Book Review – How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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Now, lets dive into today’s content!

One of the most influential books I have read has to be How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. How To Win Friends and Influence People was originally published in 1936. Today, it is still highly regarded as a must read book for communicators.

How To Win Friends and Influence People has been reprinted many times. The copy I read was published in 1981.

With the help of Dale’s wife, Dorothy Carnegie, it has been revised to include more modern examples of people who have applied the principles in the book. If you find differences in my review from the book you have, this may be why.

Dale Carnegie gave 9 suggestions on how to read the book. I took suggestion 2 to heart. It was to read quickly through the chapter. Once finished, go back and re-read the chapter slowly. Using this technique helped cement the ideas into my mind.

If you read How To Win Friends and Influence People, I highly recommend you follow the suggestion to read each chapter twice.

In How To Win Friends and Influence People, I found three principles to be highly effective.

  • Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
    Before you have to criticize another person or company, give them something to live up to. Let the person know that they have done a great job in the past and that you know they have it in them to do great things now. By doing this, you give the person something to live up to.
    I recently was able to use this when I had to contact a company regarding a failing product that was out of warranty. It had been to the repair center once before during warranty. During my conversation with an employee, I let them know how much I appreciated their employer, how good their product was, and that I was impressed by their quality. This set the stage for my complaint.
    The employee was then open to hearing my grievance. He was also willing to take care of me. He arranged a repair claim and charged me nothing. Giving the employee and his company a fine reputation to live up to helped in getting the repair.

  • Remember a person’s name
    Dale Carnegie says that a person’s name is the sweetest sound to a person. Having used and seen this principle in action, I must agree.
    In a recent post, I mentioned a wedding and reception I attended. The couple and their friend that we dined with knew this principle well. Shortly after meeting us, they were calling us by our first names. They were also calling each other by their first name. They made a point to use first names.
    Using first names made the conversation flow and feel like we had known each other for some time. It also made my wife and I feel like we mattered to the couple.
    During youth ministry, I have seen this principle produce great results. We have many students who come and go throughout the years. We run into the students outside of the youth group frequently. When we call them by their name, you can see the joy and pride that comes to their face. There have been many times when using a students name has encouraged them to come back to the youth group.
    This is a principle that works wonders.

  • Instead of ordering, ask a question
    As a leader, you may often feel that you have to give a direct suggestion on how to correct someone underneath you. This can cause resentment and still not solve the issue. Instead, we should ask questions.
    Let me tell you of a way I have implemented this principle and the results it brought. At the beginning of our youth group services, we have a time of praise and worship. There are plenty of students who like to chit chat during this time. However, it is disruptive to other students.
    Previously, I would approach the student and tell them to be quiet. This approach rarely worked. Once you walked away, the student would start to talk again.
    Instead of telling the student to be quiet and sing, an approach I have been taking is to ask them why they are talking. Once we have come to the root of the issue, we settle on a resolution to not talk during this time. This helps the student from being a distraction and giving the other students a more enjoyable experience.
Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie/Image via Wikipedia

These are but three of the great principles I was able to take away from How To Win Friends and Influence People.

Each chapter in the book contained multiple principles. This kept me excited to pick up the book and find out what was coming next.

Regardless of its age, How To Win Friends and Influence People contains strong and valid principles that all leaders should have.

It is a book that am reviewing at least annually to keep the principles fresh in my mind. If you are a leader, it is one of the books you must have on your bookshelf and review frequently.

Question: What is your favorite principle from How To Win Friends and Influence People? Please share your answer in the comment section below.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sounds like a must read. I will have to get a copy!

    • TC, I believe it can be a life changing book. It is as relevant today as it was when it was written in 1936. Dale had a knack for dealing with people and he passed his knowledge on in this book.

      Definitely buy a copy or borrow it from the library.

  • He Joseph,

    I like the change to the website – it looks great!

    I have read the book and it’s no wonder why he was one of the richest man in this country. He knew people, he knew how to influence people, and he did it in a win-win way of doing things. It’s no wonder why companies are looking for people with Emotional Quotient (EQ) rather than Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

    It’s a great read for anyone who wants to be successful.

    • Hi Elmer!

      Love the name, it is my dad’s middle name. Not very common but unique.

      I agree. Dale knew his stuff.

      It is amazing that he was able to capture these principles in a way that they are still applicable 70+ years later.

  • Joe, these three Carnegie principles are highly effective in multiple settings. Though I haven’t read this book, it sounds great!

    Good review! Expecting more of these kinds of reviews.

    • You’re right Joe. The principles in the book can be used in multiple settings and be just as effective.

      Great to hear you enjoyed the review. I have a couple of other books I’m looking forward to reviewing. Here are a few:

      Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley
      StandOut by Marcus Buckingham
      EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

  • it’s to smile, your smile says a lot and makes a wonderful first impression.

    Welcome to the standard theme, looks great!!

    • Smiling is a great one Chris! It puts people at easy and makes you feel more approachable.

      I’m still getting used to Standard Theme but I think it will have been a great present from my wife.

  • Sounds like a really good read, Joe (see, I’m already using the second principle)! 🙂
    But seriously, the name one, if that’s really true (which I believe it is) is one I need to work hard on. I can only remember names of people that I interact with regularly and am terrible with names.
    I also really like that first principle, about giving someone a reputation to live up to. This is really clever.
    Thanks for the review!

    • It is a great read. If you haven’t read it yet, purchase a copy or check one out at the local library. It is a life changing book.

      In the book, Dale gave examples of remembering names. By calling someone by name, it shows them that they were important enough to remember their name.

  • Standard Theme FTW!!! Woo-hoo! I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

    On the book– it’s one of my favs of all time! I don’t know if I could pick ONE favorite principle, but if I had to at least narrow it down, it would be:

    -Give them a good reputation to live up to.
    -Remember their name.

    • Thanks Dustin!

      Standard Theme is looking pretty amazing to me. I’m a little overwhelmed by the choices and customization that it can do. I also found a couple of issues I already fixed.

      There is so much I want to customize and learn. I need to create an killer banner, boxes for email subscriptions, and more. Time to hit the books, right?

      Those two principles are very important in dealing with people. Nobody wants to let you down if you have given them a great reputation. Better work, better response.

      • Dustin is one of the legends of using the Standard Theme. His site is really nice! He could probably help you out if you need it…but as far as creating the banner and getting the basics of the site up to make it look nice, it shouldn’t be too difficult. The main thing is getting a nice header together and to draw attention to a subscribe section

        • Thanks for the compliments Brandon! That’s exactly like I wrote it. You’re check is in the mail! lol 😉

      • Well let me know if you have any questions with Standard Theme and I’ll do my best to help you get some traction. What are you using for email subscriptions?

        • Thanks for the offer Dustin. I’m sure I’ll be asking a few questions.

          Currently, I’m using the default email subscription service. I have signed up for MailChimp and want to start using that service. So I’m working on getting it going. Just so much to learn!

          • Yea, MailChimp is great! Although there is a bit of a learning curve. I’m still trying to master it, but I’ve gotten good enough to create some typical campaigns.

            • Good to hear MailChimp is great. I’ve used other email services like MailChimp and will have to see how it stacks up.

              I’m currently trying to setup a cool signup for newsletters and blog updates widget with MailChimp. Don’t even know where to start!

              • As great as MailChimp is, they’re not the easiest to creat a WordPress widget for. However, if you’ve seen the one I have on my site, you find that I’ve figured it out. I can easily help you figure it out.

                • I just looked at the one on your site and it looks great. I’d be very appreciative if you could help me figure it out.

  • The name principle is one that I need to get better at. I’m good with faces and not names. I need to be more deliberate about memorizing people’s names.

    • It is a skill that you can learn. It takes hard work and dedication but is well worth learning.

  • I have heard of this book before! Awesome review!

    By the way, how do you like using the Standard theme? I noticed that you switched to it! Is it any different to manage?

    • Brandon, it is a great book. I think it is one that every person should read. It gives you solid principles, that if followed, would help with many of our issues today.

      I’m liking Standard Theme so far. It can be a bit overwhelming as there are plenty of ways to customize the look and feel. It’s not too different to manage. The dashboard adds another panel for Standard and the add-ons that come with it. Still figuring it out but I think it will be well worth the purchase price.

      • For sure! I wish I coudl get Standard theme for!


        • I’m sure a lot of others would like that too. But I think would lose a lot of income due to the customizations and features that Standard offers.

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  • muskaan

    nice to read

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