How to Win Friends & Influence People
Author: Dale Carnegie
Paperback: 288 pages
Originally Published: 1934
Win Friends was a life-changing book for me. From the very first chapter I began to re-evaluate every area of my life and my interaction with employees, friends and most importantly, my family. Not since the Bible has there been a single book that has transformed my way of thinking so completely.
Usually when I read a book I read for a set period of time or for X number of pages at a minimum. I could not do that with Win Friends. Most of the chapters are only 6-8 pages long so the reading goes quick, but I fully recommend stopping after each in order to let each point digest and be thoughtfully considered.
At the end of each chapter is a single line summary. While I didn’t memorize these, I frequently think back to them in certain discussions as I look for the best route to handle a situation. Each of these summaries have since been typed up, printed and pasted to the wall next to my desk. I try to read over them daily as a refresher.
So what’s all the good stuff? Is this book really just about winning friends and influencing people? Not at all. It’s a book on how make people like you while giving you what you want. As Dale Carnegie explains over and over, it’s not about taking advantage of people or acting in a false way in order to manipulate them. It’s about changing who you are and how you act so that you can address others genuinely and caringly that the natural result will be them wanting to give you what you want. Genuineness is the key to Carnegie’s book!
Early in the first chapters I realized that this will be a book I read at least once per year for the rest of my life. The principles will be memorized over time as I read and re-read them daily. You don’t have to be an unhappy person to read this book. And you shouldn’t read it if you’re just looking for ways to “get what you want” out of people. But if you’re genuinely interested in how to handle people as valued friends, make people like you, win them over to your way of thinking and learn how to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment, then this book is for you.