How to Win Friends and Influence People

12 March 2019

How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the best selling books of all time. It has many techniques on how you can enhance your influence with other people - both in your work and personal life. For each technique, there are real life anecdotes explaining how individials and leaders have interacted in certain situtations getting results that you might generally not expect.

Book Summary

The book is divided into 4 sections-

Part 1 - Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
  3. Give people what they want rather than just your perspective

Part 2 - Ways to Make people like you

  1. Be genuinely interested in other people
  2. Smile to make a good impression
  3. Remember the names of people
  4. Be a good listener and encourage others to talk
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest
  6. Sincerely make other people feel important

Part 3 - Win people to Your way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions
  3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
  4. Begin conversations in a friendly way
  5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives
  11. Dramatize your ideas to make them more appealing
  12. Challenge people to do better

Part 4 - How to be a Leader

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
  5. Let the other person save face
  6. Praise every improvement
  7. Give the other person a good reputation to live up to
  8. Use encouragement
  9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest


All the techniques in the book can essentially be rolled into one sentence - empathy for others. But good advice isn’t easy to apply. That’s where reading the book re-enforces the ideas.