We all know the importance of building strong relationships and effective communication skills. Do we?
One of the best resources to learn these skills is Dale Carnegie’s classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Originally published in 1936, this book has remained popular for decades because the principles it outlines are timeless and effective. I referenced some of the principles in this older post about Radical Candor.
In this blog post, I’ll outline all the principles from the book and explain how they can help you become a better communicator, build stronger relationships, and achieve your goals.
Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
The first principle in the book is to avoid criticizing, condemning, or complaining about others. According to Carnegie, this is one of the quickest ways to create resentment and push people away. He says: “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.” Instead, he recommends focusing on the positive and addressing problems constructively. For example, if you have a complaint, try to frame it as a suggestion for improvement rather than a criticism.
Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation
The second principle is to give honest and sincere appreciation to others. Carnegie explains that people crave recognition and praise, and giving it to them can help build positive relationships. However, it’s important to be genuine in your praise and avoid flattery or insincere compliments.
Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want
The third principle is to understand the other person’s perspective and show them how your ideas can help them achieve their goals. Carnegie explains that people are often motivated by their own self-interest, and by showing them how your ideas can help them, you can persuade them more effectively.
Principle 4: Become genuinely interested in other people
The fourth principle is to show a sincere interest in others and listen attentively to what they have to say. According to Carnegie, people are more likely to be receptive to your ideas if they feel that you genuinely care about them and understand their perspective.
Principle 5: Smile
The fifth principle is simple but effective: smile. Carnegie explains that a smile can go a long way in making others feel at ease and building a positive relationship. This is especially important in the business world, where first impressions can make a big difference.
Principle 6: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
The sixth principle is to use a person’s name when communicating with them. According to Carnegie, a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language, and using it can help make them feel valued and important.
Principle 7: Be a good listener
The seventh principle is to be a good listener. Carnegie explains that listening to others and showing that you understand their perspective can help build trust and rapport. By actively listening and asking questions, you can show interest in the other person and their ideas.
Principle 8: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
The eighth principle is to show how your ideas or suggestions can benefit the other person and their interests. By framing your ideas in a relevant way to the other person, you can make them more receptive and interested in what you have to say.
Principle 9: Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
The ninth principle is to show genuine interest and concern for others and make them feel valued and appreciated. Carnegie explains that people are more likely to be receptive to your ideas if they feel that you genuinely care about them and their well-being.
Principle 10: Avoid arguments
The final principle is to avoid arguments. Instead of arguing, try to find common ground and work towards a mutually beneficial solution. As Carnegie notes, “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.”
These ten principles may seem simple, but they can profoundly impact how you interact with others and how they perceive you. By implementing these principles, you can become a more effective communicator, build stronger relationships, and achieve your goals.
Feb 23 edit!
I created that post using my reading notes from a long time ago. And as I recommended the book to a few people, I re-read it. When I did, I was surprised that my notes were incomplete. I stopped at ten principles, but there are a lot more!
I believe I had the feeling that they were a bit repetitive. Is it a question or a justification? I don’t know.
For reference, here are all the principles from the book!
The book is structured in four parts, with principles in each parts:
Part One – Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Part Two – Six ways to Make People Like You
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Part Three – How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
- If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
Part Four – Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
- Let the other person save face.
- Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
- Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.