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How to Win Friends & Influence People


Most people know the classic written by Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends & Influence people” *. Have you read it? It’s a timeless book, designed for regular reading.

Dale Carnegie conducted a great deal of research and interviewed many people before writing this book.

This article is my summary of the principles in Part One of his book – “Fundamental Techniques in Handling People”. These principles are as important now as when Carnegie penned them.

Principle 1 – Don’t criticise, condemn or complain.

The underlying basis of the book–something to always remember–is that we are human. “We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” (p.43)

Although we may think otherwise, we can never put ourselves exactly in someone else’s position.

How do I react when I am criticised? I am not influenced positively by someone who is critical of me or my actions. Rather I “get my back up” and “dig in my heels”.

Carnegie rightly stresses that if we criticise, condemn or complain, not only do we upset people but we can also create the habit of making those and similar comments.

Rather than criticise, condemn or complain, let’s seek to understand the other person.

As Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand to be understood”. Great advice!

Principle 2 – Give honest and sincere appreciation.

We can never get enough appreciation from others for the things we do. As Bing Crosby sang,

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene …

Let’s make the time to observe the actions of those around us, then sincerely and honestly tell them (and anyone else who is there) what we specifically appreciate about them.

Principle 3 – Look at the situation from the other person’s viewpoint.

Taking the time to think about what the other person may want, will show you how to help them get what they want – as well as what you want.

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

From these principles, we learn the importance of thinking of others before ourselves.

Can I encourage you to put these principles into practice both at home and in the workplace? Please comment below on which principle is most helpful to you and why …


I invite you to my FREE workshop on Wednesday 3 May 2017 … where I will introduce you to a very simple but effective way of identifying and remembering different behavioural styles. These styles are very important in helping you to effect change in – or influence – those around you.

To reinforce your learning, we will discuss how different behavioural styles respond and react in different situations. At the end of one hour together, you will walk away with 3 powerful tips in –

  • How to Deal with Difficult People.
  • How to Sell to Others.
  • How to Personally ADD VALUE to Those around Me.

How different would your personal and professional life be if you had answers to these 3 questions?

How important is it for you to be a person of influence in your family, workplace and community?

Join us in Bundaberg to learn about yourself and those around you. Or, if you can’t join me that evening, email me or phone me on 0407 585 497.

*Carnegie, D. How to win friends and influence people. William Collins Publishers: North Ryde. 1989, pp. 32-80

About David Lawson

Finding the Light is a locally owned and operated counselling and life coaching business based in Bundaberg. We seek to empower our clients to find their way forward to a better life by using the approaches of counselling or coaching. If this blog article has raised more questions please contact us by email or call us on 0407 585 497 to arrange a time for us to discuss the article. Mention this blog and we will give you a FREE 30 minute session to discuss.

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