I finally finished my 13th book of the year, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. After finishing this book, I get why a lot of college courses use it as required reading. It was one that had been on my Amazon Book Wishlist, but I finally got a chance to make the time for it. I’m so grateful that I did, because it was a very actionable read that left me every day with a little lesson.
At first I was nervous about reading this book. I didn’t want to focus on being fake, taking advantage of people, or trying to manipulate anyone. I had heard great things about this book, but none the less that was still a concern. I was hoping to get out of it some genuine advice on how to communicate better.
Learning how to work with people is key and even the smallest thing can put someone off. It’s good to understand how what you do affects how people perceive you, and this book offers a lot of small changes to make that perception better.
This book is broken down in to simple to a few parts with simple to digest sections. I love when books are structured this way, it makes it easy to pick it up for 15 minutes and be able to fully grasp a point, then end without leaving in the middle.
The parts include how to handle people, ways to make people like you, winning people to your way of thinking, and being a leader. Those may seem very manipulative, but they were more about portraying what you want to say in a way that’s agreeable.
Another thing I really like about this book, is that at the end of each section or part, the main takeaways are summarized in large font. It makes it easy to review what you just read, and also it helpful for coming back to it later.
One of my favorite takeaways from this book was that you can’t win an argument. It was something that was always in the back of my mind, but this book made it abundantly clear. Carnegie’s point is that the more that you argue, the more someone roots themselves in their position and you will get nowhere.
Instead, avoid it. Look for areas of agreement, give yourself some space from the situation, be honest with them, and try to see if from their perspective. That is definitely one point that I’ve already used multiple times and is a game changer for me.
Here are 5 other takeaways from this book that I use now on a daily basis after reading this book. They may be slightly obvious, but Dale had a friendly nudge through his words that made this a bit more front of mind.
Ask people questions about themselves and show genuine interest
Try to start a line of sales questioning with all ‘yes’ responses, a ‘no’ right away will shut someone down
People want to talk about themselves, let them
As a leader, provide some encouragement before criticism
If you want to encourage people, throw down a challenge
I’m thankful I made time for this book and I completely understand why it’s made such an impact on people and have been in print for so many years. This is something one that I would recommend to anyone starting out in the business world or who is moving up to their first management position.
Have you read this before?! What did you think?