This book was first published in 1936. Way before all of the business and marketing books that we have available today. And yet, with the wide variety of book options to read on the topic of how to make yourself more successful (mostly in the context of your career), it still shows up on countless reading lists. Which is why I picked it up.

About the Book

No matter what role you might play in the business world, this book has a lot of examples, plenty of business and leadership examples, on how to apply its principles. I’m not a huge fan of the title of this book. The idea of influencing someone sounds insincere and selfish. Like you’re only engaging with someone because you want something. Even the principles seem questionable…

  • 6 ways to make people like you
  • 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking
  • 9 ways to change people without arousing resentment

How To Win Friends and Influence People

There have been a few edits to this book over the decades to bring the principles into the present. But really, this book could’ve been called, “How To Connect with People.” And it’s far from insincere or questionable.

I read this book in a time when we’re disconnected from the people we’re used to regularly interacting with. It made me think about applying some of Carnegie’s principles remotely or in a distributed work setting. It all comes down to good communication and treating others the way you’d want to be treated. In person, in an email, over Slack, and during a video call.

Notes and Takeaways

  • If you’re a fellow perfectionist, then perhaps you understand what it means to be your own worst critic. Not only can it be all too easy to find faults in ourselves, but in others as well. Criticizing becomes a bad habit. Far worse than biting your fingernails or never replacing the toilet paper roll. Be wary of the habit of finding fault.
  • Instead, make a habit of showing appreciation for others. Sincere, honest, heartfelt appreciation.
  • Most of my other takeaways from this book can be summed up in my Favorite Quotes included below. But in a nutshell:
    • take action
    • be sincere
    • see things from another person’s point of view
    • show interest in what others are interested in
    • know that your thoughts create your reality
    • admit when you’re wrong

Favorite Quotes (from the author, Dale Carnegie)

“For the great aim of education, said Herbert Spencer, is not knowledge but action.” And this is an action book.

The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.

“If there is any one secret of success,” said Henry Ford, “it lies in the ability to get the other’s point of view and see things from that angle as well as from your own.”

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.

It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.

“There is nothing good or bad,” said Shakespeare, “ but thinking makes it so.”

People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves.

You will never get into trouble admitting you were wrong.

If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

Started: 3.17.2020
Finished: 3.30.2020