A modern take on Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People

[Photo by Aidan Jones via Flicker]

Carnegie wrote his masterpiece How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936, but he could have written it in 20,000 BC and it would have been relevant then – and today. The underlying message is that being social and cultivating respect from others is the key pathway to reaping rewards in both your business and personal life.

Web 2.0 hasn’t changed a thing. In fact, Carnegie’s ideas may be more important today than ever.

Internet connectivity, social networks, and the devices on which we type, tap, and click have revolutionized how we communicate. There’s no denying that. But what has not changed is the fact that we’re still human, and we’re still talking to other people. We just see their faces less often.

Being social is part of the human condition, but communicating so much without face-to-face contact is unnatural in many ways. I think that sometimes the lack of a face before us causes us to omit some important rules about communicating.

I decided to look at a few of the axioms put forth by Carnegie and think about how they are still relevant today in the context of social media. You can find the full list concisely assembled at Wikipedia. (I strongly recommend reading the full book if you haven’t.)

What follows are a few selected points from Carnegie’s book with my interpretations and comments.

Fundamental techniques in handling people

  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. People are never as ill-intentioned as they sound in message boards, blog comment threads, etc. And people tend to really underestimate how snarky their remarks come off. Don’t try to fight fire with fire here. Personally, I’ve never seen anyone truly “win” an argument online. But I’ve seen numerous “flame wars” that probably burned bridges forever.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation. Give others credit for original ideas expressed on blogs, message boards, and social networks. Thank people for sharing links that interest you or helped you solve a problem.

Ways to make people like you

  • Become genuinely interested in other people. Don’t use false flattery online. If you’re going to compliment someone, do it in a way that makes them know you’re sincere.
  • Smile. Most of the time we’re not talking face-to-face online. But the simple use of :) goes a long way. It’s a very simple but powerful symbol that can be added to the end of any line that might be interpreted the wrong way. Sarcasm will usually burn you online if you don’t make it extremely clear. Other people will not read things the way they sound in your head. Trust me. ;)
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. In many ways, social media is a narcissistic activity. People are talking to hear themselves talk. They want to be appreciated, heard, and complimented. This is just how people work. It’s how you work. So if people think you’re listening, you’re giving them one of the greatest compliments you can give.
  • Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely. I would offer the same comments as above. People want to feel important. Make them feel that way, and you’ll be rewarded many times over on your investment.

Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

The following 12 items from Carnegie’s book are all relevant to social networking in pretty obvious ways. I would also encourage you to think about some of these in the context of recent events where companies have not properly leveraged social media to handle public relations crises.

  1. Avoid arguments.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never tell someone they are wrong.
  3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Start with questions the other person will answer yes to.
  6. Let the other person do the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Sympathize with the other person.
  10. Appeal to noble motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge & don’t talk negative when the person is absent, talk about only positive.

A few axioms of my own

I would add a few more items and suggestions based on my own personal experience:

  • People tend to underestimate how snarky they sound online. Always, always give people the benefit of the doubt. People are never as ill-intentioned as they sound.
  • People on the receiving end always overestimate the snarkiness of online comments and take it way too personally. Avoid saying things that might be misinterpreted. This takes practice and a lot of learning the hard way.
  • Jokes are often misinterpreted online. There are just some things that are amazingly funny when said in person, but write the same thing online, and people will think you are a total jerk. This is a very easy trap to fall into. Use extreme caution with jokes and sarcasm when the only medium is text. I think we underestimate how important voice tones and body language are when we tell jokes. These elements of communication are lost in many social network mediums.
  • Quickly disarm the other person with a friendly response, even if they attack you personally online. Point out common ground, if any. Use language like “I can certainly understand why you see things that way” or “I apologize if I’m mistaken, but I think that…” In most cases, the attacker will immediately stop. They may even side with you. But even if they don’t, the most important thing is how you look to the thousands of other silent onlookers. In life, nobody likes to be around people who are angry (justified or not). Show restraint and patience. When in doubt, err on the side of being too friendly.

Note: After I drafted this post, I noticed that someone else had just beaten me to the idea, so I wanted to give credit where credit is due. Mitch Fanning wrote a nice piece on this very same concept. Check it out too if you’re interested in reading more! And share your own tips and suggestions in the comments.


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  1. #1 by George Simpson on June 28, 2010 - 6:59 am

    Enjoyed the post. Excellent advice under any circumstances, but as you suggest, following these rules is even more important in the online world.

  2. #2 by Mitch Fanning on June 28, 2010 - 6:59 am

    Hi Eddie,

    Great article.

    Thanks for the “credit”, but we can all give credit to Mr. Carnegie for writing his inspirational book.



    • #3 by Eddie on June 28, 2010 - 11:41 am

      No worries, Mitch. We can all learn a lot from Carnegie’s genius in handling people. Web 2.0 gives it a way to be even more infectious too.

  3. #4 by Lakia on June 28, 2010 - 6:59 am

    Carnegie is AMAZING! I absolutely love this book. I have a few of them. Currently, I am reading the Public Speaking and influencing men in business. I got this at a bookstore and its SUPER old lol I found some of his Dale Carnegie Course information it’s from the 50s…. really cool papers

  4. #5 by Culture Choc 2010 on June 28, 2010 - 7:00 am

    Good advice.

  5. #6 by Tyler Tarver on June 28, 2010 - 7:00 am

    Well said and good advice. I sincerely enjoyed your post. I promise. :)

  6. #7 by dennisfinocchiaro on June 28, 2010 - 7:00 am

    GREAT post! Wow…now I’m going to go pick up a copy of this! Thanks.

  7. #8 by Todd Pack on June 28, 2010 - 7:00 am

    This is great good advice, especially the parts about snarkiness and jokes. Even in emails, even the most milquetoast comment can be taken the wrong way, and jokes almost never work online. On the other hand, a lot of online compliments seem to come across as insincere or just insipid. People tend to bang out emails and online comments, but I think you really need to put some thought into it, because finding the right tone can be tough.

    • #9 by Eddie on June 28, 2010 - 11:43 am

      I totally agree, Todd. Finding the right tone is also one thing that we can’t automate with computers. And we will of course always make mistakes.

  8. #10 by framez on June 28, 2010 - 7:01 am

    i too was a kind of……

  9. #11 by Mike Urbonas on June 28, 2010 - 7:01 am

    Excellent post, Eddie. In fact I also came to a similar conclusion; that Carnegie’s book was the equivalent of a blog-turned-published-book. I proclaimed Carnegie as the world’s first [de facto] blogger. Also from the one book review I could find of “How to Win Friends…” was favorable but clearly underappreciated Carnegie’s conversational writing style. Please check this out when you can:


    • #12 by Eddie on June 28, 2010 - 11:44 am

      Great post, Mike. I like the clever angle of portraying Carnegie as the first blogger. He definitely would have been great at it.

  10. #13 by Tran on June 28, 2010 - 7:02 am

    I love the fact that no matter how much our accesses in life have become more convenient, the way we communicate and socialize doesn’t change.
    The motivational speaker at my school had a little speech on the same topic, from which he concluded: “(There are two approaches – I think he said) to win an argument or to built a relationship”. I realized it applied to everything, and never forgot the motto.

  11. #14 by the bizzle in the pizzle on June 28, 2010 - 7:08 am

    i went exactly along carnegie’s line of thinking here: http://texttrade.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/hatred-post-about-maradona/ . other posts on my blog are somehow betraying that principle ;) i think it’s a perfect illustration of jokes actually working online – against the one who cracks them, that is.

  12. #15 by marisabaratta on June 28, 2010 - 7:11 am

    I clicked on your blog post because I believe in friendly communication and feel it goes a long way in life. I am very familiar with most of the points you brought up here and agree with them. I can attest to the fact that being friendly, considerate and thinking of others makes your life and someone else’s more pleasant! And more successful. We’re more willing to work with someone who wants to work with us.

    In fact, I recently wrote a poem about the earthquake feel in Toronto that makes similar suggestions about our relationship between people and the worldwide web: http://uneditedmatters.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/chirp-im-still-here/

    Online, suggestions come out more like accusations. A smiley face or a friendly comment can help transfer your idea in a way that is more likely to be well received!

    Cool post, thanks for the bit of history too.

  13. #16 by Cinnamon on June 28, 2010 - 8:00 am

    “Do unto Others” has always worked….whichever interpretation we put on it. But a very nice post. Thanks.

  14. #17 by strobeezy on June 28, 2010 - 8:04 am

    Good thoughts Eddie!
    Funny I just finished reading that book an hour ago, then decided I would finally join a blogging website and your blog was the first I have ever read! I guess I am on the right path… Great insight on making his book 2010!

  15. #18 by LOVE IS THE KEY® on June 28, 2010 - 8:17 am

    Your article was so wonderfully constructed and I have shared the link on my Facebook Page. So thoughtfully and kindly written.


  16. #19 by Atticus on June 28, 2010 - 8:20 am

    Smart tips Eddie!
    I think the key here is simply to treat the other person (or party) as how we ourselves would like to be treated. The general consensus would be to show respect, courtesy and even empathy. This relates in all situation as you rightly said, even if you disagree with someone. The kicking over the beehive approach gets us absolutely nowhere. Carnegie’s ideas form the perfect social etiquette for all those who want to be not just better communicators but also plainly, better people.
    Great post : )

  17. #20 by Lois Whittaker on June 28, 2010 - 8:31 am

    Carnegie’s ideas definitely transend time. Great reminder of why it is so important today more than ever!!

  18. #21 by wael on June 28, 2010 - 8:32 am

    enjoy the post

  19. #22 by Rohit on June 28, 2010 - 8:32 am

    What a good refresher post.

    I have read the book and attended a personality development course based on his teachings (Especially this book). It has been a long time though.

    Thats why I used to term refresher. I used to apply his principles, and I will start again. It surely works.

  20. #23 by thecodger on June 28, 2010 - 11:12 am

    I’ve found that the best way to make friends is to be yourself on the Internet. Also, “<3" means love.

    The Codger

    • #24 by the bizzle in the pizzle on June 28, 2010 - 1:16 pm

      also, ” 3- ” could mean “up yours!” :) sorry, couldn’t refrain myself – bad communication habit.

  21. #25 by lifeintheboomerlane on June 28, 2010 - 11:16 am

    He certainly withstands the test of time.

  22. #26 by shelleymhouse on June 28, 2010 - 11:28 am

    Great article! Thank you! I loved the book, and I appreciate your tips to make it relevant for today’s technology.

  23. #27 by sittingpugs on June 28, 2010 - 11:29 am

    Great post…I like your added axioms. Ironically, there are comments that are meant to be taken seriously that are perceived as whimsical mutterings, while other well-intended jokes completely miss the mark and, as you put it, “probably burned bridges forever.”

  24. #28 by squirrelsloveacorns on June 28, 2010 - 11:32 am

    I enjoyed this post very much! I went to go buy the book and found out my boyfriend actually owns it! I’m going to read it this weekend while camping with a bunch of friends :) Thank you so much!

  25. #29 by Currie Rose on June 28, 2010 - 11:34 am

    Lovely post. Great ideas. Your post really helped reinforce my choices in steering clear of arguments on line. Most times when I comment on blogs, I do so from a genuine place of simply expressing my own opinions on the content while not attacking others, as I feel that we all have opinions that deserve to be heard and the coming together of many differing views helps us all broaden our scope of thinking. However, I do sort of have a very optimistic glass half full mentality that seems to trigger some people into enlightening me in not so nice terms about how the world ‘really’ works. The few times I have been ‘attacked’, I simply do not respond. I feel that may trigger an argument that is completely unnecessary and loose loose….

    Great post and great ideas! Thank you for sharing :)

    • #30 by Eddie on June 28, 2010 - 1:35 pm

      That’s a good point you make, Currie. I really think that if you are in doubt as to how to respond to an attacker, it’s better to just not respond at all. I think someone once said “you never regret what you don’t say.” I don’t think that’s universally true, but it definitely has merit in social networks.

      I also find that the more I try to wait a few hours before responding, the better. It’s almost never a good idea to immediately respond to a malicious comment. It’s way better to cool off and let the cerebral part of your head do the steering. Being kind and being intelligent are often synonymous. These ideas are, of course, thousands of years old–certainly not my own–and certainly not out of date!

  26. #31 by Marvi Marti on June 28, 2010 - 11:45 am

    Loved this and already sharing it with others!

  27. #32 by djnovajade on June 28, 2010 - 11:49 am

    Fantastic! I definitely enjoy that read. And I enjoyed yours, too! :-) I reposted it as a note on my facebook page, btw. facebook.com/djnovajade

  28. #33 by Naran S. Balakumar on June 28, 2010 - 12:49 pm


  29. #34 by marlajayne on June 28, 2010 - 12:53 pm

    You’re so right! Carnegie’s classic is as timely as ever. What I can’t understand is why people (some people) don’t get it.

  30. #35 by Mike on June 28, 2010 - 1:27 pm

    I need to read this book.

    I think it all comes down to being sincere and genuine when talking to people, whether it is face to face or online.

    People tend to gravitate towards individuals that make them feel good. This is true for everything in life, not just business. You will get to where you want to be in life by helping others get to where they want to be.

    Good post.

  31. #36 by zookyshirts on June 28, 2010 - 1:42 pm

    Thanks for reminding us how Carnegie’s advice still holds true. I haven’t read his book yet, but from what I’ve heard it is mostly about the advice: “politeness counts.” Sounds corny, but hey, it’s well-worn advice. I particularly like #8, try to see things from the other’s point of view. Also brilliantly told by David Foster Wallace in his commencement speech at Kenyon College. Very hard to do, but worth the effort. Thanks again for your post.

  32. #37 by Little Ms. GG on June 28, 2010 - 1:43 pm

    Great post!
    I read that book a long time ago, and had forgotten most of what it said.
    Your post was a great refresher. Thank you.

  33. #38 by Carlo Briones on June 28, 2010 - 1:43 pm

    This is one of the nice post that I read. Everyone using social media should follow this guideline for it to become a spot of acquiring good friends.

  34. #39 by pink magic on June 28, 2010 - 2:11 pm

    I’ve found that when working with people, I always avoid telling someone they’re dead wrong, even if they are. I try to pitch a solution as a ‘possible suggestion’ and avoid any direct confrontation – and it usually works pretty well.

    • #40 by Eddie on June 28, 2010 - 2:21 pm

      Great advice, pink magic.

  35. #41 by Leah Barlow on June 28, 2010 - 2:12 pm

    I really enjoyed this article for (a) adding another book to my summer reading list and (b) reminding me that sarcasm doesn’t come off as well on screen. Again, great article!

  36. #42 by curliq on June 28, 2010 - 2:40 pm

    I think you really hit the nail on the head in regards to how things we write are perceived by readers. I know I have taken text messages or email replies completely the wrong way before, and have most likely been guilty of sending the same type of messages. In my head, they sound funny or sarcastic, but fail to come across that way in writing. Wish there was a sarcasm font:) I enjoyed reading this article…thank you!

    • #43 by Eddie on June 28, 2010 - 2:57 pm

      Thanks, curliq. I’ve seen some message boards where it was customary to use a colored font (e.g. red) to indicate sarcasm. I think it works pretty well for regular readers/posters who know what the font color means. But it can still cause confusion for anyone not familiar. Context is definitely everything.

  37. #44 by 79sparrows on June 28, 2010 - 2:44 pm

    Excellent post. Agreed–social media is mostly a narcissistic activity. You made some great points, if more people followed these guidelines, the web would be a nicer place.

  38. #45 by M.C. Davis on June 28, 2010 - 2:50 pm

    Great post! Loved it!

  39. #46 by LuQuade on June 28, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    Interesting post :)

    It’s a funny old book isn’t it? I like the points system for interacting with people.

    It reminds me of the way relationships are built (and destroyed) in the Sims computer game franchise. e.g. Talk and chat to a person you have just met. Don’t compliment them too early, they may not like it if they are a bit uptight. Save hugging for a sim you know really likes you. I often wondered if the creators of the game had been inspired by How to Win Friends and Influence People.

    Thanks again.

  40. #47 by flatland on June 28, 2010 - 3:10 pm

    There was an article in the NYTimes this morning talking about mediating junior high student relations that are now almost exclusively text messages that resound well beyond intentions of those writing & receiving. This was a great post, so timely!

  41. #48 by middleagedplague on June 28, 2010 - 3:12 pm

    Excellent, timeless advice.

    For years I worked in public relations, and a big part of my job was interviewing people for newspaper articles. This, of course, involved asking lots of questions and listening to the answers.

    I have been amazed how often, in social settings, I feel as if I am interviewing people again. In order to jump start a conversation, I will ask questions, and the person will answer, please to talk about himself, But that’s where it stops. Once we’re not talking about the person, the conversation stops. I should get paid for these interviews!

  42. #49 by Nkenge Morenike Njeri on June 28, 2010 - 3:30 pm

    THis is excellent! Shall be using this from now on

  43. #50 by echosofmymind on June 28, 2010 - 3:51 pm

    This is a great post! I’ve forgotten how good that book was and know I have a copy floating around somewhere. I also like your axioms and am going to send this link around to the people in my office. We need to tattoo the axioms to our forearms and never forget them.

    Marie McHale Drake

  44. #51 by melissamilazzo on June 28, 2010 - 4:15 pm

    Excellent advice!

    If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you’d probably like this book – How to be Useful: A Beginner’s Guide to Not Hating Work by Megan Hustad. It boils down (and modernizes) a lot of the Carnegie style books out there. I read this book long after I started my career but still found it incredibly helpful.

  45. #52 by Sum on June 28, 2010 - 4:34 pm

    This was a very interesting read. I don’t know much about Carnegie other than what I learned in my US History class a long time ago, but I think I’ll go pick up this book. I’ve been thinking of these things lately myself, how weird it is that today we’re afraid of talking on the phone or face to face. I’ve found that someone else’s awkwardness is contagious. And even as I’m writing this, I’m conscious of what I’m writing, gives me a lot of thinking to do. Thanks!

  46. #53 by YouGetWellSoon on June 28, 2010 - 4:45 pm

    So True – I recently got a copy of the Carnegie book How to Win Friends and Influence People as much out of interest as in response to the movie How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. (I thought it would be funnier.)
    More now than ever – since print is forever archived and you cannot deny you wrote it – it’s important to be as pleasant and helpful as possible. In personal and business communications.
    A friend on Facebook was actually slagging the very company that was providing his business funding – seriously – they can find this and won’t be impressed!
    There is no such thing as too many reminders to be kind and honest – so Thanks!

  47. #54 by blackwatertown on June 28, 2010 - 4:59 pm

    Good advice. Very relevant.
    A good argument can be enlightening and worthwhile, even online. However, too often and too quickly, such discussions tend to resort to ad hominem attacks, rather than sticking to the potentially valid competing views. But I suppose that, just as Carnegie’s techniques can be put to good use online, so the less appealing aspects of disagreement creep in too.

  48. #55 by Susan Tordella on June 28, 2010 - 5:19 pm

    Nice post, Eddie. Love Dale Carnegie — especially this one: 2.Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never tell someone they are wrong.
    I use mutual respect quite a bit with teenagers.

  49. #56 by mike00000000001 on June 28, 2010 - 5:21 pm

    This is the best series of comments I have seen in a while. Now if only people could take this attitude into everything they do in life (including politics) the better of we will all be (and free too).

  50. #57 by arianemarques on June 28, 2010 - 6:05 pm

    Hi, my name is Ariane, I’m from Florianópolis, Brasil. Great article. I studied Dale Carnegie Course in 2009 and enjoyed very much. Congratulations. ArianeMarques.com

  51. #58 by Antonio on June 28, 2010 - 7:09 pm

    Maravillosas descripciones. Geniales ajemplos para el buen vivir en sociedad.

  52. #59 by evan on June 28, 2010 - 7:19 pm

    Very good article! I think this is information that needs to be heard. Think about how great the world would be if we all followed these rules! Enjoyed it, I’m going to try to employ these rules next time I’m online! 8D


  53. #60 by pbandchutney on June 28, 2010 - 7:42 pm

    I just saw this book on my brother in law’s desk yesterday and thought to myself that I should read it… it’s a sign :) Nice post by the way, it helps to be reminded that we have to try just a little harder with online connections.

  54. #61 by Heather on June 28, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    Great post. I guess it’s all a matter of the ‘heart.’ Being sincere and genuine is just as important online as it is in our daily lives. If we genuinely esteem the other person we’ll be looking for ways to appreciate them, and we’ll be careful not to upset them. I think it is a little trickier to do, though, when you can’t actually see the ‘other’ person–but these tips you’ve given ought to take us a long way. Thanks.

  55. #62 by greengeekgirl on June 28, 2010 - 9:14 pm

    Thank you for posting this :) I think it’s important for people to remember. I’ve read and loved Dale Carnegie’s book, and I agree that it’s timeless and amazing.

  56. #63 by ivdanu on June 28, 2010 - 9:17 pm

    Very interesting post! For me, even more interesting since I discovered Carnegie’s book when I was 11-12 years old, in his Romanian translation. I took to it immediately (still was genuine then). As a teenager and young man I kind of sneered at it, considering it too artificial and seeing the exagerations of his concepts (smile for instance – most of the vendors smiles aren’t that sincere…but that<s not Carnegie's fault…) Now, as a white beard, I tend to think, again, he was right. And I associate it with Aldoux Huxley's advice (when he was an old man and was asked what is the best advice he could give). Be kind, he said. I also think (even if it<s not as eas as it sounds) that,s the real deal: to be kind…

  57. #64 by DM on June 28, 2010 - 10:07 pm

    great post. Carnegie’s book literally changed my life when I read it 25 years ago. thank you for taking the time to post it. Sincerely, DM

  58. #65 by elmer on June 28, 2010 - 10:11 pm

    In a nutshell: Don’t Be Evil

  59. #66 by rubiescorner on June 28, 2010 - 10:13 pm

    This is an excellent review and much needed.

  60. #67 by Donnie on June 28, 2010 - 10:19 pm

    Great post! Your axioms are very insightful; readers will do well to take heed and put them into practice.

    How To Win Friends and Influence People is a classic. Thank you for introducing the 2.0 version.

    Here’s a tip: consider creating a book or E-book on this concept. That’s a high-impact idea.

  61. #68 by messiahconnection on June 28, 2010 - 10:28 pm

    Great post!!! I read this book a few years ago and concur about it’s “relevance” and applicability to social media.

  62. #69 by aproperfool on June 28, 2010 - 10:31 pm

    Excellent insight, as a “newb” to blogging, it’s nice to see that some people are putting real thought into what they post, rather than just typing the first “snarky” remark that pops in their head.
    Someone posted a comment on my blog a month ago that said I should learn to photoshop because a blemish on my face was “so disgusting they would never visit my blog again.”
    So, I know exactly what you mean by “jokes are often misinterpreted online.” Whether it was a joke or not, it was hurtful and I wound up only deleting the comment, rather than taking on a “know-it-all.”
    Once again, I enjoyed reading this!

  63. #70 by Lulu on June 28, 2010 - 10:39 pm

    This is a nice post, and I think avoid arguments either in online world or offline is not always bad.

  64. #71 by alanfriday55 on June 28, 2010 - 11:14 pm

    Great read – You have me sold. I am off to the bookshop!!
    Just want to share one thing. I think Rudyard Kipling must have read Dale Carnagie (or the reverse – not sure who came first). As he (Rudyard) is credited with saying, ” I always give people the benefit of the doubt, it saves so much time.”

    Alan F

  65. #72 by oasis on June 28, 2010 - 11:30 pm

    Good post.It’s interesting.

  66. #73 by sixthirtythree on June 28, 2010 - 11:55 pm

    Good post.

  67. #74 by Evie Garone on June 29, 2010 - 12:10 am

    I love it! People seem to need manners in all matters of life these days. Maybe reading or looking at this 2.0 will help. It’s true people will say anything on-line, not having to be held accountable, I guess. Good Post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!! Blog On!!


  68. #75 by carlajhart on June 29, 2010 - 12:53 am

    I just finished a class in Technology and a large part of it was on the theory that people may be learning to become more impersonal, less compassionate because they use the Web. We talked a lot about how social graces are being lost because of on the Web, people don’t remember they’re communicating with other people. They may take up the impression that they’re communicating with things and not with others that have ideas, feelings, and contributions to make. I love the fact that you took something that could look on the surface like it’s less compassionate, less friendly and you put people behind the words. You’re right, people write things that may come across as being mean or hurtful, but that may not be the way they meant it to come across. So we shouldn’t lose sight of that and take offense. Look to the fact that people are still people, work to win them over by being kind, make the Web 2.0 application of communication a way to become more compassionate, more friendly, and make it a way of creating a more sociable social network.

    I really like your ideas put to work and I like your blog. Thanks!

  69. #76 by didinsadidin on June 29, 2010 - 12:55 am

    thanks for All Dale Darnegie trainning

  70. #77 by afscience on June 29, 2010 - 1:13 am

    I’ve always wanted to read this book but have wondered if it’s still relevant today. I think I’ll give it a read.


  71. #78 by hayhouseoz on June 29, 2010 - 1:20 am

    This is a great take on How to Win Friends and Influence People! Will try to implement them on my daily social networking interactions :)

  72. #79 by colette5 on June 29, 2010 - 1:36 am

    Thanks, I needed this! And I’m not trying to be sarcastic. No, seriously. :)

  73. #80 by prafeston on June 29, 2010 - 2:01 am

    Great post! I totally agree on all fronts. In my life offline I’m quite sarcastic by nature and it is hard to make my humor work online. Sometimes I believe I just come off as an asshole.

    I’d have to add that in my experience in many cases people do realize how snarky/rude/mean they sound and they just don’t respect people. Or they realize that you can’t see them and you don’t know who they are and there will be no “real” implications of their actions.

    I liked what you had to say though and appreciate the well laid out post. Thanks! :) (Where is the shaking hands emoticon?)

  74. #81 by Teresa Figueroa on June 29, 2010 - 2:12 am

    The comments that you have made regarding a modernized take on Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is very relevant for communicating on the computer. As you so succinctly point out in your blog since we are not communicating face to face, it is very important to choose the tone of our words wisely less we are misunderstood. And, it is also important not to get involved in what you referred to as “flame wars”. Thank you for the blog. It is very well written.

  75. #82 by greenprep on June 29, 2010 - 2:58 am

    excellent article. I am new to blogging and this article answered lot of questions that I had in my mind. Thanks for sharing.

  76. #83 by Songbird on June 29, 2010 - 3:03 am

    Loved these: Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking
    These should be on every office wall everywhere!…lol!

  77. #84 by mafuzaro on June 29, 2010 - 4:26 am

    I’m looking foward to read this book…Great post!

  78. #85 by VC on June 29, 2010 - 4:38 am

    Nice Article

  79. #86 by weddingdressesnow on June 29, 2010 - 4:43 am

    it is also important not to get involved in what you referred to as “flame wars”. Thank you for the blog.

  80. #87 by charity on June 29, 2010 - 5:22 am

    i enjoyed the post and have learnt so much, i wish to look for the book so i could read it.

  81. #88 by Captain Odell on June 29, 2010 - 5:34 am

    I love this book very much :)

  82. #89 by BizEez on June 29, 2010 - 5:39 am

    Eddie – great post. So agree that a book written in 1936, could so easily have been written in 20,000 BC and is relevant in this technological age. We don’t change – we all want to be liked, appreciated and heard. Fundamental human needs.
    Thanks again for bringing this to light.

  83. #90 by Eddie on June 29, 2010 - 6:18 am

    I am truly overwhelmed (in a good way) by the responses to this blog. I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever seen so many positive comments all in one place. It’s truly a testament to the power of Carnegie’s way of doing things and why his book is so timeless.

  84. #91 by Lisa Guay on June 29, 2010 - 6:39 am

    What an interesting and useful article! As an history book lover, I realize how what you say is true: old wisdom can often be transposed to our present… No matter how far the the technology is now, a simple quote to make us stop and think is always welcome. Thank you! (I should find a book about Carnegie…:-))

  85. #92 by Animesh on June 29, 2010 - 7:09 am

    Great adaptation of concept in view of modern technology
    I wrote an adaptation too a while back ..
    do read at:

  86. #93 by ukbettcentral on June 29, 2010 - 7:37 am

    Really interesting and informative images. You’ve certainly outlined your subject with a detailed and comprehensive manner. Some of these links are amazing, top stuff, love it.

  87. #94 by Alp web tech on June 29, 2010 - 7:49 am

    Hi I found your site very useful. I found your site, google searches

  88. #95 by whuffie on June 29, 2010 - 8:48 am

    What an excellent blog post and a new (to me) book to read. I’ve been on the internet since you had to pay by the hour, so awhile, now. It’s always disturbed me to run into people who are adamant about “it’s not real” because it’s on the internet and they’re strangers. They refuse to acknowledge there are real people behind the keys and monitors. This was a very refreshing post to be reminded that it is quite real — be it blogs, forums, texting, or however we choose to communicate. Classic and classy to make the world (and internet) a better place.

  89. #96 by lightenup on June 29, 2010 - 8:48 am

    I had to look up what an actuary does but isn’t that the point of your article? That it doesn’t really matter? The practice of respectful communication promotes positive effects no matter where you perform it.

    I especially liked my imaginations response to your suggestion “quickly disarm the other person with a friendly response, even if they attack you personally online”

    Yes, online ninja-type warriors of respect. What a pretty picture.

  90. #97 by johnrichmond on June 29, 2010 - 8:56 am

    In other words, a common sense approach to trying to treat people nicely, and therefore people are more likely to like you? :)

  91. #98 by Rahul on June 29, 2010 - 9:32 am

    Nice post Eddie,

    I have seen my share of online wars and relate to what you have said here. This article is informative, as much as it is common sense.
    Hope this helps some people enjoy their web experience more.


  92. #99 by gypsyjetsetter on June 29, 2010 - 9:36 am

    That’s a great point you make and a good reminder for online etiquette. Dale Carnegie really does last through generations and his advice can be applied to so many different mediums and situations. Thanks!

  93. #100 by veenvik on June 29, 2010 - 9:45 am

    I like this

  94. #101 by Skylar Hope on June 29, 2010 - 9:50 am

    Really good advice and very well written. I should forward this to the people I know who are consistently snarky and bitchy online.

    Also I know all about how arguments online only make things worse. I spent more than five hours yesterday arguing with someone via email! The end result: nothing got solved and im pretty sure a 7 year friendship is officially ended. Booo.

  95. #102 by lostbutf0und on June 29, 2010 - 10:12 am

    Very helpful, but I’ve read the book as well. You’ve summoned it up nicely though.

  96. #103 by TheIntentionalSage on June 29, 2010 - 2:23 pm

    There’s something I consider to be rather relevant from Sufism that I’ll share here called “The Three Gates of Sufism.”

    Before saying (or maybe typing/writing) one needs to make sure that their words pass through these three gates.

    1. Is it true?
    2. Is it necessary?
    3. Is it kind?


    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  97. #104 by savvy4u on June 29, 2010 - 7:52 pm

    I like this post very informative

  98. #105 by gregw89 on June 29, 2010 - 10:22 pm

    Interesting subject matter. This is the kind of article I’m interested in.

    I’d like to invite you to visit my blog

  99. #106 by synergythris on June 30, 2010 - 3:24 am

    Great story! Lots of work went into this one. I appreciate that. I see so many story with little content. Come check out my story and let know what you think…?

  100. #107 by loryt on June 30, 2010 - 10:04 pm

    Wow, Eddie, the positive energy generated by this post is so refreshing! It’s wonderful to see such good karma for a change, and related, no less, to a phenomenon that is becoming an increasingly integral part of our lives. Thank you for linking a classic like Carnegie to this contemporary issue.

    I confess I do not always succeed, but when I start to go down that “What the . . .” path because of the way I have interpreted an electronic communication, I try to tell myself to “assume positive intent.” If I can do this, and try to think of the positive rationale behind the message instead of the negative possibility, it can re-frame the entire conversation, and possibly the entire relationship. Thanks a bunch! I plan to pay this one forward.

  101. #108 by vladteam on July 6, 2010 - 10:55 am

    Yea, Carnegie made very big things for us.

    And most interesting thing that i remember , it was about Things most people love in relationships and in life.
    “Almost all normal people want :
    1-Health and in Safety
    2- food
    3- sleep
    4- money …
    5-insurance in the future
    6-sexual satisfaction
    7-well-being of their children
    8-sense of importance ”

    You know , Thank you for post Eddie

    Also I want show people my Busines site
    if some interested in his Financial future and education from rich experts I wellcome in my site and my team of leaders. If you’ve want.

    And MY Blog:
    http://vladtimoshenko.com/obo-mne/ while on Russian language)

    Thank you
    Best regards :)

  102. #109 by vijay kumar on July 6, 2010 - 12:08 pm

    undoubtedly, points mentioned by you are quite helpful in this social media era.

  103. #110 by Glenn on July 7, 2010 - 7:16 am

    Just sent out a tweet on this. See hashtags #leadership and #management. You should add a “Tweet this” button to your blog.

  104. #111 by Gil Rozenblatt on July 10, 2010 - 3:19 am

    After experiencing the power of a great motivational speaker @ my firm, I was tapped and told, “Gil you must read this book, it will undoubtedly make you a better person. I agree that the writing style was conversational and a breeze/pleasure to read. I learned how to better conversate with people. I never cut anyone off while speaking. I wait, listen intently and praise. I love to see the expression on peoples faces when I unexpectedly and sincerely tell them, “you know your one of the most interesting people I’ve met” giving these people an ego boost and a great feeling to go home with. If only everyone I know read that book. I recommend it more than I do any other. I continue to press until these people have read it and they always thank me, profusely, afterword. Same as I had with the fine gentleman, when I was first told to read it.

  105. #112 by Heather on July 17, 2010 - 5:01 am

    About every 5 years I pick up Carnegie’s “how to guide”. It is interesting to see how didactic the principals are in various stages of our lives. I became a “pencil reader” over the past few years and my side notes highlights the elasticity of the maxims.

    I am currently taking a writing and technology course. Your application of 70 year old writing to electronic communication further supports the dexterity of these basic concepts. After all, human nature does not change over night.

    Just as ancient rhetoricians tapped into the power of stylistic persuasion, Carnegie identified ways to tap into the pathos element of persuasion. I just find it disheartening that it reflects the dominance of a cultural ego-centric mind set.


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