Reading Notes for:

How to Win Friends & Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

Threats have sharply crude side effects, the only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want – what do you want?

* John Dewey, philosopher:  The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.

 * Freud:  Man’s two greatest emotions – desire for sex and desire to be great.


“The deepest principal in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”  The craving to be appreciated.  The special individual who can handle peoples’ heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his hand and even the undertaker will sympathize.

  • This desire makes you want the biggest house, nicest car, smartest kid, most stylish clothes.  Can lure into gangs.
  • If you tell me where you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you who you are.  Speaks to character.

Charles Schwab, first man to have $1 million salary at US Steel: “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people to be the greatest asset I possess.  And the way to develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.  There is nothing else that so kills the ambition of a person as criticism from superiors.  I never criticize anyone.  I believe in giving a person incentive to work.  If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”

  • Normal = to heap criticism; good work = nothing.
  • Carnegie even praised associates on his tombstone.

We nourish the stomach but not people’s self-esteem.

The difference between flattery and appreciation is that one is sincere and the other is not.  One comes from the heart out, the other from the teeth out.  One is selfish.

  • “I am talking about a new way of life.”

If you are hearty in your abrogation and lavish in your praise, people will cherish your words.

“I like strawberry and cream, but fish prefer worms.  So when I went fishing I didn’t use strawberries.  I didn’t use what I wanted.  I used what they wanted.”  Why not use same common sense when fishing for people?

  • Find out what they want and show them how to get it.  Every act you have ever performed was because you wanted something.
  • To persuade someone, you must first raise within them an eager want.

“Before you begin to try to persuade someone to do anything, stop and ask yourself  “How can I make this person want to do it?”

When Carnegie received a letter that a hotel he held lectures at was raising rent, he went to the manager:  “I was initially a bit shocked when I got your letter.  But I don’t blame you at all.  If I was in your same position – I probably would too.  Your duty as manager of the hotel is to make all the profit possible.  If you don’t do that, you’ll be fired.  And probably should.  Now let’s take a sheet and write down the advantages and disadvantages.  Advantages = ballroom freed up 20 nights to rent out to others at higher rent.  My business will tie it up.  Disadvantage = instead of increasing business from me, you will decrease it – in fact – you will wipe it out.  Also, these lectures attract crowds that bring people.  I hope you consider these advantages and disadvantages and get back to me.”

  • Whole time he talked about what the manager wanted.

Harry Ford: “If there is any one secret to success it is the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as yours.”

When soliciting someone- start with the benefit (compliment) to them – then ask for their assistance – then close with compliment.

People like to feel like they are buying, not being sold.

My enthusiasm will help raise a desire in others.

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