How to Win Friends and Influence People was written by Dale Carnegie and published in 1936. By now 15 million copies of the book have been sold worldwide. This is said to be the first self-help book ever published.
I listened to the audio book only a few days ago. What an excellent book it is. This should have reached me a couple of years ago before I took some unwise decisions in both my personal and professional life. The book tells you how to win friends and retain them by not hurting them yet getting your things done. I have not been as smart as Carnegie in those areas. I have made a lot of friends and lost some of the best of them due to my impatience. I should have dealt with them in a more diplomatic way. But there was no Carnegie book with me those days.
I don’t think I am late. It is never too late. I can start NOW. I am 41 now. I can win my friends back. I can win what I lost now, well except one thing. You can guess what.
I used to criticize people in public and even through media for their faults with the hope that they would correct themselves. But I don’t think anybody was corrected by my criticisms. Instead they became hostile with me and attacked me fiercely whenever and wherever they could. It cost me dearly. I should have been shrewd with them. Criticizing doesn’t bring good results at all. It only hurts people and make them your enemies. You can attract people by admiring them rather than criticizing. That is what I am going to do from now on. I would have to do it sincerely without flattering them though.
I had been bad in letter writing too. I have written many emails that hurt people. Those who receive them retaliated. Only few who were educated enough understood my sentiments and took things logically. But many started scathing attacks on me. One has to be very careful in this age of Internet. You should not just hit the send button before reading the email you wrote once more. If the email is on a critical issue, keep it in the draft box at least for another day before sending. Carnegie gives you good examples of how to write good letters in the book.
The book teaches you how to win people and increase one’s influence, prestige and one’s ability to get the things done. In fact his ways are very simple when you read. You feel that you complicate simple things by being hasty or impatient. And you make a mess ultimately.
The book also teaches you how to sell yourself. You can become a better salesman or executive if you follow Carnegie’s advice. He will tell you how to win new clients and customers in creative ways.
The book helps you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant. It will also help make you a better speaker and a more entertaining conversationalist.
As a whole, after reading the book, you will become a totally changed individual who can take life positively. You will also be a more productive person who can take intelligent decisions in both your personal and professional life.
It is said that the billionaire businessman Warren Buffett took the Dale Carnegie course “How to Win Friends and Influence People” when he was 20 years old and to this day has the diploma in his office.