How to Win Friends and Influence People

This classic book by Dale Carnegie was originally written back in 1937. You might ask yourself, "how could a book from the 30s possibly help me with my current modern problems?" This is probably the same question asked by the other 15 million plus people who have bought the book. The answer is simple. This book is NOT about how to run your business, how to choose a cell phone or laptop. It is about interpersonal dynamics. It is about how to talk to that employee of yours in order to get them to perform well. It is about how to discuss issues with the person you are selling to, in order to get them to agree to the sale. If you read historical books, you'll find that humans had the exact same emotions back in the days of the Greeks and Romans - love, envy, jealousy, self pity, pride, hope. It is these basic human needs you need to understand. Once you do, your daily business problems become MUCH easier.

There are a ton of thoughts in this book that are clearly important. Dale will first explain the issue, and then often will give a real life example of how handling the issue properly helped a real person in a real world situation. It really helps to make the image stick in your mind. None of these are complex, algebraic formulas. They are all straightforward, simple tasks - but once you practice and master them, they can make a huge difference in how others interact with you.

For example, if you have an employee or contractor that simply isn't doing their job properly, you have many options available to you. You can scold them or hound them. Those of us in business who have tried this approach find that it rarely works, especially in the long term. Dale explains what techniques DO work - and work reliably - in these situations. It's a matter of expanding your roster of options, so that when you hit a problem, you have a group of ideas to work with in order to solve it.

If I were to have a criticism about this book, it would be that everything is portrayed as being "solvable". It is put forward as if one of these solutions to a given problem will surely work. In the real world, that just isn't true. You could hit a cranky employee who already is looking for another job and who could honestly not care less about fixing his current job's problems. I really wish there was a section of the book that helped you know when it was just time to cut your losses. That being said, for the other 99% of the issues you face in your daily work life, this book is truly invaluable.

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