Book Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People

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So instead of posting what I learned over the weekend, I wanted to write a review of this book to show everyone how amazing and important this book really is.  This is the kind of book I will read and read and read again because the principles are so simply, yet, we don’t apply them often enough.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a non-fiction book that provides tools such fundamental techniques in handling people, ways to make people like you, how to win people to your way of thinking and how to be a leader.  The book stated “the only book you need to lead you to success” and that is a pretty accurate statement. 

This book was written in 1936 and uses many historical examples throughout the book.  Dale Carnegie gave lectures about self-development prior to writing this book and used many of the participants scenarios in the book and showed both the negative and positive aspect in applying each technique.  These techniques seem so simple, yet, they are not applied often enough.  After going through each chapter and each technique, he sums up the principles at the end of each section.  For example, the principles provided in the first section are 1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. 2. Give honest and sincere appreciation. 3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.  When a person is able to self-reflect and see these values, they begin to apply them.  Once they are applied just once, the individual sees the reward they get out of using each principle and can live a more successful life.  These principles are applied at work, at home or to a complete stranger.Dale-Carnegie-today-Quotes

The very last section is about being a leader and being able to influence people.  It states, “a leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior.”  He provides 9 principles to follow: 1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation. 2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. 3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person. 4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. 5. Let the other person save face. 6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” 7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. 8. Use encouragement.  Make the fault seem easy to correct. 9. Make the other person happy about dong the thing you suggest.  These principles are never mentioned, but should be.  Another passage from the book can be found here What I learned from this weekend

The author did an outstanding job conveying his message through effective writing.  He was able to clarify each principle using personal and historical examples.  It forces the reader to want to apply the principles.  This is the best book I have ever read and I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone.

     I did not provide every principle in this book because I want to leave room for you all to read the book yourself and hopefully learn as much as I did.  Comment below on what you learned over the weekend. If you didn’t learn something over this weekend, what’s your excuse?

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