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How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age


Personal Thoughts

Now the first and best book of its kind has been rebooted to tame the complexities of modern times and will teach you how to communicate with diplomacy and tact, capitalize on a solid network, make people like you, project your message widely and clearly, be a more effective leader, increase your ability to get things done, and optimize the power of digital tools.

Summary Notes

  • The two highest levels of influence are achieved when (1) people follow you because of what you’ve done for them and (2) people follow you because of who you are. In other words, the highest levels of influence are reached when generosity and trustworthiness surround your behavior.
  • We are self-preserving creatures who are instinctively compelled to defend, deflect, and deny all threats to our well-being, not the least of which are threats to our pride.
  • When we attempt to use criticism to win an argument, to make a point, or to incite change, we are taking two steps backward. People can be led to change as horses can be led to water, but depreciation will rarely inspire the results you are aiming for.
  • The people most widely respected within industries, companies, families, and groups of friends are those who are clear in their own viewpoints while remaining compassionate with those whose minds or behavior they would like to influence.
  • Calm yourself before communicating with another. When you are put off, the first five minutes are usually the most volatile.
  • We all have an innate, unquenchable desire to know we are valued, to know we matter. Yet affirming this in each other is among the most challenging things to do in our day and age.
  • A young, unkempt college student once asked Muhammad Ali what he should do with his life. He could not decide whether to continue his education or go out into the world to seek his fortune. It was clear he was leaning toward the latter. “Stay in college, get the education,” advised Ali. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can make something out of you!”
  • Emerson wrote, “Every man is entitled to be valued for his best moments.”
  • “When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.”
  • Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union.
  • Sometimes affirming the good in others will mean reminding ourselves of that very good that exists in another. Yes, Lincoln said, things are strained, but the bonds of amity are stronger still.
  • In You Can’t Lead with Your Feet on the Desk, Ed Fuller, president and managing director at Marriott International, asserts, “No worthwhile business relationship, whether with your own people or customers and partners, can endure without mutual respect. And as I’ve learned firsthand, showing adversaries that you regard them with admiration can resolve even violent conflicts.”
  • What builds a bridge of influence between a king and his speech therapist is the same principle that builds a bridge of influence between a company and its customers or an executive and her reports or a father and his child. We are all united by one single desire: to be valued by another. Whether this message is conveyed is not a group decision. Each individual to whom a message was directed—whether the individual sits alone across a table or in a crowd of three thousand—determines it.
  • Become genuinely interested in other people. “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you… If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness”. Make it a priority to keep an eye out for things that might improve other people’s lives.A great practical tip from Carnegie is as simple as follows:
  • Take the time to find out the birthday’s of friends and acquaintances.
  • Make a note of them in your calendar.
  • Take the time each year to send a physical card.
  • This kind of thoughtfulness costs very little but has a huge impact.
  • Smile. “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.” Smile in everything that you do. Smile sincerely, “An insincere grin… doesn’t fool anybody. We know it is mechanical and we resent it.”. Don’t feel like smiling? Consider Abraham Lincoln’s remark that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Still struggling? Fake it until you make it. Force yourself to smile and the mind will often follow.
  • 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 their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.” Remembering a person’s name is a question of effort not ability. Ask a person’s name. Pay attention. Make sure you’ve heard it. Spell it out if need be. Repeat it several times. Build a mental picture. Write it down. Don’t then become the weirdo who thinks repeating the other person’s name after every sentence will make them like you. That’s not how it works, be cool.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. “Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that.”Doing so will soften and subdue even the most violent critic and you may also learn a thing or two. “To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that the other person will enjoy answering.” And remember: “A person’s toothache means more to [them] than a famine… which kills a million people.”
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. “The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.” Take the time to understand or even research a topic you know is of interest to someone else. Ask them about their past: “Almost every successful person likes to reminisce about their early struggles.” Doing so will not only improve your relationship, it might enlarge your life.
  • Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Obey this golden rule “All the time, everywhere”. Use little phrases like “I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind as to – ?” “Would you mind?”and “Thank you.” “Almost all the people you meet feel superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their heats is to let them realise in some subtle way that you realise their importance and recognise it sincerely.”

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age

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