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Be a Leader (Part 4 of 9)

This is the twenty-fifth 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: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person

Be a Leader: How to Change People without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Principle 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders

  • Use suggestions rather than orders; “maybe if we were to phrase it this way, it would be better.”
  • Give people the opportunity to do things themselves rather than ordering them; it saves a person’s pride and gives him a sense of importance and encourages cooperation instead of rebellion.
  • Resentment caused by a brash order can last a long time.


  • Asking questions not only makes the request more palatable, it stimulates the creativity of the persons who you ask.
  • People are more likely to accept an order if they’ve had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.

Up Next

Let the other person save face.

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