Book Report – How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Published originally in 1936 Dale Carnegie created a fantastic handbook about improvement of human relationships. This book is organized in four parts and each part is divided into techniques, making it very easy to understand.

Mr. Carnegie’s techniques are commonly used in other books, however there are a couple that I found most interesting and helpful. In part one, technique number 2: “The Big Secret of Dealing with People” explains how every person knows something you don’t, and how it’s important you seek to learn that in every interaction. Not only will you gain knowledge, you will make the other person feel important and appreciated.

In part two: “Ways to Make People Like You Instantly”, this technique made the best impact on me. It is not about trying to please everyone or be the nicest person around, it is a sincere expression of kindest to people around you. Pay attention to people, make them feel important to you and learn to really mean it. Remember, everyone has something special that only they can share with you. Viewing people around you like who they are, special in their essence, will make you give them your sincere admiration.

In the third part of the book, I found technique number 1: “You Can’t Win an Argument”. Most often than not, arguments make someone feels embarrassed, uncomfortable and hurt. So even if technically you “won” the argument, the resentment the other person feels towards you will prevent future positive interaction. The author suggests that it’s best if we avoid arguments and learn to control our emotions. Furthermore, in technique number 3: “If you are wrong, admit it” the author suggests that we should be prompt to admit when we are wrong. Trying to “dance around it or sugar coat it” will only make us look bad at the end.

During the explanation of how to become a great leader, we move to Part Four, and technique 4: “No One Likes to Take Orders”. In order to become a great leader, you should engage people to see the situation the same way you do. Instead of rushing people to finish a task, take some time and help them visualize the situation at hand. Let them feel your sense of urgency and help them understand how it will affect them and the company, positively, if they make an effort to finish any given task on time.

The only thing we will accomplish with criticism is to make people strive at justifying themselves. Any one of us can be extremely successful at criticism, however it takes character and self-control to be an understanding and forgiving person.

The book’s overall teaching consisted of learning the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from our own.

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