How-To Book Review: “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

 

At some point, you realize it’s not enough to be only around people you like. You gotta make people like you, and you gotta persuade people to give you what you want. Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a good introduction for that.

How to Make the Book Work For You

I would say the book is best utilized in the work place where political correctness reigns supreme. Talk passionately about who you voted for in the last election or treat the place like a bar room and you know that H.R’s probably gonna come down hard on you. At the very least, you’ll probably become a very unpopular person.

The advice given by Carnegie is helpful as it is simple. Some of the things are like praising people before you criticize them, letting the other person talk and so forth. Many of the examples given are within a business context, especially related to customer service, sales, and negotiations in the 30’s.

However, the book can also be used to solidify your friendships. It’s refreshing in this negative world to meet a person that makes your day a little bit better. Use the book as a stepping stone in improving your social and business life and you might see that people are responding to you just a little bit more positively.

Where It Falters

The weakness of the book comes in when you have to deal with mind-games, backstabbing, and soft manipulation. I get the sense from reading “How To Win Friends” that people back then had unintentionally harsh personalities that could be melted with kindness and consideration.

Many of us know this isn’t always the case. “How To Win Friends” provides tactful tips for the purpose of building a successful relationship whether it’s business or personal. But what if that’s not possible? And what if you still have to deal with that person?

In that case, books like Robert Greene’s “48 Laws of Power” work really well where you need long-term plans for getting what you want with a clearer step-by-step, progressive strategies.

 

 

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