Book Summary

Top 5 Lessons – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Estimated reading time: 17 minute(s)

Top 5 Lessons – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


How to Win Friends and Influence People is a book by Dale Carnegie and its hands down one of the best books on people relations. Let me ask you a question: What if you could handle people better weather for a job or just for personal reasons? What if you knew exactly how to get people to like you? What if you had the power to change someone or anyone without offending them or make them feel used? I can tell you from personal experience that all these secrets are within reach. 


Lesson 1 – You can’t win an argument 

Dale Carnegie has been involved in thousands of arguments and came to the conclusion that to get the best of an argument is to avoid it altogether. Nine times out of ten the argument ends with each person being more convinced that they absolutely right. Even if you win an argument you lose because it made the other person feel inferior and hurt their sense of pride. Ask yourself is it really worth your time and energy trying to win an argument when it will give you nothing but a temporary sense of victory in exchange for making the other person feel like crap 

Lesson 2 – Never tell a man he’s wrong 

Wayne is a wood chopper and Carl is as a builder. Wayne specialises in Oakwood and Carl in Pinewood,. One day Carl ordered some Oakwood from Wayne upon inspecting the Oakwood Carl was frustrated with its poor quality and wasn’t willing to pay for it. But Wayne noticed his quality inspection was too strict and was misinterpreting how to assess the  quality of Oakwood. He knew Carl was wrong. Now most people would be tempted to say Carl is wrong but not Wayne instead he began asking questions as to why the Oakwood was not of high-quality ?. He emphasized that he was only asking so that he could give Carl exactly what he wanted for future orders.

Wayne approached the situation in a friendly and cooperative manner eventually Carl’s attitude changed and admitted he was not experienced with Oakwood and began asking Wayne questions. He finally understood that it was his fault for making poor judgments about the quality of the Wood. Carl ended up happily paying for the Wood. Now that’s the power of never telling someone they are wrong.

Lesson 3 – Ask questions instead of giving orders 

It makes people want to cooperate with you. If you want your roommate to help me do the dishes you’ll likely get a more positive response if you say Hi Clarence could you please give me a hand with the dishes instead of a Clarence do the dishes with me now. Framing your request as a question rather than a demand makes Clarence feel like he has a choice and therefore will be more responsive to your requests 

lesson 4 – Remember names 

Andrew Carnegie one of the richest men in history understood the importance of names as a child. He had a nest of pet rabbits but no food to feed them. He told the boys in the neighborhood that if they would go out and get enough dandi-lyons to feed the rabbits he would name the bunnies in their honour and the plan worked.  The same principle worked in business fo him, a man named pullman and himself were fighting against each other trying to get the sleeping car business to work during a meeting. The Monday evening Andrew suggested that they merged companies and work together. Pullman listened intently and then asked what would you call the new company and he responded the Pullman Palace car company off course Pullman’s face brightened and he said come into my room and lets talk it over.

” The sound of a person’s name is the sweetest sound to them in any language”- Dale Carnegie

Lesson 5 – Talk in terms of others interests

If there was just one lesson you could take away from this book this would be it.  I never struggle to talk to new people it doesn’t matter if we have nothing in common because I talk about their interests in one of my first business networking events i asked a potential business partner a simple question: what do you like to do in your spare time? He talked about how he likes spending time with his family, books he enjoys reading  and his passion for fishing. I followed up with another simple question what fish have you caught and he really got excited after a long conversation about fishing he said I’m getting way too excited talking about this no one ever gets to know me this way so I have this all bottled up it’s so awesome talking about it.

We get along so well now and have been great friends and business partners since. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to your boss, workmates, teachers, friends, family or strangers, talk in terms of other people’s interests and they will love you for it.

In conclusion the following lessons is invaluable  : 

You can’t win an argument 

Never tell somebody their is wrong

Ask questions instead of giving orders 

Remember names 

And most importantly talk in terms of other people interest.

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