Win Friends Influence People - Teachings Abridged

Part One – Fundamental Techniques in Handling People


Principle 1 – Don’t criticise, condemn or complain

  • Never criticise or blame anyone for anything. People dread condemnation as much as they thirst for approval.
  • People are creatures of emotion not logic. They’re bristling with prejudices and motivated by vanity and pride.
  • Rather than condemning, try to understand why people do what they do.
  • There is no room in this world for a complainer.


Principle 2 – Give honest and sincere appreciation

  • The only way to get someone to do something is to make them want to do it.
  • We all have the longing desire to be great, to be important. 
  • All of us have a craving to be appreciated. Encouragement and appreciation arouses enthusiasm among people.
  • Sincere appreciation must be distinguished from cheap flattery. Flattery is merely telling the other person what they think about themselves.


Principle 3 – Arouse in the other person an eager want

  • We are all interested in what we want!
  • So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
  • If salespeople can show us how their services will help solve our problems, they won’t need to sell to us. We’ll buy!
  • Customers like to feel as though they are buying, not being sold.
  • An increased tendency to always think in terms of the other peoples’ point of view and see things from their angle is the building block of your career.
  • First, arouse in the other person an eager want. Those who can do this have the whole world with them.
  • When we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think it’s ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea themselves.


Part Two – Six Ways to Make People Like You


Principle 1 – Become genuinely interested in other people

  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.
  • People are interested in themselves!
  • It is the individual who is not interested in this fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and prides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that failures spring.
  • Record people’s birthdays.
  • Say ‘Hello’ in tones that speak how pleased you are to have that person contact you.
  • We are all interested in others when they are interested in us.


Principle 2 – Smile

  • Actions speak louder than words and a smile says: “I like you, You make me happy, I’m glad to see you”.
  • People who smile tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively.
  • Your smile comes through in your voice.
  • People rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it.
  • If you don’t feel like smiling, force yourself. Whistle, hum, sing and act as if you’re already happy. By regulating our actions we can regulate our feelings.


Principle 3 – Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language

  • Time and energy must be taken to firmly embed the names of other into your mind.
  • Speaking someones name during conversation easily is like a subtle and very effective compliment.
  • In business, call people by their full names; make an effort even if it’s difficult.
  • When meeting someone don’t be shy to ask them to repeat or spell out their names.


Principle 4 – Be a good listener. Encourage others to speak about themselves

  • There is no mystery about successful social intercourse, it’s paying exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you.
  • When dealing with very difficult customers, the best thing to do is listen attentively.
  • To be interesting, be interested! Ask questions the other person will enjoy answering.


Principle 5 – Talk in terms of the other persons’ interests

  • The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about what they enjoy the most.


Principle 6 – Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely

  • Ask yourself ‘What is it about that person that you can HONESTLY admire?’
  • There is great power in sincere, heartfelt appreciation.


Part Three – How to Win People to your Way of Thinking


Principle 1 – The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it

Someone convinced against their will is of the same opinion still

  • A misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.
  • Welcome the disagreement.
  • Distrust your first instinctive impression.
  • Control your temper.
  • Listen first, be honest and look for areas of agreement.
  • Promise to think over your opponent’s ideas and study them carefully.
  • Sincerely thank your opponent for their interest.
  • Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.


Principle 2 – Show respect for the other person’s opinions; never say ‘You’re wrong’

  • You can tell somebody they are wrong by a look, intonation or gesture.
  • They will never want to agree with you if you tell them they’re wrong.
  • Never begin conversing with ‘I am going to prove to you …’
  • If you must correct, do so by saying ‘Well, now. look, I thought otherwise but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I’m wrong I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.


Principle 3 – If you are wrong, admit it quickly and empathetically

  • When you are wrong, beat the other person to it by recognising and communicating your error first. e.g When being blamed ‘Mr/Mrs _____, if what you say is true my company is at fault and there is absolutely no excuse for my blunder. I’ve been doing this for long enough to know better. I’m ashamed of myself.
  • Your eagerness to criticise yourself takes the flight out of the one who wishes to insult.


Principle 4 – Begin in a friendly way

  • If someone’s heart is ranking with discord and ill feelings toward you, you can never win them to your way of thinking.
  • If you are to win someone to your cause, first convince them that you’re their sincere friend.
  • Kindness, a friendly approach and appreciation can make people change their minds more readily than all the forces in the world.


Principle 5 – Get the other person saying ‘yes’, ‘yes’, immediately

  • When engaged in conversation, get the other saying ‘yes’ as much as possible. Keep emphasising on things you agree on.
  • ‘Yes’ response at the outset gets the listener moving in the right direction which gathers momentum.
  • The more ‘yes’ we can get at the outset the more likely we are to succeed in our ultimate proposal.


Principle 6 – Let the other person do a great deal of the talking

  • Ask questions about their business, don’t interrupt, be sincere and encourage them to express their ideas entirely.
  • Almost every successful person likes to reminisce about their early struggles.
  • Listening gives you an opportunity to weigh both sides fairly, they will appreciate the ability to be understood.
  • Never brag about your accomplishments, allow others the opportunity. Ask them to share their joys and only communicate your accomplishments when asked.


Principle 7 – Let the other feel as though the idea was their own

  • It’s much more effective if you make suggestions to let the other draw the conclusion.
  • Urge customers to give you their ideas so they feel as though they’re creating the design.
  • Ask for their creative advice and opinions on their design taste.


Principle 8 – Try to honestly see things from the other person’s point of view

  • Make an honest effort to try and put yourself in the other person’s position. By becoming interested in the cause we’re less likely to be influenced by the effect.
  • Consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as your own.
  • Start your conversation by giving the other person a sense of purpose and direction in the dialog, governing what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener. Accepting his/her viewpoint will encourage the listen to have an open mind to your ideas.
  • Ask yourself, ‘Why should he/she want it?’
  • You must enter the conversation with a perfectly clear idea of what to say and how that person (from knowledge of their interests and motives) is likely to respond.


Principle 9 – Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires

  • To stop all arguments and ill-feelings create good-will and make the other person listen attentively.
    ‘I don’t blame you in the least for feeling as you do. If I were you I’d undoubtably feel as you do!’
  • Give people sympathy and they’ll love you in return.
  • Return kindness for insults.


Principle 10 – Appeal to the nobler motives

  • Offer to send a cheque/payment to their favourite charities in exchange for paying invoices (It doesn’t always work).
  • When no information is secured about the customer, the only sound basic on which to proceed is to assume that he/she is sincere, honest, truthful, willing and anxious to pay.
    Note: For the exemptions it’s wise to make them feel so…


Principle 11 – Dramatise your ideas

  • Be dramatic in presenting your ideas, use visual props and exaggerate the problem in an honest way.
  • Dramatise the import of meetings and time restrictions.


Principle 12 – Throw down a challenge

  • The way to get things done is to stimulate competition, not the sordid type but healthy competition to excel the desire to succeed.


Part Four – Be a Leader! How to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment


Principle 1 – Begin with praise and honest appreciation

  • Begin by highlighting all of the great things they’ve done well before suggesting improvements.


Principle 2 – Call attention to peoples’ mistakes indirectly

  • You can tell somebody they are wrong by a look, intonation or gesture.
  • They will never want to agree with you if you tell them they’re wrong.
  • Never begin conversing with ‘I am going to prove to you …’
  • If you must correct, do so by saying ‘Well, now. look, I thought otherwise but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I’m wrong I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.


Principle 3 – Talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person


Principle 4 – Ask questions instead of giving direct orders

  • e.g. What do you think of this ….
  • e.g. What if you did it like this …


Principle 5 – Let the other person save face

  • Even if we’re right and the other person is wrong we’re attacking their ego by causing them to lose face. It must be avoided.


Principle 6 – Praise even the slightest improvement and praise every improvement

“Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”


Principle 7 – Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to

  • The average person can be led readily if you have his/her respect and if you show that you respect the person for some kind of ability.
  • If you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait is already one of his/her outstanding characteristics.


Principle 8 – Use encouragement! Make the fault seem easy to correct

  • Be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person know you have faith in their ability to do it, that they have an undeveloped flair for it.
  • Make people believe they have a flair for something by likening what they have difficulties with to their strengths.


Principle 9 – Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest

  • Create the impression that by accepting this important task, they will be doing you a favour.
    ‘I don’t blame you in the least for feeling as you do. If I were you I’d undoubtably feel as you do!’
  • If you need to reject a proposal, first show appreciation for the offer and then follow-up with an alternative suggestion. Don’t give them time to feel bad about your refusal.
  • Give people titles of authority which suggest they are the ‘Boss’ of a certain task.


When attempting to change the attitudes and behaviours of others:

  1. Be sincere. Don’t promise anything that you can’t deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and focus on the benefits of others.
  2. Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
  3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what it is the other person really wants.
  4. Consider the benefits the other person will receive by doing what you suggest.
  5. Match those benefits to what the other person wants.
  6. Put your request in a form which conveys to them the idea that they will personally benefit.