I finally read this one after countless recommendations. This is now on my required reading list. Anyone that interacts with people needs to read this.

This line from the book eloquently explains why you should read:

The person who has technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people—that person is headed for higher earning power.

How This Book Works

The book is broken down into 4 Parts:

  • Part 1 - Fundamental Techniques In Handling People
  • Part 2 - Six Ways To Make People Like You
  • Part 3 - How To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking
  • Part 4 - Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Each part has corresponding chapters with a main principle. The author recommends putting the principles into practice to form new habits which leads to a new way of life.

I broke out each part and corresponding principles below. I then added some takeaways that stuck with me. Towards the bottom I added two guidelines - one for how to handle disagreements and another for effective leadership guidelines.

Fundamental Techniques In Handling People


Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

  • “As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation" - Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. It arouses resentment and hurts their pride.
  • Instead of condemning people, try to understand them
  • The only way to get people to do anything is to make them want to do it.

Give honest and sincere appreciation.

  • The deepest urge in human nature is "the desire to be important"
  • Be anxious to praise but loath to find fault.
  • Flattery is counterfeit. The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere
  • Forget flattery, give honest sincere appreciation

Arouse in the other person an eager want

  • Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it?”
  • The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
  • “If there is any one secret of success,” said Henry Ford, “it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
  • If salespeople can show us how their services or merchandise will help us solve our problems, they won’t need to sell us. We’ll buy. And customers like to feel that they are buying—not being sold.
  • If out of reading this book you get just one thing—an increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle—if you get that one thing out of this book, it may easily prove to be one of the building blocks of your career.

Six Ways To Make People Like You


Become genuinely interested in other people

  • Greet people with animation and enthusiasm
  • Put ourselves out to do things for other people
  • "It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring."


  • Everybody in the world is seeking happiness—and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts.
  • Carry your crown in and the crown of your head high
  • Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies
  • “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”

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

  • the average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together.

Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

  • “Many persons call a doctor when all they want is an audience.”
  • To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
  • Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.

Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

  • “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
  • “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
  • “Talk to people about themselves,” said Disraeli, one of the shrewdest men who ever ruled the British Empire, and they will listen for hours.”

How To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking


The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

  • "If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will."

Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”

  • Socrates said repeatedly to his followers in Athens: One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.
  • There’s magic, positive magic, in such phrases as: “I may be wrong. I frequently am. Let’s examine the facts.”
  • Never begin by announcing “I am going to prove so-and-so to you.” That’s bad.

If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

  • Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to say—and say them before that person has a chance to say them.
  • Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes—and most fools do—but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.

Begin in a friendly way.

  • It is an old and true maxim that “a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men, if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.

Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

  • Begin by emphasizing—and keep on emphasizing—the things on which you agree.
  • Get the other person saying “Yes, yes” at the outset. Keep your opponent, if possible, from saying “No.” A “No” response, according to Professor Overstreet,* is a most difficult handicap to overcome.
  • Socratic Method - Ask questions with which your opponent would have to agree. Keep getting yes's until your opponent found themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly denied a few minutes previously.

Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

  • Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things.

Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

  • “I’ll give you all these qualities you expect from me. Now I want you to tell me what I have a right to expect from you.” The replies came quick and fast: loyalty, honesty, initiative, optimism, teamwork, eight hours a day of enthusiastic work.

Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

  • Stop a minute to contrast your keen interest in your own affairs with your mild concern about anything else. Realize then, that everybody else in the world feels exactly the same way!
  • Think always in terms of the other persons' POV
  • Try honestly to put yourself in his place. If you say to yourself, “How would I feel, how would I react if I were in his shoes?”

Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

  • “I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”

Appeal to the nobler motives.

  • “Please do not publish that picture of me any more; I don’t like it”? No, he appealed to a nobler motive. He appealed to the respect and love that all of us have for motherhood. He wrote, “Please do not publish that picture of me any more. My mother doesn’t like it.”

Dramatize your ideas.

  • ‘You are literally throwing away pennies every time a customer goes through your line.’ With that I threw a handful of pennies on the floor. He quickly became more attentive.

Throw down a challenge.

  • “The way to get things done,” says Schwab, “is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid, money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.”
  • That is what every successful person loves: the game. The chance for self-expression. The chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win.

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


Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

  • Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins his work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain-killing.

Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

  • Calling attention to one’s mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.
  • Change feedback from "but" to "and"
  • “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term, and by continuing the same conscientious efforts next term, your algebra grade can be up with all the others.”

Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

  • Admitting one’s own mistakes—even when one hasn’t corrected them—can help convince somebody to change his behavior.
  • “You have made a mistake, Josephine, but the Lord knows, it’s no worse than many I have made.

Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

  • Owen D. Young never said, for example, “Do this or do that,” or “Don’t do this or don’t do that.” He would say, “You might consider this,” or “Do you think that would work?”

Let the other person save face.

  • Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face.
  • “I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”

Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”

  • Everybody likes to be praised, but when praise is specific, it comes across as sincere—not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good.

Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

  • if you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics. Shakespeare said, “Assume a virtue, if you have it not.”

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 that you have faith in his ability to do it, that he has an undeveloped flair for it—and he will practice until the dawn comes in the window in order to excel.

Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

How to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument

  1. Welcome the disagreement. Remember the slogan, “When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary.” If there is some point you haven’t thought about, be thankful if it is brought to your attention. Perhaps this disagreement is your opportunity to be corrected before you make a serious mistake.
  2. Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.
  3. Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.
  4. Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk.
  5. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding.
  6. Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which you agree.
  7. Be honest. Look for areas where you can admit error and say so.
  8. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help disarm your opponents and reduce defensiveness.
  9. Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. It is a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in a position where your opponents can say: “We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.”
  10. Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends.
  11. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear.

Effective Leader Guidelines

Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.

Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.

Be empathetic. Ask yourself what it is the other person really wants.

Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.

Match those benefits to the other person’s wants. 6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit.