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How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking (Part 10 of 12)

This is the nineteenth post in a multi-part series where I share the highlights of the sections/subsections of the book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Previous: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires

How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

Principle 10: Appeal to the nobler motives

  • J.P. Morgan observed that a person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good, and a real one.
  • In order to change people, appeal to the nobler motives (rather than the real motive).


  • Example: A landlord is dealing with a tenant trying to get out of a lease. The landlord told the tenant that he sized him up of being a “man of his word” and asked the tenant to think it over — if he decided to leave, the landlord would admit he made a mistake in judging his character. This approach appeals to the person’s “honor” to carry out the lease.
  • When no information can be secured about the customer, the only sound basis on which to proceed is to assume the other person in sincere, honest, truthful, and willing and anxious to pay the charges owed. (There will be exceptions, but hopefully few.)

Up Next

Dramatize your ideas.


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