Book Briefs

2017-02-15 06:03

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

Author: Dale Carnegie

I WASN’T expecting much when I picked up How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Yes, it’s a double-milestone in the self-help genre (the first and - many would say - still the best), but for a book dealing with human interaction, I would’ve thought much of its advice comes standard in the public consciousness.

Boy, was I in for a surprise. How to Win Friends is required reading for anyone struggling to become a “people person”, brimming with lessons on how to work with others in a natural, positive way.

From addressing people by their name, to understanding that no one truly wins in an argument, to becoming a good listener (instead of wanting to be the only one speaking every second), to avoiding criticism as much as possible, listing all of the book’s great points here would probably necessitate copying-and-pasting its entire contents section.

While I have enough grey hairs to know that no self-help book is the answer to all of life’s problems, Carnegie’s landmark work remains as warm, relevant, practical, confidence-boosting and advantageous as I’m sure it’s always been (since 1937, I might add). He also vitally notes that true change isn’t a coat of paint but the development of what’s within that ultimately radiates outward.

Veteran readers may wonder where I’ve been for the last few decades, and they’d be right, but that only reinforces my belief that the book is in dire need of a comeback.

Whether you consider yourself a reader or not, pick this up if you fulfill both of the following conditions - you’re a human being or you interact with other human beings.

Further reading: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Stephen R. Covey)

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