Bookreview - How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie
Jessy The is a tax consultant turned entrepreneur, whose passion is to strengthen your business by providing business and website consultancy.
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+ Classic: used for the all-important life-lessons on how to get along with people since 1937;
+ Beautiful: the description of human behaviour is written very beautiful, concise and compassionate;
+ Inspirational: get inspired if you are currently experiencing difficulties with your boss, colleagues or people you work with in general;
- (Un)realistic: some of the reactions described, might not reflect exactly how people would react in practice;
- Outdated: we live in a completely different era than the one Carnegie lived in, nevertheless, his lessons are timeless;
What is this book about?
Whether you are an employee or your own boss, dealing with different types of people is probably one of the most difficult things you face. Back in the day, there were no books available regarding this topic. Therefore, Carnegie wrote this book to help people understand how to get along. How to influence people to like you, and how to win others to your way of thinking. Honestly, the title sounds manipulative (How to win friends? Really?), but Carnegie’s core message basically is to consciously have more compassion, sympathy and emotional intelligence when it comes to dealing with people.
He provides lists of actions to use in certain situations at work or home. An increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and seeing things from their perspective, can be an important building block in your career. Also, supposedly, your success depends 15% on your technical knowledge and 85% on your people skills, leadership and people-management.
This book is for you if...
- you have a sincere determination to increase your ability to grow your people skills;
- you would like to understand the science of people’s behaviour and thought-process;
- it excites you to get the best out of people. This book will teach you how to do this without executing any form of any critique or judgement;
- you find being a team-leader difficult and are looking for new ways to stimulate your team.
Here’s a sneak peek into Carnegie’s practical advice for particular situations:
- You have an assistant that always delivers perfect work but lately she is a bit off. Mention your assistant’s impeccable reputation of good work and that you are not used to her being sloppy. Your assistant might get motivated to live up to that reputation again;
- You need to fire one of your employees because there are less jobs available currently; Let the employee save face by making him or her feel good when leaving. Tell them you root for them and their bright future ahead so that they know that if you had work for them, you’d keep them on. This prevents feelings of grudge, when meeting or working together again in the future.
- One of your employees made a mistake and you have to correct his behaviour; To try to improve his behaviour, start by admitting mistakes that you’ve personally made once or twice. Show how your lessons learned could improve his work.
- A deadline is coming up. What is a way to stimulate your team to make it? Call everybody in for a meeting, explain the situation and how much it would mean for the company and to you, if you could all together make it possible to produce all things necessary before the deadline. Let everybody in on the discussion on how to make things more efficient, faster and better. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
If you have a desire to master Carnegie’s principles, you’ll have to apply them at every opportunity. The principles will work only when they come from the heart. Not all people will react as desired because we are all wired differently, but perhaps you will progress in how to deal with people. And along the way, become a better boss or employee, or work colleague because of it.