Oprah seems to push the ‘new guys” (Ekhart Tolle, ‘The Secret’ folks, etc.) …

  3. I use many of these ideas, having read the book before, yet didn’t realize where the approach came from.

    AJC, I would like to see if you would be interested in guest writing on my Blog!

  4. I’m currently reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. I love it. I wasn’t sure which one to read first. “Influence” or “How to Stop Worrying”. Should I read How to Influence People first? Either way, I’m sure I’ll extract some great things from both of them.
    Thanks for the article.

  5. @ Anthony – Thanks for your comment! I gave you the summary so that you could “Stop Reading and Start Doing” 😉

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  8. Thanks for summarizing his points so well – I’m going to bookmark this for the next time I need to critique someone else’s work and suggest improvements 🙂

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