How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

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I once had the pleasure of dining with Miss Ida Tarbell, the dean of American
biographers. When I told her I was writing this book, we began discussing this
all-important subject of getting along with people, and she told me that while she was
writing her biography of Owen D. Young, she interviewed a man who had sat for three
years in the same office with Mr. Young. This man declared that during all that time he
had never heard Owen D. Young give a direct order to anyone. He always gave
suggestions, not 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?” Frequently he would say, after he had dictated a letter,
“What do you think of this?” In looking over a letter of one of his assistants, he would
say, “Maybe if we were to phrase it this way it would be better.” He always gave
people the opportunity to do things themselves; he never told his assistants to do
things; he let them do them; let them learn from their mistakes.
A technique like that makes it easy for a person to correct errors. A technique like that
saves a person’s pride and gives him or her a feeling of importance. It encourages
cooperation instead of rebellion.
Resentment caused by a brash order may last a long time -even if the order was given
to correct an obviously bad situation. Dan Santarelli, a teacher at a vocational school in
Wyoming, Pennsylvania, told one of our classes how one of his students had blocked
the entrance way to one of the school’s shops by illegally parking his car in it. One of
the other instructors stormed into the classroom and asked in an arrogant tone, “Whose
car is blocking the driveway?" When the student who owned the car responded, the