Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2009

I should have read How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie a long time ago.

Not because, on its face, the book is excellent, but, while reading it, I realized how influential this book has been on subsequent material ranging from leadership to teambuilding.

On its face, How to Win Friends and Influence People is an enjoyable, if not surprising book.

Carnegie breaks the material into six major sections, which were later trimmed to four. These sections are further broken down into core principles.


Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a man's Name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in the terms of the other man's interest.
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  1. Avoid arguments.
  2. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never tell someone they are wrong.
  3. If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Start with questions the other person will answer yes to.
  6. Let the other person do the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
  9. Sympathize with the other person.
  10. Appeal to noble motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to other people's mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes first.
  4. Ask questions instead of directly giving orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise every improvement.
  7. Give them a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Encourage them by making their faults seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
Carnegie ably provides examples, albeit some outdated, on each of this principles in action while providing small tidbits on building them inside oneself.

At first, harnessing one of these principles seems fairly straightforward, but Carnegie cautions the reader that they must be rehearsed, practiced and recalled in order to become truly effective.

Because I read this book as part of my stated 2009-2010 goals for my company, my challenge is to take one thing from this list an implement it.

From this list, I am choosing to implement the principle to: "Remember that a man's Name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language." To accomplish this implementation, I will learn everyone's name in my report tree, starting at Jason Waram, and one thing about each one.
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