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Book Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People

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How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the best known books on interpersonal relationships. It was first published in 1937 by Dale Carnegie, and it has been in near continuous print ever since. Though the book was written over 70 years ago, that does not mean the book is obsolete!

In fact, How to Win Friends is still on many current management and leadership reading lists, and for good reason. Following the advice and principles in this book is an effective way to win friends, influence people, and increase your network and productivity.

Though the title may seem to suggest it, there is nothing conniving, subversive, or tricky about any of the recommendations in the book. In fact, Carnegie teaches listening, talking, sincerity, being calm, and many other great character traits.

How to Win Friends is about more than just being popular.

How to Win Friends and Influence People focuses on interpersonal relationships and is an important book to read for people in all stages of life. It is good for people in relationships, college students, new professionals, managers at all levels, salesmen, anyone in a leadership position, and anyone who ever deals with other people on a regular basis. In short, just about everyone can gain from reading this book and applying its principles.

Applying the principles in this book can help you make personal connections with people in just a few moments, and increase your skills in negotiation, leadership, diffusing tough situations, remembering people’s names, and dealing with people’s emotions and egos.

My experience reading How to Win Friends and Influence People:

I first read How to Win Friends and Influence People when I became a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in the US Air Force. I was assuming a leadership role in my squadron, and I was put in the position to become a mentor and supervisor to several young troops. Applying the principles in this book was a great help in me becoming a better leader and NCO.

I recommend everyone read this book. Every public library should have a copy or two, or you should be able to find it at any bookstore. How to Win Friends and Influence People has been in paperback print for many years, so you can likely find it at a used bookstore for a very nice price. I would offer to send you my copy, but I gave it to one of my troops when I was in the USAF. He is now an NCO, and is leading troops of his own. :)


Published or updated May 18, 2011.
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