July 24, 2014

How To Win Friends And Influence People

I came across this book while looking at Buffer's culture slides. The company Buffer has created an amazing culture emphasizing positive thinking, happiness and transparency. This book written by Dale Carnergie is recommended in their slides.

It was first published in the 30s and was updated by Carnegie until 1955 when he died. However, even though this book is more than 80 years old, it is still completely accurate. That's not uncommon as you can read books of great philisophers written many centuries ago and find a lot of valuable lessons. This one has also many case studies and practical tips on how to behave in the contemporary society that can help you be a better person and enjoy the benefits of it.

Many of the lessons in there are what I always felt were good ways to behave. It's nice to see this written on paper, and put a word on what should be a better way to behave to make people feel good about themselves. More than just being a book on how to act in society, it's also a manual to master if you ever want to be a good leader in an organization. Here are a few lessons I enjoyed particularly in that book, with a few quotes :

"Be hearty in your praise and lavish in your approbation" – Dale Carnegie

First, praise must always be sincere and there is no place for flattery.
You should first emphasize what is good before mentioning what is to be fixed. People need to feel you recognize their work and qualities before hearing your criticism.

"Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language." – Dale Carnegie

When addressing someone, use the person's name. Anyone likes to hear their name. This is a lesson that Starbucks applies when asking people for their first name when ordering a drink.

"There's magic, positive magic, in such phrases as: 'I may be wrong, I frequently am. Let's examine the facts.'" – Dale Carnegie

Showing to someone that you accept to be wrong is the best way to start a discussion. Your opponent will consider your point of view as you show you are open to hear theirs.

"I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime." – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Always let people save face when they fail at something. It will help them rebound more rapidly.

Go ahead! Check out this book and tell me in the comments what are your favorite tips given by Carnegie. Also, don't hesitate if you have any question.