I don’t normally read self-help books, but I made an exception for Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People because it made it to mandatory reading lists for some hedge funds, it sold sixteen million copies, Warren Buffett raved about it, and I could do with some more friends.
While the title might come across as a straight no-bullshit type of book, this is why someone coined the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” There are lots of frivolous examples supporting points that probably don’t need supporting. The tone of the book also sounds very self-helpy, as if one were attending in a hotel room seminar, but focusing on all that obscures the nuggets of wisdom that Dale is trying to share.
I made the following outline for my own purposes to review every now and again, but I’ve found that it’s an adequate substitute for reading the book. I hope it helps you too. I’ve broken the outline into two parts, so here’s the three-minute version of the first part:
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. It wounds a person’s pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.
- Criticism engenders resentment; it not only demoralizes, but also does not correct the situation that has been condemned.
- Humans are not always creatures of logic; they are creatures of emotion.
- Instead of condemning people, try to understand them. Try to figure out why they do what they do.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- The way to develop the best in people is through appreciation and encouragement. Nothing else kills the ambitions of a person than criticisms from others.
- Most people have a deep desire to be great and important.
- How you get your feeling of importance determines your character [I thought this was really interesting]
- “I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
- When disagreeing or trying to express constructive criticism
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation before bringing up unpleasant points. However, avoid praise followed by the word “but”. Instead, use “and”.
- Talk about your own mistakes and faults.
- Provide suggestions or ask questions rather than give orders.
- Praise people’s improvements, regardless of how small or large it is.
REGARDING ONE’S LIKEABILITY
- Make your interactions revolve around others because people are most interested in themselves.
- Make others feel important and subtly let them know you realize their importance.
- Remember others’ names; it is what sets the individual apart and makes them unique among all others.
- Listen to others and encourage them to talk about themselves.
- Talk to others in terms of their interests (i.e., how you would contribute to the success of the businessperson’s interests). Bait the hook to suit the fish.