5 life lessons to learn from the Iconic “How to Win Friends And Influence People”.

Minahil Khan Mir
4 min readNov 19, 2018

The best-selling book of Dale Carnegie, how to win friends and influence people, was originally published in 1936 and left an immaculate mark on the world of business, marketing, psychology and generally all around the world. It is one of the most influential books, the wisdom from which is quoted widely in leadership programs.

It doesn’t matter if you are an influence in your field, just starting out in your career, looking to build a business, wants to make lifelong friends or just someone wanting to learn something really useful, this book should be on your must-read lists.
So, to make it easier for you to go through this wonderful work, here’s the gist of the pearls I have lain down for you.

1. Don’t play the blame game:

The Big E. Ego. Everyone has it. But not everyone knows how to manage it. People’s esteem and pride needs are huge. And when you go all out pointing the arrow at the other person, they are definitely going to get the guns out too. Defense is natural to people. So, here’s the tip. Never blame or criticize people.
The alternative: be empathetic and try to understand the situation of the other person, no matter how painful or critical the entire scenario is. We need somebody to put the blame on for everything that happens in our lives. This is how strong ego and the need to be accepted is for people. Not even the most crude criminals accept the blame for their crime. So, don’t expect someone to magically realize their mistakes. That’s a pro business tip.

2. Sincere appreciation goes a long way.

Instead of criticizing the wrong, try appreciating the right. A more appropriate and kind way to distinguish right from the wrong. Don’t make people defensive. We want to believe we are right and when someone says otherwise, we’ll simply shoot back.
If we are to change, we have to do it ourselves. We have to realize and distinguish. Nobody can do that for ya!

3. Accept your mistakes.

Initiate in accepting the mess you create. It not only strengthens relationships but also makes other people comfortable in your presence. You accept mistakes and you don’t judge. By doing this, we normalize a very human thing: committing mistakes. The important thing is to accept them. Move over them and try our best to learn and not repeat them.
When you accept mistakes, you automatically disarm the other person who might want to make you see your dirt and start fir on you. You cooled everything down before there was any smoke at all.

4. Be genuinely interested in others.

People are not interested in what you had for dinner or what you are wearing to the next party this weekend. Even the gossip doesn’t last. What lasts is people’s interest in themselves. Everyone wants to talk about themselves. Everyone has a story to share. You need to listen more often. Don’t just listen passively, waiting for them to finish so you could pounce with your own story. Listen to understand rather than react or prove them wrong. This is definitely going to add an attractive card in your basket.

5. Smile.

Smile is the most under-rated form of non-verbal communication. The mysterious and serious James Bond look is considered quite hot these days. But you know what’s actually hot? A gentle, sweet, and genuine smile. Don’t force a smile. ‘Fake-ness’ never goes unobserved. Observe people and think about what you like about them. Do an early morning gratitude journal. Be grateful. Look at the lovely things early morning has to offer. Anything to get you started on a highly positive note. This will make you smile from the inside.