How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Peninsula Team

August 05 2011

I recall the first time I read this book nearly 20 years ago, which was prompted by its positive reputation within the business field. Having just finished university, I was keen to find practical material which would assist me within the business world. It was published in 1937 and I understand its success is such that it holds a place as one of the all time international best sellers, despite when it was first published, the principles contained within the book are still very relevant and applied today. Dale Carnegie used this textbook as a tool for his courses in effective speaking. According to Carnegie, the motive behind the book was to provide individuals with principles and training in the art of getting along with others in every day business and social environments.

Dealing with people is probably one of the biggest challenges anyone will face, especially within business. Carnegie Institute of Technology, during a survey and investigation revealed that even in an environment where technical expertise is essential such as within engineering, on average 15 percent of the business success is attributable to the technical knowledge. In contrast, it found that 85 percent of the business success is due to the skill in human interaction, the ability to arouse enthusiasm amongst people, to lead and manage in accordance with the business objectives.

This happens to be a book that I often refer to because it offers the chance to discover new aspirations in yourself and re-examine your drives and how to achieve them. We can all appreciate that our goals and vision of how to achieve them change regularly.
This book provides the basic trigger to be able to explore them and find new ambitions.

Carnegie uses simple terms, whilst the language is indicative of the time the book was written, the underlying meaning remains the same. The simple tools he refers to for a successful life lie at the heart of interaction, he proposes techniques and tips, for example never criticise and show sincere appreciation. Find out what others want and show them how to get there, become interested and know their name. To influence and lead, he refers to techniques such as praise and proposes that we ask questions instead of giving direct orders. Give the other person a reputation to live up to and encourage individuals to be happy about what is asked of them.

The book is available from Amazon:

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