Book Review on How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People, originally published in 1936 is divided into four main parts: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People; Six Ways to make people like you; How to win people to your way of thinking; and Be a Leader- How to change people without giving offence or arousing resentment.

Among many, a few critically important insights from this book are as follows:
i) The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important and great. Thus, give honest and sincere appreciation. This is the big secret of dealing with the people;
ii) We can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than we can in two years by trying to get other people interested in us. Thus, Become genuinely interested in other people;
iii) We must encourage others to talk about themselves. We must know that the people we are talking to are hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in us and our problems. Thus, Be a good listener;
iv) Don’t argue with your customer or your spouse or your adversary. Don’t tell them that they are wrong, don’t get them stirred up. We must use a little diplomacy. Thus, Show respect for the other person’s opinions;
v) As a leader, we may often feel that we have to give a direct suggestion on how to correct someone underneath us. This can cause resentment and still not solve the issue. Instead, we should try solving issues by way of asking questions (or giving suggestions) like ‘Do you think that would work?’ ‘What do you think of this?’ ‘You might consider this’, etc.

This book will benefit everyone whether you are into business or into any other professions. Though the book was written over 80 years ago, it still has strong relevance to the modern context. The book will prove useful for people in relationships, managers at all levels, and anyone in a leadership position. In short, this book is worth reading by anyone who ever deals with other people. If you sincerely follow advice and principles in this book, you would find effective ways to win friends, influence people, and increase your network and productivity. In fact, Carnegie, in his exuberant and conversational writing style offers practical advice on how to get out of a mental rut and make your life.

It is a book that must be read annually to keep the principles fresh in my mind. If you are a leader, it is one of the books you must have on your bookshelf.

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August 22nd, 2019 by