Weekly Reads: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Eden Asipov // The Watchdog

There are millions of books in the world, but very few are as useful as the classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. The principles of human interaction described in this book are universal and timeless. If you read any single self-help book in your life, it should be this one. 

Many people frequently experience failure in various aspects of their lives, personal, academic or professional, but they cannot seem to understand why. Often, they blame their misfortune on others or on bad luck. They never end up making personal changes that can increase their chances of achieving their dreams. 

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” demonstrates that your success is determined by the people you interact with and how you interact with them. Carnegie presents the following easy-to-understand principles on how to successfully socialize with others: 

  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. 
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation. 
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want. 
  • Become genuinely interested in other people. 
  • Smile. 
  • Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. 
  • Be a good listener. 
  • Encourage others to talk about themselves. 
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. 
  • Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. 

The book is filled with entertaining stories and anecdotes that demonstrate these principles.

The most important principle for success is the first one. According to Carnegie, “Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism, and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.”

When asked about how Carnegie’s book changed his life for the better, Dave B., a software developer at Microsoft, said, “Before I read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ my career at Microsoft was going downhill. Due to my inability to successfully communicate with others, I had a falling out with my team lead and the rest of my team. This caused me to receive a bad review at work, and I lost the respect of my coworkers. My manager strongly recommended this book to me. After I read this book, I stopped criticizing others completely and started talking to others in terms of their interests. I learned to listen to my coworkers and show them genuine appreciation. I saw that my conversations at work became far more successful and productive. My relationship with my manager improved, and my career took a turn for the better.”As a student who is beginning your adult life, you should not overlook this great resource. This book provides a straightforward guide for how to ensure that your interactions with others are always successful. So, go read it today.