In this latest edition of Byron’s Book Club, Byron Udell, Founder and CEO of AccuQuote, reviews “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
No author understood human nature better than Dale Carnegie (1888-1955). His famous best-seller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, and a recent Library of Congress survey ranked it as the 7th most influential book in American history.
Published in 1937, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is written in a clear, common sense style that is a joy to read. The book’s message is simple and straight-forward: Using one’s innate charm and personality is the most direct way to “win” over others to your point of view.
This book comes out of Carnegie’s first-hand experience as a teacher of public speaking. He toured the country, refining his instructional style over several years. Finally, he hired a stenographer to transcribe his lectures. When Carnegie read the transcripts, he realized that he had a book.
I doubt he had any idea that “How to Win Friends and Influence People” would be the international best-seller it became. In fact, the book had 17 print editions in its first year alone, and sold 250,000 copies in the first three months. The book remained on the New York Times best-seller list for the next two years.
In the book, Carnegie lays out the 12 essential tips on how to persuade someone to your point of view, without resorting outright confrontation. Here’s some of those common-sense tips: “Respect for the other people’s opinions.” “If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”
Carnegie also laid out the steps to becoming a better leader: “Begin with praise and honest appreciation.” “Praise every improvement.” “Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.”
Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? Warren Buffet says “How to Win Friends and Influence People” changed his life. The book absolutely inspired me as well. In my 30 years as the founder and CEO of AccuQuote, I truly believe in listening and learning from my employees and my clients. It think that kind of mutual respect is the key to success in business and personal well-being as well. There’s no better winning strategy than that.