I really wanted to kick start some book reviews on here and finding time to sit down and read during the festive season was hard, but in the end it was well worth it!
Today, i will be looking at Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. The books was published some years ago in 1936, but remains extremely relevant today. After finishing it think its absolutely perfect for the first book review i put on here. It’s really comes as no surprise that it was one of the first best selling self-help books ever to be published.
Disclaimer: Im going to summarise alot of key points in the book, and i would just like to say that you shouldn’t just rely on what i say in such a short space to summarise the entire book. There is no substitutes for the articulate writing of Carnegie and the extra detail and anecdotes in the book really drive home the points made. There is no substitute for reading the book!
Anyways, the book starts off outlining ‘Eight Things This Book Will Help You Achieve’
- Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, acquire new visions, discover new ambitions.
- Make friends quickly and easily
- Increase your popularity.
- Win people to your way of thinking.
- Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
- Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
- Become a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
- Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.
The book is broken into 6 major sections each containing a certain number of principles. These are:
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Six Ways to Make People like You
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re Wrong.”
- If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
- Let the other person save face.
- Praise every improvement.
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
My Opinion: The book is definitely a good read, the most important thing i would stress when considering the chapters is sincerity. Without being able to execute a reasonable sense of sincerity a lot of what is talked about will simply not work. Fake and forced smiles, non engaging questions like ‘so i hear you like football?’ are just simply not going to get that conversation flowing like you want.
If i were to summarise the most important points in the book and what i have really taken away from the book would be:
- Avoid criticism, lavish praise
- Be a good listener
- Talk about other peoples interest
These points i think are the real key focus of the book and although they seem simple, it is often within our nature to overlook them. We as humans have a tendency to jump straight to criticism and talk about ourselves more then what is needed when conversing with other people. The book is basically saying take an interest in other people and what they like, and you too will become much more likeable.
However, to say someone could use this book as there sole source of information in how to handle social situations would be wrong. There are many other elements that would need to be considered when ‘making friends’. Consideration of (just of the top of my head), knowing where to meet people and the types of people in that environment, being able to make plans etc would indicate there is more to it then what the book is saying.
All in though if you are looking to increase your social skills this book is a must, I got it here on Amazon for $10 bucks, definitely worth a read.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10