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How to Win Friends and Influence People: Review

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

Book Author: Dale Carnegie

5 Reasons you should read this book today

  1. Time-tested wisdom: "How to Win Friends and Influence People" has been a popular and influential book for nearly a century, providing readers with valuable insights and practical advice that have stood the test of time. The book's enduring popularity is a testament to the effectiveness of its principles.

  2. Improved communication skills: The book offers a wealth of techniques for enhancing communication, including active listening, empathy, and understanding others' perspectives. By adopting these methods, readers can become more effective communicators, which can lead to better relationships, both personally and professionally.

  3. Enhanced interpersonal relationships: Carnegie's principles focus on building genuine connections with others, fostering trust, and creating positive interactions. By following these guidelines, readers can improve their relationships with friends, family members, and colleagues, leading to a more fulfilling social life.

  4. Leadership development: The book provides guidance on how to influence others, manage conflict, and lead with integrity. These skills are essential for anyone aspiring to be a successful leader, whether in their professional life or within their community.

  5. Personal and professional growth: By applying the lessons from "How to Win Friends and Influence People," readers can become more self-aware, compassionate, and effective in their interactions with others. This can result in increased personal satisfaction, stronger networks, and greater opportunities for success in various aspects of life.


"How to Win Friends and Influence People" is a seminal self-help book authored by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. The book offers practical advice and techniques for individuals to improve their communication, interpersonal relationships, and leadership skills, and has continued to enjoy popularity over the years. Carnegie's work is structured into four main sections, each containing several principles that, when implemented, can significantly improve one's ability to connect with others and achieve personal and professional success.

Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Don't criticize, condemn, or complain: Carnegie argues that criticism only serves to put people on the defensive and fosters resentment. Instead, focus on understanding the other person's perspective and offering constructive feedback.

  • Give honest and sincere appreciation: People crave recognition and validation. Show appreciation for others' efforts and achievements, and do so genuinely.

  • Arouse in the other person an eager want: Understand what motivates the other person and cater to their interests, desires, and needs to create a mutually beneficial relationship.

Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You

  • Become genuinely interested in other people: Be curious about others and their lives, and show that you care. This will make them more inclined to like and trust you.

  • Smile: A simple smile can create a positive atmosphere and make others feel more comfortable around you.

  • Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language: Using someone's name when addressing them makes them feel important and valued, fostering a stronger connection.

  • Be a good listener: Encourage others to talk about themselves by asking open-ended questions and actively listening to their responses.

  • Talk in terms of the other person's interests: Discuss topics that the other person finds engaging, which will make them more interested in the conversation and appreciative of your attention.

  • Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely: Acknowledge the other person's strengths, skills, and contributions, and make them feel valued and important in your interactions.

Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it: Avoid arguments, as they rarely change minds and often damage relationships. Seek common ground and be open to compromise.

  • Show respect for the other person's opinions: Acknowledge the validity of the other person's perspective, even if you don't agree with it.

  • If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically: Be humble and willing to admit when you've made a mistake or hold an incorrect belief.

  • Begin in a friendly way: Establish a positive tone and find common ground to create a more receptive atmosphere for your ideas.

  • Get the other person saying "yes, yes" immediately: Encourage agreement on smaller points, making it more likely the other person will be open to your main proposal.

  • Let the other person do a great deal of the talking: Listen to their concerns and ideas, which can help you understand their perspective and address their needs.

  • Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers: People are more likely to support an idea if they believe it is their own or that they had a role in its development.

  • Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view: Understanding their perspective will help you address their concerns and find common ground.

  • Be sympathetic to the other person's ideas and desires: Validate their feelings and show empathy, even if you don't agree with their viewpoint.

  • Appeal to the nobler motives: Frame your argument in terms of values or principles that the other person holds dear, which can create a more compelling case. 11. Dramatize your ideas: Present your ideas in an engaging and vivid manner to capture the other person's attention and make a lasting impression.

  • Throw down a challenge: People are often motivated by challenges and the desire to prove themselves. Encourage them to rise to the occasion and embrace your proposal.

Part Four: Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Begin with praise and honest appreciation: Starting with positive feedback sets a constructive tone and makes the other person more receptive to your suggestions.

  • Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly: Address errors or areas for improvement in a subtle manner, avoiding direct criticism or blame.

  • Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person: Admitting your own shortcomings makes you appear more humble and relatable, and can soften the impact of your critique.

  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders: Encourage the other person to think critically and take ownership of their actions by asking questions, rather than dictating what they should do.

  • Let the other person save face: Preserve the other person's dignity and self-esteem, even when pointing out their mistakes or addressing a problem.

  • Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement: Recognize and celebrate progress, however small, to encourage continued growth and improvement.

  • Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to: By expressing your belief in the other person's capabilities and potential, you can inspire them to strive for excellence.

  • Use encouragement: Make the fault seem easy to correct and express confidence in the other person's ability to improve.

  • Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest: Frame your request or proposal in a way that aligns with the other person's interests, values, or goals, making it more appealing for them to take action.

Overall, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is a comprehensive guide to improving interpersonal relationships and leadership skills through effective communication, empathy, and understanding. Dale Carnegie's timeless principles have helped countless individuals enhance their personal and professional lives by fostering stronger connections and creating more positive, productive interactions with others. By implementing the techniques outlined in this book, readers can develop the skills necessary to build lasting relationships, influence others, and achieve success.


The reviews for the audiobook version of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on are overwhelmingly positive, with many listeners finding the audiobook to be an effective and engaging way to absorb the content of the book.

Several reviewers praised the narration by the author, Stephen R. Covey, and found his delivery to be clear and engaging. Others appreciated the audiobook format as a way to listen and learn while on the go, and found it to be an effective way to reinforce the principles presented in the book.

Many listeners also found the content of the book to be highly valuable, and appreciated the practical tools and strategies presented for personal and interpersonal effectiveness. They praised the author's depth of insight and his ability to convey complex concepts in an easy-to-understand manner.

Key Reviews:

  • Practicality: Many readers have praised the book for its practical advice, with several reviews highlighting how the tips and techniques outlined in the book can be easily applied to real-life situations. Readers have appreciated the book's emphasis on building genuine relationships with others and its focus on improving communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Timeless Wisdom: The book has been in print for over 80 years, and many readers have praised its timeless wisdom. Positive reviews have emphasized how the advice given in the book remains relevant and useful in today's society, and how it can be applied across different contexts and situations.

  • Engaging Writing Style: Numerous readers have commented on the engaging writing style of the book, describing it as clear, concise, and easy to understand. Several positive reviews have praised the author's ability to convey complex ideas in a straightforward and accessible way, making the book an enjoyable read.

  • Life-Changing Impact: Many readers have reported that the book has had a significant impact on their lives, both personally and professionally. Positive reviews have described how the book has helped readers to improve their communication skills, become better listeners, and develop more meaningful relationships with others.

  • Practical Examples: Positive reviews have also highlighted the book's use of practical examples to illustrate its points. Readers have appreciated the real-life scenarios presented in the book, as they help to clarify the advice and demonstrate how it can be applied in different situations.


The one-star reviews for the audiobook version of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on provided some criticisms of the audiobook, although they were a small minority compared to the overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Some listeners found the content of the audiobook to be too basic or repetitive, with concepts that were already well-known or easily accessible elsewhere. Others criticized the author's writing style, finding it to be dry or overly simplistic.

Key Criticisms:

  • Manipulative Techniques: Some negative reviews have criticized the book for promoting manipulative techniques for gaining influence and popularity, rather than promoting genuine connection and empathy with others. These reviewers argue that the book's focus on manipulation can be harmful and that it undermines the importance of authentic relationships.

  • Outdated Advice: Some negative reviews have argued that the book's advice is outdated and no longer applicable in modern society. These reviewers argue that the book's emphasis on conformity and social norms is problematic and that it fails to take into account issues of diversity and inclusion.

  • Lack of Depth: Some negative reviews have argued that the book lacks depth and fails to provide a nuanced understanding of human relationships. These reviewers argue that the book's simplistic approach to communication and interpersonal skills is inadequate and that it fails to address the complexity of real-life situations.

  • Repetitive Content: Some negative reviews have criticized the book for being repetitive and stating the obvious. These reviewers argue that the advice given in the book is simplistic and that it lacks any new or innovative ideas.

  • Unhelpful for Certain Audiences: Some negative reviews have argued that the book's advice may not be helpful for everyone, particularly those who struggle with social anxiety or mental health issues. These reviewers argue that the book's emphasis on popularity and success may be harmful for those who are already struggling with feelings of inadequacy or insecurity.

Fan FAQs

Dale Carnegie (November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer, lecturer, and self-improvement expert who is best known for his groundbreaking self-help book "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Born as Dale Harbison Carnagey in Maryville, Missouri, he was raised on a farm in a modest family. Carnegie was the son of a farmer and a homemaker, James William Carnagey and Amanda Elizabeth Harbison.

Carnegie's early education took place in a one-room schoolhouse, where he discovered his love for public speaking. He went on to attend State Teachers College in Warrensburg, Missouri (now the University of Central Missouri), where he further honed his oratory skills by participating in debate clubs and other speaking forums. After graduating, he began his career as a salesman, selling correspondence courses, bacon, soap, and lard.

In 1911, Carnegie left sales to pursue his passion for public speaking and joined the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. However, his acting career was short-lived, and he soon realized that his true calling lay in teaching others the art of effective communication. He began teaching public speaking classes at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in New York City, and his courses became so popular that he eventually founded his own organization, the Dale Carnegie Institute.

Over the years, the Dale Carnegie Institute expanded to offer courses in salesmanship, corporate training, and interpersonal communication. Carnegie's methods emphasized the importance of self-confidence, developing a positive attitude, and understanding the needs and motivations of others. His teachings stressed the power of empathy and the ability to connect with people on a personal level.

In 1936, Carnegie published his seminal work, "How to Win Friends and Influence People." The book became an instant bestseller, and its success catapulted him to fame. The principles outlined in the book, such as listening actively, showing genuine interest in others, and avoiding criticism, have helped millions of people improve their personal and professional lives.

Carnegie continued to write and publish books on self-improvement, communication, and leadership throughout his life, including "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" (1948) and "The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking" (1962). His work has had a profound impact on the field of self-help and personal development, inspiring countless individuals to achieve success and happiness through better communication and interpersonal skills.

Dale Carnegie passed away on November 1, 1955, in Forest Hills, New York, leaving behind a lasting legacy. Today, the Dale Carnegie Institute, now known as Dale Carnegie Training, operates in more than 90 countries, offering courses and seminars based on Carnegie's principles to help people develop their communication, leadership, and personal growth skills.

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Other Works by this Author and the Carnegie Institute

  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People" (1936): Carnegie's most famous work, this book provides practical advice on how to connect with people and build positive relationships. It includes techniques for active listening, effective communication, and handling conflicts.

  • "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" (1948): In this book, Carnegie offers strategies for managing stress and anxiety. It includes practical tips for coping with difficult situations, staying focused, and maintaining a positive outlook.

  • "The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking" (1962): This book is a comprehensive guide to public speaking and effective communication. It includes techniques for overcoming stage fright, organizing your thoughts, and engaging your audience.

  • "How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking" (1956): This book focuses on developing self-confidence and public speaking skills. It includes tips for overcoming self-doubt, building a positive self-image, and delivering compelling speeches.

  • "How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job" (1985): In this book, Carnegie offers strategies for finding fulfillment and satisfaction in your work and personal life. It includes tips for overcoming boredom, staying motivated, and pursuing your passions.

  • "The Leader in You" (1990): This book provides practical advice on how to become an effective leader. It includes strategies for building trust, motivating your team, and leading with integrity.

  • "Public Speaking for Success" (2006): In this book, Carnegie provides techniques for becoming a successful public speaker. It includes tips for developing your speaking skills, engaging your audience, and overcoming nervousness.


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