Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Last time I had this dilemma, should I criticize someone if I know what he or she is wrong, or just keep our silence? I try to point out that he or she is wrong, but that didn’t goes very well as they tend to be defensive. I felt compelled to the right thing and correct his wrong, but my good intention is not served in the end as well. Perhaps my intention is good, but my methods are not very effective.

I realize this by revisiting the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s a really repetitive book with a lot of examples, but it does teach a really simple life lesson: how to deal with the most complex being on earth, Human. I read it a few years back and found it pretty boring, but I revisited it during the Annapurna Circuit trek and found it to be quite interesting and effective as well. I did some practical on the trip, and it does help to strike up a few good conversations and make some friends.

So what is it all about? Though it had many principal or lessons, but it is mainly talking about putting your focus on other people. Rather than talking about yourself and your own interest, you should focus on your friend’s and his interest. Find out about his culture, work, travel and etc. We don’t criticize or condemn them, encourage them to talk about themselves and listen, smile, praise when necessary and etc. Basically put them as your primary focus and they would be happy and probably like you. It’s true that we like to talk about things which interest us, and we like people to listen. So find out about what they like, and encourage them to talk more; so we could eventually strike up a good conversation even though we are not a talkative person.

For summary of all the principals, visit


synical said...

I read it ages ago and I've re-read it again a couple of years back; it's just one of those timeless classics you can't believe has been around for so many decades.

Reading it, I found that I was already practicing what Mr Carnegie was preaching at the time, but still useful nonetheless.

KittyCat said...

This is one of my favourite books too! Read it when I was a teen and even practised some of the tips he suggested...they really work, don't they?

Btw, could you teach me how you managed to align the Amazon link so nicely? I dunno where to place the align, vspace and hspace codes. Thanks!