“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

(Listened to on CD while commuting.)

This book has lots of good principles for doing  just what the title says.  I found that a lot of the aphorisms the author prescribes seemed kind of repetitive after a while.  I boiled down Carnegie’s lists into just a few:

  1. Never criticize, complain or argue
  2. See things from the other person’s point of view.  They’ll never be motivated by what you want, so ask yourself: what do they want?
  3. Make people feel important – sincerely praise and compliment others often

Although these principles are applicable to numerous aspects of life, most of the examples in the book were of business in the 1930’s or 1950’s.  I guess this is my only complaint of the book, but I can’t fault it because the book was written in 1936.  It seems like the world is quite a different place.  A lot of Carnegie’s stories are about businessmen trying to convince other businessmen to buy their product or give them a price break or whatever … I just can’t imagine using some of the same techniques over the phone with a call center in India, for example.

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