25 Ways To Win With People by John Maxwell: Summary & PDF

25 ways to win with people book cover

25 Ways to Win With People by John Maxwell teaches readers to make people feel good. The main idea is: make people feel good and they will help you feel good as well.

Exec Summary

  • Start With Yourself: to help greatly, become great first
  • Listen to their dreams, encourage their dreams, and help them with their dreams
  • Share a secret -or personal details- with someone you trust to bond more closely

Full Summary

About The Author: John Maxwell is a pastor, public speaker, and best-selling author.
He sold millions of books and among his most popular are leadership texts such as “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Start With Yourself

I love that John Maxwell leads with “start with yourself”.

You can’t give what you don’t have and your relationships will only be as healthy as you are. So to make the people around you feel great, become a great human being first.
This is basically one of the overarching tenets of my life.

John Maxwell suggests solving as many problems in your life first and looking for improvement areas in yourself first.

Your relationships will only be as healthy as you are

The 30-Second Rule

In the first 30 seconds you’re in a conversation with someone, tell them something encouraging.

Once it becomes a habit for you people will light up when you will walk into any room.

And here’s a nice way to make it a habit: open your calendar every day, look at the people you will meet during the day, and plan something encouraging to say.

It can be something they’ve done for you that you thought was great or amazing, or that you are really thankful for it.
Or something they have recently done well, or something they achieved.

Let People Know You Need Them

People like to feel needed and helpful.

Think right now in your life who could be able to help you, and go tell them how much it would mean for you.

Create a Memory and Revisit It Often

Make something memorable with the people around you to create memories. Then immortalize those moments with pics, show them the pictures, and give them the pictures.

Then relive those stories together, talk about them, and laugh about them. And ask them to tell those stories.

Compliment In Front Of Other People

A compliment is fantastic to make people feel great, but a compliment in front of others is even more powerful. And it’s super helpful so that people keep behaving in line with that compliment, ie.: uphold that compliment:

Give Reputation to Uphold

Giving a reputation to uphold leverages the commitment and consistency principle (Cialdini).

John Maxwell says that a great way to do it is to actually find a nickname for the person that will embody a quality they possess.

And then use that nickname or repeat their quality often so that it will get associated with them.

Encourage their Dreams

Ask people to share their dreams with you, ask what challenges they’ll need to overcome and at that point offer your help or give some helpful tips.

My note:
I find this extremely powerful indeed.
If you do it well it’s a strong connection guaranteed and people will love you. Only do it though with the ones you really wanna connect deeply. It’s also a good technique for men to use with women.

Pass the Credit on to Others

You probably heard this one before.

It’s true indeed that top leaders take the blame when things go wrong and give credit when winning.
If the subject of leadership is interesting to you, also take a look at Extreme Ownership and Leaders Eat Last.

Share a Secret With Someone

When you share a secret with someone it will make them feel special and closer to you.

You can make it even more powerful if you add you only shared your secret because you trust them.

Do For Others What They Can’t Do For Themselves

Helping others reach their goals will cement your relationship.

And if you do so in a way they couldn’t have done by themselves, they will be even more thankful to you.

Find the Keys to Their Hearts

What do they dream, fear, love, or believe in?

Find out and establish some common ground on those key values.

Be the First to Help

Serving someone first in their time of need will make you remembered forever.

And I fully support this one: guaranteed you will never forget the people who tendered their hand when nobody else did.

Remember a Person’s Story

Asking a person’s story says “you could be special”, remembering says “you are special”, reminding him the story says “you are special to me”, and repeating to someone else says “you should be special to them”.

The result?

You become special to the person sharing the story with you.

I do keep a Word file with notes on important people in my life.

Point Out People’s Strengths

Everyone has some special ability.
Find it and point it out to them.

Real-Life Application

The two major takeaways from “25 Ways to Win With People” for me are:

  • Start With Yourself: become a great human being to help greatly
  • Care About People: If you care about people, most of all the “rules” will come natural

25 ways to win with people book cover


A few of the 25 rules will seem like common knowledge, but I would be surprised if it were otherwise.
And the real question is always: maybe you know them.
But are you applying them?


25 Ways to Win With People is an easy and pleasant read.

But, most of all, it’s a useful read.
You will most likely find some golden nuggets you can use and implement in your life to become a better person.

You can read more about my Social Mastery Guide here, my social skills book summaries here and you can Get 25 Ways to Win With People on Amazon.

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