How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 1

Some people never blame themselves for any eventualities the befall them. It is human nature for human beings to find fault in other people. Carnegie reports that when the judge sentenced Crowley, that notorious gangster who stated various shootouts with the police, to the electric chair, he never blamed himself for the crimes that he had committed. Instead, he said all that he did was for self-defense. Additionally, when Al Capone faced problems with the law enforcement authorities over his involvement in some of the most heinous crimes in the history of the county, he described himself as an innocent man who had served the public faithfully but was getting rewards as if he was the number one public enemy. The reality of this analysis is that most people would never be willing to appreciate the circumstances where they have been wrong.

Criticism is as dangerous as never accepting blame. Many people would prefer other people where they think other people have gone wrong. Carnegie believes that it is wrong to be constantly criticizing other people. Carnegie draws his assumption from the ancient psychological thought, which says that an animal appreciated for its achievements will develop better than an animal that receives punishment over its bad behavior. That communicates the essence of not criticizing other people. According to this assertion, criticism irritates rather than motivates. All human seek approval, and everybody resents condemnation.

Carnegie suggests a replacement for criticism. Carnegie suggests that individuals must learn to understand. People find themselves in challenging circumstances in many situations. In most of the times, individuals get rebuke for awkward position in which they are. Rarely do victims of unfortunate circumstances get the understanding that they deserve when they are in adverse situations. Carnegie suggests that providing knowledge to people when they are in hard times is an effective way of building relationships.

A sincere appreciation is another essential way of making people perform. Carnegie says that there is only one-way of making people do a piece of work; to make them want to do it. The most effective way in the execution of any assignment is to let the people involved want to do the task in question. Carnegie says that forcing people to do something will not be productive. However, making people want to perform a particular task is much more effective than any other means. In business environments, Carnegie says that targets are challenging to meet because of the failure to effectively manage the human resources. In many situations, bosses reprimand their employees when they make even the slightest mistakes or even when they fail to reach specific targets. With regards to this, Carnegie advises that "Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do.”


“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” There is an incredible effect in appreciating and commending people when they have made efforts in the execution of specific tasks. Even when there is evidence that the individual has not achieved the set targets, the fact that there is a step in the right direction needs a compliment. The principle does not apply only in employment but also in a wide range of environments including families. To motivate children, parents need to appreciate the little efforts that they make continually. Instead of rebuking and condemning them, parents must always make sure that they appreciate the progress that children make. It is common that parents find it easy to admonish their children when they do not meet academic expectations in schools. When this trend continues, the relationship between the young ones and the parents would be strained, and the ramifications would be catastrophic.

In the statement “There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors" Carnegie appreciates that in business, employees have a wide range of ambitions. One of the easiest ways to kill the aspirations is for a superior to criticize the employees consistently. Criticism kills self-confidence, especially if it comes from a superior. While there is a level of criticism that may motivate individuals to improve their performance, too much blame is dangerous since it kills self-confidence and may have devastating effects on the individuals. Most importantly, criticism kills relationships, and that has a direct impact on the performance of an organization. When there is a tense relationship between an employee and the boss, it is difficult to realize productivity.

"First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walk a lonely way." A leader must influence other individuals especially arousing their desire among the individuals. It requires unique skills to have such an impact on individual and leaders must strive to master the skills. Firstly, superior in organizations must show a genuine interest in the affairs of their subjects. Listening and trying to offer solutions are some of the essential qualities that leaders need to demonstrate while they are interacting with their subjects. In this way, it would be possible for leaders to have lasting impression and impact on their juniors.

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