How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” What is it about them that makes them so attractive? In schools, workplaces and all other public forums, everybody strives to be him/her: the personable, attractive, approachable  teacher, schoolmate or colleague that everyone looks towards. They are leaders, yet they are still friends, and interaction with them is always delightful and stress- free.  Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People  is a self-help book that illustrates the mannerisms of such a person, and gives advice on how to  attract and influence others positively. Carnegie’s book explores mainly the idea that people are egoistic — in order to become close to them, you must play into their selfishness:  complement them,  make them feel important, and emphasise common interests and opinions. You must  make them feel like they came up with  the great idea, and let  them speak for the majority of the time. These ‘tricks’  are coupled with anecdotes and illustrations that are fairly dated, but still interesting to read and powerful in bringing the lesson home to the reader. One example chronicles American president Abraham Lincoln’s method of dealing with disappointing and/or underperforming employees or partners: he  would sit down and pen a scalding letter, and then fold it up and put it in his desk. Through Lincoln’s story, Carnegie then gives us the lesson: when dealing with anyone, it is imperative to exercise empathy and pour out all of your grievances before approaching them. Yet out of  these arguments also stems the sentiment that Carnegie’s book is rather useless for creating lasting intra-personal relationships. Because of its business-steel like approach to interacting with people, it is unlikely that  his advice can be used to build deep and lasting relationships. Some have even argued that it might work against you, and portray the user of these tips as a manipulator who only has their own interests in mind. I don’t quite agree with this. While it is  true that Carnegie’s  tips may not make lasting, intimate relationships, they are not quite about manipulation. Carnegie’s book  focuses  entirely on the other person and trying to create bridges of commonality between the two parties. I have tried a few of the tips in this book myself, and have found them extremely useful in situations where I have just met, or in places where I am asked to spontaneously take charge of a large group of people. From the leadership perspective, this book is extremely useful —  being a strong leader is not always about being intimate with everybody, but about strategically placing yourself to be the one that everyone looks towards for advice, and is willing to follow. If that is your goal as well, then this book offers  strong advice on how to achieve this.  People are not cynical, selfish creatures. Everybody is deeply interested in themselves because they worry about how to relate to others, and How to Win Friends and Influence People is a book that teaches how to relate to others.  It might be that the book  is not right for fostering close relationships, but it does contain valuable advice for  interaction in the public world, especially  those that require some form of leadership.

Awuor Onguru 

Rating: 4 Interesting

 


 

This is a must read for any scholars, parents or anyone in general who would like to refine their leadership skills, better their relationships or even just become more of an likeable person overall. The book is simple to understand, yet holds a cornucopia of both informative and entertaining suggestions and guidelines that can definitely help you navigate through your social life. An example would be to refrain from criticizing and complaining, and instead offer reward for positive behaviour then suggest improvements to their negative traits as people are more likely to retain knowledge if it feels positive. To quote Dale “when dealing with people we must remember we are dealing with creatures of logic, we are dealing with creatures of emotion.” That in mind, one must remember to appeal to positive emotions to avoid resentment. It takes character and emotional maturity to understand another person’s point of view. A principle that I personally see as important to us as future leaders is to avoid arguments. As a leader there will be moments when you disagree with your teammates, be it you find fault in their method, ot they find flaws in yours. A key thing to remember is that argument is never the answer as in the big picture no one wins; yes, perhaps you may be more factually accurate or have the high ground in the situation but by proving so through an argument you are simple causing frustration to the other person and damaging their pride. You would seem to be forcing them to realize you are superior. Instead, hold your temper and listen, look for area of agreement and or common ground. Also remember to welcome disagreement. Allow yourself to be open minded and for your ideas to be challenged. The book covers large important lessons and social cues, but also looks at the little details of social interaction which is what makes it as good as it is, because subconsciously we all appreciate the little things, such as being referred to by our names as often as possible, and having someone ask questions and seem genuinely interested in you and your ideas. This book has definitely helped me see, through a whole new light and has helped me better handle my social interactions.

Nyawira Mburia

Rating: 5 Recommend

 


I have a secret. A secret that could help you make more friends and more meaningful connections than you’ve ever had. Well, what if I told you that my little secret is one that is 83 years old? Well, maybe you would argue that my secret is outdated and may not work for this new generation. This is the best time to apply it. It’s a timeless treasure. A book I so treasure and one that I will read and re-read, and maybe even lose sleep over. This is a book that I not only enjoyed, but also applied in my day to day life and I’ll tell you all about it! The book revolves around four key parts, each with approximately 50-page chapters in between. The key parts are as follows: The Fundamental Techniques in Handling People, The Six Ways to Make People Like You, How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking and lastly, Be a Leader: How To Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment. Although this book had several chapters and fundamental lessons, I will let you in on the ones that I have come to apply and appreciate the most. First and foremost, Be Genuinely Interested in Others! Many at times when we meet someone, we don’t take keen interest in knowing them fully. Instead, we like to talk about ourselves and share all about what makes us so special and all ourselves. But don’t you think the other person feels the same or would want to be heard too. That is why, when we meet someone for the first time or even when we talk to our friends, if we want to build deep connections we must first start by discovering what their interests are and take keen note of the things that fascinate them before going on to talk about your own. When you give someone the opportunity to share their interest and expertise on a subject they enjoy, they will associate their joy with your presence. Think of the last time someone praised you for your work. How did that feel? Did it make you feel special and feel appreciated and loved? Well, why don’t we try to do it to others more often. Let us try to praise our friends for even the little things and contributions they make in our lives. It not only makes them feel loved but also helps them get better at their work and when they think about you, appreciate you even more. To build your praise and appreciation muscle, make praise and appreciation a daily habit. Lastly, smile! Smiling is the simplest way to make a great first impression and instantly makes others around you feel warm and comfortable. The Chinese have a proverb that says: A man without a smiling face must not open a shop. Your smile is a messenger of good will and brightens the lives of all who see it! So, smile often!

Ryan Nduma

Rating: 5 Recommend