How to Win Friends and Influence People is a book written by Dale Carnegie. The book is a chest full of golden principles that one should be guided by when interacting with other humans. When reading it for the first time I used to go back to each chapter and re-read it at least once, just to make sure that I got the most of it. Here’s why I think that everyone trying to be better at handling people should read and try to follow the guidelines written by Mr. Dale in his book—first published in 1936.
First of all I can’t think of many professions that don’t rely on effective human interaction. Almost everyone can benefit from having good communication skills when dealing with colleagues or customers. When it comes to colleagues you need to know how to avoid resentment, build healthy relationships, deal with criticism and arguments. When interacting with your customers you need to know how to sell your product or handle complaints for example. If there’s something that you can do that would increase these skills by any margin, you should pursue that opportunity. This book will definitely help you build “people skills”.
Besides colleagues and customers, you have other personal relationships like friends, your spouse and kids. Who wouldn’t want to be respected and loved by most of the people in his or hers life? That of course takes a lot of work and dedication but this book gives solid suggestions that can help you in reaching that goal.
Mr. Dale mentions throughout the book that simply reading and then forcing the guidelines won’t work. According to him, one needs to have a deep desire to change—to be better in dealing with people. Here are some quotes from the book to help you understand what I mean.
If you wish to get the most out of this book, there is one indispensable requirement, one essential infinitely more important than any rule or technique. […] What is this magic requirement? Just this: a deep, driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people.
Here’s one more:
Let me repeat: The principles taught in this book will work only when they come from the heart. I am not advocating a bag of tricks. I am talking about a new way of life.
The book is split into four parts. The parts are titled as:
- Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Six ways to Make People Like You
- How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
Trying to fundamentally change the way you are dealing with people is hard and I’m talking from my own (although limited) experience. This book has given me the tools that will help me in that process and for that I would recommend the book to everyone who has similar intentions. It’s obvious that being good at handling people will help you in all aspects of your life. This book will show you how to be better at doing just that.