A classic! What more can you say? The quintessential “working handbook on human relations,” I can’t count how many times I have read or skimmed … “How to Win and Influence Friends.” Yet every time that I do, I learn something new and incredibly impactful to me, my personal life, and to my business.
Originally published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s examples are laced with references and stories relevant to his day and to his recent history, gleaning lessons from Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War generals, English kings, John D. Rockefeller, and many others.
But don’t be put off by the age of this book or think that Carnegie’s “old” stories and examples hold no meaning in today’s world and times…they do! The book’s insights and lessons are relevant to any decade, any organization, and any situation involving people. That’s part of what makes this book such a classic – it’s timeless.
The basis for the book is the fact that of prime interest to everyone is people: how to understand and get along with people; how to make people like you; and how to win others to your way of thinking. But the methods Carnegie suggests are not about tricking or cajoling others, or taking advantage of them. They are about focusing on others’ needs and wants, just like you would like others to do with you.
The importance of being “good” with people is evident by studies performed at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and others. These investigations revealed that “about 15 percent of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85 percent is due to skill in human engineering – to personality and the ability to lead people.” To me, those numbers are astonishing and run counter to where we actually invest so much of our time, attention, energy, and resources.
In no way can this summary do the book justice but, for the sake of our purposes, let’s briefly review some select principles from each of the book’s four sections.
Part One – Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Part Two – Six Ways to Make People Like You
Part Three – How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
Part Four – Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Rousing Resentment
There is so much wisdom packed into the pages of this book that it seems impossible to digest it all. However, if you take Dale Carnegie’s principles and lessons to heart, you can’t help but be more of who you want to be and accomplish more than you ever thought possible. And you’ll develop some truly meaningful relationships along the way.
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