• Rafael Scherzinger

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie – A Review

I received this book from Apollon Bairaktaridis, my friend and colleague from University, who advised me to read it, as it is one of the classics of self-developing literature. The main motivation, which lead me to read this book, was the subtitle of it: “The original is still the best! The only book you need to lead you to success”. Pretty catchy I would say, isn´t it?

Why did I read this Book?

I always wondered, what are the main methods of social interactions with others, which can lead to successful conversations and to sustainable professional or friendship relationships. This book gave me just that. My expectations were high, as I already heard a lot from the writer, Dale Carnegie (predominantly from my father).

The goal of winning new friends was always an important aspect for me. I am now in the 4th semester of my studies in the University, but I still feel that I don´t have enough friends, as the possibility of meeting new people arises in my daily life. Until now, I rarely took a chance in these situations to reach my goal of meeting new friends. I hope, after reading this book, this matter will be more manageable.

Brief Summary of the Book

The book is divided in 4 parts in this order:

  • Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

The most significant subpart, which had the most impact on me was the following: “The Big Secret of Dealing People”. I started wondering. Would it not be better for everyone to know this “secret”? In my opinion, we would deal much better with each other, when we all would know it.

  • Six Ways to Make People Like You

A fundamental aspect of making new friends. For me, the best subpart was with the title: “Do This and You´ll Be Welcome Anywhere”. The title is quite self-explanatory. If you want to master this “power”, this book is made for you.

  • How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

In the subtitle “You Can´t Win an Argument”, Carnegie tells us one of the most astonishing stories of his about Sir Ross Smith, which I really liked. At the end of this sentence, the reader finds a reference, to which a link has been attached about Mr. Smith (ADD WIKIPEDIA LINK TO THIS PERSON). Furthermore, this subpart gives one of Carnegie´s most significant principles: “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it”. Just to comment this principle with a few words of mine, I would say, it´s not true. Although I have immense respect to Carnegie, if you are always avoiding arguments, that can lead to bad consequences in your social life. In my opinion, a person who is not standing up to his arguments, and isn´t standing behind their own opinions is a push-over, who can be influenced very easily. You want to become the person who wants to influence people, not the one who is being influenced, right?

  • Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

In this chapter, Carnegie is giving us a helpful method of how to criticise others in a way, which would prevent the other person to hate you after you offer criticism. This can be vital for organisations or workplaces, where a manager always wants to improve its workers. How can you do that properly? The most effective way is criticising. If you are a person, who uses a lot of criticising towards others in order to develop them, this subpart can give you a very fine explanation how to do it, so that others won´t get offended and even would thank you for your constructive criticism.

Was it Helpful for me?

Definitely. The book helped me understand better ways of developing my social skills. I always thought, my social skills are good enough and do not need much of developing, but this book made me realise the total opposite. If you think the same way about your own social skills as I did, I recommend this book to you.

In my opinion, it is important to read every book from a critical point of view. As I already mentioned, I found some parts of the book, which didn´t entirely convince me of it’s plausibility. Besides this fact, the book is an excellent piece of work and can be helpful for everybody.

Rating: 4 Points out of 5

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