Review: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie’s classic self-help book is a timeless staple of corporate culture and the modern world. The author lays out his approach to becoming more popular and persuasive, offering advice on how to navigate difficult situations without getting emotional or resorting to violence. It explores how people communicate in social settings, what they are looking for when meeting new associates and covers everything from “How To Read People” to “How To Win Friends”.

“How to Win Friends & Influence People” is a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie. It was published in 1936, and has been translated into over 100 languages. The book’s central idea is that the key to success in life is learning how to influence people.

Who is Dale Carnegie, and what does he stand for?

Dale Carnegie was a speaker and author in the twentieth century who educated millions of people about self-improvement, salesmanship, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.

During the Great Depression, Carnegie supplemented his income by teaching a variety of courses to young people and working professionals, one of which was on the art of “human relations.” Specifically, how to connect with others in ways that will help you develop deep and enduring relationships, expand your social capital, and become a recognized leader.

Written in 1936, How to Win Friends & Influence People essentially serves as the syllabus for that course. The principles laid out by Carnegie have withstood the test of time, proving essential to the careers of many successful figures throughout history. In our review of How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, we will shed light on his students and famous figures of the Industrial era, to illustrate how these principles can be applied to your daily life.

Many individuals, including Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, and Charles Schwab, have used these teachings to better their interpersonal abilities and reach their full potential.

Review Of What You Will Learn In How To Win Friends & Influence People?

This book was separated into four sections by Dale Carnegie.

1. People-Handling Techniques Fundamentals

This section explains some basic “do’s and don’ts” while interacting with humans. It suggests alternatives to criticizing or condemning others, for example, and highlights the significance of genuine gratitude. The section also emphasizes one of the most powerful forces or “urges” that motivates human conduct, as stated by psychiatrist Sigmund Freud and philosopher John Dewey:

“…the yearning to be significant”

Page 17 of Carnegie’s book

2. Six Ways to Persuade Others to Like You

Simple activities you can do in your daily encounters to develop your interpersonal skills are listed in this section. These include how to create a great first impression, how to develop your conversational skills, how to pique people’ attention, and so on. This part is quite useful and informative, and it even discusses how we may learn from our most devoted friends, dogs!

3. How to Persuade Others to Adopt Your Point of View

Section 3 discusses the pitfalls of debating and suggests different methods for convincing people. Specifically, how futile and ineffective it is to debate with someone because:

“…A guy who is persuaded against his will remains of the same mind.”

Page 111 of Carnegie’s book

4. Change People Without Offending or Arousing Resentment: How to Lead Without Offending or Arousing Resentment

The last piece explains how to conduct those difficult talks with workers that managers and leaders must have. This covers effective methods for criticizing, commanding, providing criticism, motivating others, and so forth. This section is particularly relevant for people who have direct reports or operate in a team setting.

Final Score: 9.3/10

We all know someone who we would label as “charismatic” or “extroverted” in our social circle or at work. It’s probably because they smile a lot, are pleased and excited to see people, listen well, talk well about others, and so on. These are only a few of the themes outlined in this timeless classic. Carnegie demonstrates that we may all strive to be more like that person. It just takes a few small modifications in how we engage with people to make a difference. 

How to Win Friends & Influence People includes proven strategies for improving your interpersonal skills. Principles that helped Andrew Carnegie and Abraham Lincoln lead the steel industry, and the nation, respectively. However, I must mention that these principles cannot be faked. They must be applied genuinely, sincerely, and consistently. As Dale himself wrote:

“Only when the concepts presented in this book emanate from the heart will they function. I’m not suggesting that you have a slew of techniques under your sleeve. I’m referring to a new way of living.”

219 in Carnegie

It would benefit us to read this book and implement the ideas Dale discusses when we re-engage with our friends and coworkers after quarantine. I’ll be writing monthly reviews for this book, and I encourage everyone else to do the same!

If you’ve read this book, please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Get a copy of Dale Carnegie’s classic book by clicking this link, and if you loved this review, check out my others!

The “dale carnegie principles” are the key to winning friends and influencing people. Dale Carnegie’s book is a must read for anyone who wants to be successful in life.

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