Book Review – How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie


Relationship is an important factor in life and human beings are very prone to “make up and break up” situation which happens several times. Human relations are established with various factors and it depends on us how we keep those relations intact. There are also situations where we are influenced by others and we consider them as our ideal. Looking at the other way, one can also be an ideal for others, can influence and have a good convincing power. There are many work, research and books written on human behaviour and human relations, this article picks one of them. The book titled “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, written by Dale Carnegie is a must read for everyone as it makes us understand several practical life facing situation with ample examples.

About the Author

PC: Google

Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer. Born on 24th November 1888 in Missouri in United States, his work is considered to be the finest in terms of human relations, inter personal skills, public speaking and self-improvement. He was a famous writer of his time and his work is still remembered today.

Carnegie’s first collection of his writings was Public Speaking: a Practical Course for Business Men (1926), later entitled Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business (1932). In 1936, he wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People which became a bestseller from its debut. By the time of his death on 1st November 1955, the book had sold five million copies in 31 languages. He wrote several other books including:

  • The Art of Public Speaking
  • The Leader in You
  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
  • How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job etc.

The book title of Dale Carnegie says all about the content and is indeed impressive and draws attention and so does the material inside the book.

About 15 percent of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85 percent is due to skill in human engineering- to personality and the ability to lead people.

– Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie books had many things to offer for book lovers. All his books contain many examples which provides a broad view of the perspective. It will not be injustice to say that his books provide a practical way to look at the situations in life. The best part of his writing was, he used to provide examples followed by establishing the principles.

About the Book

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How to Win Friends and Influence People is his best-selling book. Published in 1936, till today this book is read by many across the globe as it provides basic etiquette that one should posses in his life. The book deals with the fundamental techniques in handling people, six ways to make people like you, how to win people to your way of thinking and how to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment. Each of the afore-mentioned topics are dealt in separate part of the book.

In the words of Dale Carnegie, “Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business”.  The same is applicable in day to day life as People’s Management plays a vital role in life.

In life, we often come to situation we are criticized by others and we do criticize others. The book starts with the fundamental techniques in handling people and guess what is the first fundamental principle? It is indeed criticism. It says not to criticize, condemn or complain. In fact, Dale Carnegie states that ‘Criticism is a self-defence tool.” The chapter on criticism is worth to read and understand.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain- and most fools do.

– Dale Carnegie

This book is best known for providing Six ways to Make People Like You which are as follows:

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

The entire book is full of powerful and motivational statements. It gives you a sense of self-love as well apart from motivation. While reading the book, one can feel the power of words and get the essence of some worth literary pieces. The entire book is motivational and contains worth reading material. I have picked some of the quotes which is worth reading and hence thought sharing the same which includes:

  • In our interpersonal relations we should never forget that all our associates are human beings and hunger for appreciation. It is the legal tender that all souls enjoy.
  • First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.
  • The desire for a feeling of importance is one of the chief distinguishing differences between mankind and animals.
  • 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.
  • The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare “individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage. He has little competition.
  • We are interested in others when they are interested in us.
  • People who talk only of themselves think only for themselves. And those people who think only of themselves are hopelessly uneducated. They are not educated, no matter how instructed they may be.
  • 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 goodwill.
  • Buddha said: “Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love, and a misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.

There are many other quotes which are impressive and worth to read but it is not possible to mention all. Read the book as it is a good material for developing interpersonal skills and self improvement which in turn helps in personality development.  Many people might have already gone through this book and those who haven’t please read it as it is readily available in almost every book stall and can be purchased online as well. I will be coming up with more stuffs on books soon.

Stay tuned… Stay happy and keep visiting… 🙂 🙂

– Ashish Kumar

Losing the viability…


Germs of wrong deeds accumulate over time.
Necessary to introspect and rectify the same on time.
Distinction between “Mistakes” and “Crime” should be understood.
Benchmark must be established to maintain the livelihood.
Deeds are important part of life as it determines destiny.
What is right or wrong should be understood primarily.
Mistakes can be forgiven and but not the crimes.
Do the mistakes to learn and stay away from crimes.
Learn from the natural resources about their contribution.
They never praise themselves for their immense contribution.
Human beings are present everywhere in this world.
Getting difficult to find “humanity” in this crowded and cruel world.
People forget their acts which are sinful in nature.
At the end, destroying the beauty of nature.
People are running in an unknown race.
What they will achieve with such a pace?
Love and gratitude are losing its place.
Unnecessary aggression and criticism are taking its place.
Pretending and self- praising are gaining popularity.
Introspection and self-realization are losing their viability.
Losing their viability….

– Ashish Kumar

Unnecessary Criticism…



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One of the aspects of behavior is to criticize. Criticizing is easy and it is a tool of self defense and is widely used to protect and pass the buck. Some people have the tendency to criticize unnecessary every time for everything or better to say it becomes a habit. Some use their position and power to criticize and arouse a proud feeling among them. But the thing is why to criticize unnecessary when it’s not required? Accepted the fact when you have done something wrong and it is your mistake, you have to face criticism which is fair enough. What repercussions will have if one criticizes unnecessary as a part of one’s habit? Does this need to be avoided or promoted?

Let me share couple of examples where criticism can reach to next level.

  • My name is Ashish as you all know. One day, one of my friends asked me my name and I shared that. Later on he wrote “Ashish” in a piece of paper to confirm whether he spelled it correctly or not. I verified and asked him to spell it out correctly. He was wondering why I asked him to correct although the spelling is correct. After some time, he came and asked what mistake he made? I replied, my name is “Ashish” and not “Ashish”. All of you got confused??? Hold on… The person was snatching his head and having no clue what I am saying and he asked me to correct his mistake, if any. I said see my friend, you have put the second “s” before first “s” which is absolutely wrong.  🙂 😛 Think for a while what this mean. This is the height of criticism which one may encounter. The thing is those who have habit of criticizing can’t see things correct. They will and will find flaws and loopholes from any angle, whether relevant and irrelevant as in the above example. You may find such kind of jokes on social media but I consider this sarcasm for those who always find flaws in everything.
  • A person went to office on time and got engaged in his work as usual. After some time, his boss came and asked the status of one of the emails which he was supposed to send to his boss. The person responded stating that he had sent that email yesterday evening before leaving for his home and he texted him on WhatsApp to inform the same. The boss was looking at him and shouted suddenly, “Why didn’t you gave me a call?” The person responded politely, “I did called you sir last evening but you didn’t picked up the phone.” Hearing this, the boss aggressively said, “You mean I am irresponsible?” He said , “ I didn’t mean that sir”. Boss again shouted and said, “You could have called me and said that you are about to call me. Why you didn’t informed me through call that you were about to call me??” It was difficult to answer such question for him and he politely said, “Since you didn’t picked up my phone that’s why I informed through WhatsApp.” His boss walked away giving an angry look. The person was wondering and laughing at his boss attitude and habit of criticizing. How can a person will call and inform that he is about to call? Isn’t it bullshit? Having work experience for more than a decade and claiming himself as an omniscient person but he doesn’t possess basic etiquettes. After some time, the boss was seen again coming to his desk and that person went to washroom. When he returned, his boss asked, “You are not present at your desk anytime. Roaming here and there…” Now it was above his tolerating capacity and he responded to his boss aggressively, “You came to my desk in the morning and criticized me for filthy reasons. You were talking to me or to my ghost? You gave all the useless statements which is not expected from a person who always claims to be the most influential and omniscient person in this world. Even though if you consider yourself to be intellectual or omniscient, it’s a big joke.  You, being the boss is a disaster or better to say, an intellectual disaster. Yes you are an intellectual disaster “. The boss got insulted in front of all subordinates due to his unnecessary criticism which became intolerable to his subordinate.

The above two examples are just illustrations. The first one describes how critic one can be. The second one describes the repercussions of the unnecessary criticism which needs to be avoided. Every person has some tolerating capacity and if it goes beyond that, belligerent situation may arise which is difficult to control.  Criticize only if required and it should be in positive way or better to say, constructive criticism. When you criticize, the objective should be to rectify the flaws, if any and not just only because you do for your enjoyment or show-casing your power/position.  Nobody is perfect and if you criticize in order to solve the flaws, the counterparty may take that in positive way and most probably he/she will be willing to improve the mistakes made.

So what do you think on criticism? Please share your views and experience if any. 🙂

– Ashish Kumar

Behavioral Knowledge



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One of the important characteristics of any person is his behavior which is an important indicator of personality. What needs to be said and the manner in which it needs to be conveyed is important. Behavior is indeed a major factor or better to say it is a deciding factor in almost all aspects of life. Sometimes it is said that knowledge is important but behavioral knowledge is most important. Knowledge doesn’t mean what one learns from books but it is a combination of bookish knowledge and behavioral knowledge. Behavioral knowledge is what one learns from his experience, day to day work, interacting with people etc. Behavior also shapes one’s character which, if lost is a disaster itself.

Life is full of ups and downs. When one achieves something, it is natural to be happy and feel proud. On the opposite side, failure disappoints us leading to depression and frustration in some cases. We always desire to achieve best in our life with our efforts and skills. When one desires to be different and make a difference, behavior does matter. World is full of amazing people having different behavior and it plays an important role in shaping our life. How we behave decides our fate as well. There are many aspects of behavioral knowledge which I have discussed below:

  • Criticism: Criticize only when it is required and necessary. Criticizing others is the easiest thing one can do. It doesn’t take much to criticize others but repercussion may be drastic. Criticism is also a self defense tool. It is also said that being a critic is the easiest thing one can do. Criticism is frequently used everywhere, be it in job or not. In fact, managers in the organizations find various ways to criticize their subordinates. Many criticize just to show their power which is not acceptable at all. There are cases also where unnecessary criticism ended up in belligerent situation. Nobody will tolerate to be criticized when there is no fault from his side. Hence, criticize only when it is required. Constructive criticism should be welcomed and unnecessary criticism must be avoided. In fact, in his famous book titled, “How to win friends and influence people”, the author, Dale Carnegie had suggested not to criticize and condemn.
  • Appreciation: One should appreciate others if he deserves. There is no shame in appreciating others work but unfortunately this practice is not followed. There are hardly few who genuinely appreciate others work and feel happy for their achievement. The reason can be many and one of them is the feeling of jealously. It has been observed that people avoid appreciating other because they feel jealous which should not be the case. Appreciation is a tool of motivation. If you appreciate other, you will be appreciated in return. It is a courtesy which shows your respect and recognition for others. You will not lose anything if you appreciate but you will gain respect from the one whom you appreciated.
  • Judgmental: No doubt, people are judgmental and they pass their judgment. What they conclude in the form of their judgement is what they perceive. They conclude without any analysis. Do we possess enough knowledge to judge others or do we have right to pass judgement? Ask this question before giving your judgement. Many people pass their view suddenly and declare the end result. This can be understood by an example. Suppose a student has completed his higher secondary education and decides to go for career in engineering having firm faith in him that he can pursue engineering and do well in his career but one of the family members were not convinced with his choice as there were no engineers from their family in the past. They bluntly said you cannot become an engineer as none from our family has yet become and hence choose some other career. They simply passed their judgement. Take other example, people do judge with what you eat and wear. People do judge with status symbol or better to say have materialistic approach towards others. Poor people are the best example. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was born in very poor family and he used to sell newspapers in his childhood to run the family and to bear his expenses for study. People used to pass various comments and judgement on Kalam’s study and his future but the rest is history as he became the Missile Man of India and later the President of India.  There are many other examples where you can come up with such situation. Hence, beware before passing any judgement as you never know where that person will be in future whom you are passing your judgement.  Give suggestions which are welcomed but don’t give your judgement which may be reversed in future.
  • Pragmatic: One should be pragmatic which means being practical. Behave and decide as per the prevailing situation. Be practical enough to realize the complexity of life and be flexible enough to cope up with the changes. Behave as per the situation. Be realistic in your approach.
  • Empathy: Empathy means putting yourself in others situation. It is often said, one should have empathy for others. If someone is in problem, understand their problem and help them if they need but don’t make fool of him. Put it simply, one can feel the pain of hunger only when he has not eaten for few days or else he will never know what hunger means. Similarly, if someone is suffering from any problems, understand it and help him if he asks but don’t make fun of his problem. There are many who enjoys a lot when they see others are suffering from any miss happening which is not at all right. If you enjoy and make fun out of others issues and problems, you may encounter such scenes in your life as well. Don’t laugh on others problems instead have some empathy. Empathetic behavior is very important which is missing now a day. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in his book titled “Hit Refresh” has insisted and recommended empathy a lot and in any organization, managers must have empathy for their subordinates. Empathy reflects sense of caring attitude which is a kind of motivation. Employee should feel that the management and the organization do care for them.
  • Support: Support is as important as any other thing for anyone. Be it mental or monetary, support is required at some part in life. If you can’t support, don’t criticize as well. Support is not help as it is usually seen. Support means you are standing behind someone whom you trust or understand. There are times when you have to take tough decisions in life but there is no one to support you. That time, if you get anyone who is in support of you and taking your side, it is a kind of energy-booster. It also requires courage to support.
  • Learn: Learning is a continuous process. Don’t consider yourself to be an omniscient person. Life is the best teacher and it teaches us from situation, either good or bad which we experience in our life. Mistakes are part of life and one should learn from the mistakes. Technical or non-technical, learning gives you the result at some point in life. People generally become hopeless in difficult situation but tackling those situations is also a kind of learning. Confused? If you can tackle challenges in life, you have learned to face challenges which ultimately help you in decision making which is very crucial. Having said this, one should also learn to unlearn. What needs to be unlearned is a question? To put simply, learn to unlearn bad attitude and ego. Keep yourself updated and don’t learn those things which needs to be unlearned. Every people has something unique and one should learn from others as well. Learn the positive aspect and unlearn the negative ones.  Learn to discover your strength which you possess. One of the best method of learning yourself is introspection which gives you chance to talk to yourself and discover your areas where it requires improvement. Introspect at least once in a day or in a week as it is a game changer. The essence of introspection can be felt by one of the famous quotes of Swami Vivekananda which says, “Talk to yourself at least once in a day, otherwise you may miss a meeting with an excellent person in this world.”
  • Give and take respect: Respect is the end result what you get from your behavioral knowledge. It is that thing which may or may not have any monetary value but definitely have some recognition which you have earned from others. When you are respected, you have value and your words will have more weightage. Having said this, respect is earned and cannot be purchased and it can be only earned by your behavior which have many aspects discussed in above points like criticism, appreciation, empathy etc. You have to respect others to get respected. Be calm and polite. Respect others opinion as well and don’t force your opinion on others unless it is extremely required. One can purchase lot of stuffs and earn lot of money but may not earn respect. It totally depends on how we behave and how we listen and respect others as well.

Knowledge is necessary part of life and behavioral knowledge is a kind of value addition which shapes one’s personality and character. The various aspects of behavioral knowledge which I shared above is my personal thinking and the list is not exhaustive. What I have thought is important as far is behavior is concerned and that too in the form of knowledge, I tried to share in this article.  In my opinion, behavior is as important as any other thing. Be it work, home or any other place, behavior decides many things in our life. What to say and what not to say is important and crucial. Bad behavior creates problem at the end and it is we who need to decide how to behave as it decides our fate as well. Let me summarize some of the take away from the above discussion:

  • Don’t criticize. If required, approach should be Constructive Criticism.
  • Appreciate others work
  • Don’t pass judgement. Give suggestions if required.
  • Be pragmatic
  • Keep learning from your experiences and mistakes
  • Be empathetic
  • Give respect

I was having this theme in my mind from many months but finally though of writing this article on behavioral aspect of knowledge or what I say, Behavioral Knowledge. What’s your take on behavior? Is behavior plays important part in our life? Does behavior shapes our personality and character? Please share your views…. 🙂 🙂

– Ashish Kumar