Self-Help Advice Books How to Win Friends & Influence People
About the self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, history and advice from the book.
HELP YOURSELF TO THE BEST SELF-HELP
HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE (1936)
The Head Man: The archetype of the American dream come true, Dale Carnegie went from the low of poor Missouri farm boy making 5 cent an hour to the high of international success making $1 a minute training executives "how to win friends and influence people." His idea was based originally on public speaking (later he extended it to include salesmanship and psychology), a skill which he learned as a member of the debating team at Warrensburg State Teachers College in Missouri. If it gave him confidence, he reasoned, why shouldn't it give others confidence, too? After short stints as a pork products salesman and an actor in a road show, Carnegie began teaching a public-speaking course at the 125th Street YMCA in New York City in 1912. It was a smash hit and led to his best-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People and to Dale Carnegie courses everywhere in the world. People by the thousands still take these courses.
Overview: To write his book, Carnegie used ideas from an advice columnist (Dorothy Dix), prominent psychologists (William James and Alfred Adler among them), well-known successes (tycoons, politicians, and philosophers), and his students (who, by the thousands, reported their experiences to him).
The simple idea behind it all is: Remember the other person's point of view (the honey-versus-vinegar approach). There are corollaries such as: "Be direct in praising and indirect in criticizing." Example: "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."
Help-Yourself Advice: Carnegie gives numbered lists of ways to (1) make people like you; (2) win people to your way of thinking; (3) change people without giving offense or arousing resentment; and (4) make your home life happier. Overall, his rules boil down to:
1. Become really interested in others, and see things, as often as possible, from their point of view. Example: "Remember that a man's name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language."
3. Be a good listener, letting others do a good deal of the talking (about themselves and their interests).
4. Make others feel important, using appreciation rather than flattery. Praise people as much as you can, and if you're trying to change someone, praise every slight improvement.
5. If you have to criticize, be indirect about it. Try not to argue. Admit your own mistakes before you jump on the other person's.
6. Let people "save face." If you have an idea you want someone to adopt, let him think the idea is his.
7. Appeal to "nobler motives." Provide an example in your own behavior.
8. If you are trying to win someone to your way of thinking, as a last resort, throw down a challenge (the "I bet you can't do it" approach).
Carnegie's rules for improving home life are short and simple. In his own words:
1. Don't nag.
2. Don't try to make your partner over.
3. Don't criticize.
4. Give honest appreciation.
5. Pay little attentions.
6. Be courteous.
7. Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage.
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