13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Genius - can't recommend it highly enough,
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This review is from: How to Win Friends and Influence People (Paperback)
As relevant today as the day it was written. Essential reading for any managers or professional consultants out there, and just about everyone else.
Written in a very concise, direct style, clearly restructured and reworded many times until distilled into its published form.
It gets to the point quickly. Chapter 2 was a revelation for me, and is essentially the crux of the entire philosophy of the book. It offers such a key insight into human nature, that I can honestly say has enhanced my understanding of social interaction immeasurably.
Midway through chapter 2 "The BIG secret to meeting people" I was hooked. Suddenly after so many years of struggling, the understanding that I lacked was made clear. Whilst I doubt I'll be able to articulate this as lucidly as Carnegie does, essentially, the secret is ...Everybody has a deep burning desire to feel important. This burning desire underpins (and frequently undermines) nearly all social interactions. Whilst Carnegie doesn't use the term himself, I roughly equate this with the Freudian term 'Ego'. Appeal to people's need for self importance and they will feel warmer around you and consequently towards you. Undermine this aspect, (particularly when in pursuit of your own sense of self importance) and expect sour repercussions. This is not to be confused with flattery or falseness however, but in fact requires taking a truly 'genuine' interest in other people.
The book essentially goes on to expand on many circumstances in which this core issue presents itself in life; and offers an often surprisingly approach to resolving these situations, which often demands quite the reverse approach, to that which is conventionally accepted as appropriate. These approaches are all backed up however by real life occurrences in which they have been used successfully, and with surprising results.
I'm someone who generally has trouble meeting new people, so I was slightly sceptical of the bold title of this book. But what can I say. It does what it says on the tin! The simple realisations in this book has allowed me to break out of my inwardness and start realising the impact I am having on others around me. Gradually I am learning to wield this knowledge and understanding more skilfully, which in turn is having an extremely positive impact on my career and effectiveness at work, as well as with friends and family members.
What I especially like however, is the approach it offers is a 'classy' way to deal with people. Whilst I dislike the term 'classy' for all its negative connotations, what I mean by this is, it requires treating people with respect, whilst also being assertive. It's about getting what you want, but by people offering this to you freely, rather taking or manipulating this by hard sell, or deceit. This knowledge is priceless, and frankly the world would be a much nicer place if even more people read this book.
All in all, worth it's weight in gold.
Warren Buffet is quoted on the cover of mine as saying "Carnegie changed my life", and to be honest, I can believe it.