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on December 12, 2010
In my humble opinion the best self-help book ever published along with `Think and Grow Rich' of Napoleon Hill. I must confess that I don't like the title (which I believe sends the wrong idea), but Dale's insights are real, and you just have to put it into practice. While some critics think that it's manipulative, I believe that Dale's insights are nothing more than careful observations of the human mind and behaviour - in other words, the rules of the game. If you pay attention to it, you will understand yours and other people's nature. Applying it will not only help you to be more successful in your life but also how to become a better person. You will see that most of the things that you are suggested to do are simply things you wished others were doing to you. Thus, the book is not about how to coerce others to do things that they don't want. In contrary, it is about principle, balance and respect. Dale instructs you that just with a little bit of consideration, all parts can gain and you could still have your ideas/wishes going through.

What follows are the books' 6 major sections and core points. Keep it close with you because, although simple, they are easy to forget:

* Fundamental techniques in handling people:
1) Don't criticize, condemn, or complain
2) Give honest and sincere appreciation
3) Arouse in the other person an eager want

* Why some people are very likeable (or 6 ways to make people like you):
1) They are genuinely interested in other people
2) They are often smiling
3) They remember people's name. For them, this is the sweetest and most important sound in any language
4) They are great listeners. Often encourage others to talk about themselves
5) They always talk in the terms of the other person's interest
6) They make the other person feel important and do it sincerely

* 12 Ways to convince people to your way of thinking:
1) Avoid arguments
2) Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never tell someone that he or she is wrong
3) If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
4) Begin in a friendly way
5) Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes
6) Let the other person do the talking
7) Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers
8) Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view
9) Sympathize with the other person
10) Appeal to noble motives
11) Dramatize your ideas
12) Throw down a challenge; don't talk negatively when a person is absent; talk only about the positive

* Be a Leader: how to stimulate change in people without giving offense or arousing resentment:
1) Begin with praise and honest appreciation
2) Talk about your own mistakes first
3) Call attention to other people's mistakes indirectly
4) Ask questions instead of directly giving orders
5) Let the other person save face
6) Praise every improvement
7) Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
8) Encourage them by making their faults seem easy to correct
9) Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest

* 7 Rules for making your home life happier:
1) Don't nag
2) Don't try to make your partner over
3) Don't criticize
4) Give honest appreciation
5) Pay little attentions
6) Be courteous
7) Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage
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on August 17, 2002
When I was 12 years old my best friend gave me a copy of this book and told me that I might find it interesting. He could not have been more right, for I delved deep into the book and I finished it in a matter of 2 weeks (to me it was a record to finish a book so quickly at that age!) I found the book to be very informative and entertaining at the same time. The author, Mr. Dale Carnegie, will not introduce a principle or a notion without supporting it with at least one real life story where the principle introduced was proven effective. After that point I noticed a great, almost immediate, effect on my behavior as I was growing up. I noticed that I have become a very good negotiator with my parents and teachers, more popular at school, and I even began to understand people much better than I used to prior to reading the book. I grew up believing that this book was one of the greatest factors involved in shaping my character.
Recently though, I noticed some growing criticism of the book and its teaching, and I thought that this would be a good time for me to refresh what I learned from the book and assess its quality based on the experience I've gained since the first time I read the book. So I bought the unabridged audiotapes of the book and listened to it whenever I was in the car.
Mr. Carnegie said somewhere in the book that if one thing you learn from the book, which is the ability to understand the different views of other people in different situations, then that would be enough. And I agree wholeheartedly.
My judgment is that this book will indeed teach you how to understand the motives and the different forces playing in the different people you meet. Humans all across the globe share basic needs and characteristics that play a major role in forming their attitudes and decisions. Understanding those factors and satisfying them will be the most effective method of influence you'll ever need.
Mr. Carnegie begins the book with the foundations of developing this skill of understanding others. He extends three principles that if applied will help you identify what other people want and how you can satisfy them. After that he introduces six ways to make people like you. These methods hover around the same three principles mentioned in the beginning of the book. After that the author discusses in two parts methods and principles that help you influence people to your way of thinking.
All of this seems interesting but why are people criticizing this book, you wonder. The first issue with this book is the title. It says "How to win friends and influence people." I would have called it "How to make people like you and influence their behavior." The methods Dale introduces aren't for winning friends. You don't win friends by avoiding arguments and by projecting enthusiasm that is not honest. You'll only have them like you, but they are not won as friends, yet at least. Honesty is absent in Carnegie's teachings, and sometimes even unadvised! In one story he tells of a manager of a singer who would lie to the singer just to get him on stage!
Another observation I had on the book was the relevance of some of the stories to the principle being introduced. Some of those principles would not have worked in the stories he mentioned have the circumstances been even little different! Yet Dale would acclaim the introduced principle as the reason that the story reached the happy ending it did. But, to the benefit of the author, this happened only a few times overall and it doesn't degrade the whole quality of the book.
Nevertheless, the lack of emphasis on honesty is a serious issue. This has caused many reviewers to warn readers from reading this book. But here is where I disagree.
You'll need to read this book to learn the methods, not just to be able to understand other people, but also to be ready when others are applying them to influence you. I'll have to agree that some of these methods are extremely powerful especially if the receiver isn't ready for them. Reading this book will make you resilient to the weapons of many unwanted salesmen and negotiators.
My advice is to read but with caution. Learn the methods but always remember that honesty should always be present when these methods are being applied.
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on October 13, 2007
A classic (originally published in the 30's) and a must-have, this timeless piece of work can help just about anybody get along better with others and win them over to their way of thinking. Don't have a lot of time to spare? Don't worry. The book is divided into short sections, each one devoted to a particular principle that is well illustrated with many practical examples. In this way, you can read a chapter quickly, stop and do other things you have to do if necessary, and get back to the book when you have time- all without losing continuity.

Thoroughly entertaining by using fun and interesting examples, I don't think many readers will regret checking this one out and I like to think of this book as a kind of Human Relations 101 of sorts. Also recommend The Sixty-Second Motivator for further reading on motivational principles.
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on March 15, 2003
Anyone who reads this classic self help book will find it beneficial. It wouldn't have lasted as long as it has if it weren't helpful.
However, the first time I attempted to systematically put this book into practice, I was working with a domineering, loud, opinionated and outspoken person who subsequently stamped all over me and my "Carnegie" principles. True, many people (maybe a majority) will respond positively when you practice Dale Carnegie's plan, but there is a sizeable minority who will walk all over you regardless.
And a person who has self-image problems? I hate to say it, but Dale Carnegie's book can set them up to be mowed over.
I have balanced Dale Carnegie with Manuel J. Smith's book WHEN I SAY NO I FEEL GUILTY. I found it more effective when I built a good, healthy respect for myself first. Then guess what! I found myself winning more friends and influencing more people!
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on January 21, 2009
I normally don't write reviews, but after reading the shockingly cynical comments I had to add my 2 cents.

This book is great for people who have trouble communicating, it gives valuable tips for improving self confidence when speaking, initiating conversation, remembering names and getting buy in.

While it is meant primarily to help in business relationships, I found it has been helpful in my personal life. A normally shy person, the book has helped me start conversations and meet new people. Speaking in terms of people's interests is about getting that conversation started, not about faking an interest and pretending to have the same interests.

Even though the book is titled "How to win friends .." the purpose of the book is not to literally win you friends, it's about improving communication, sales and presentation skills. There is nothing ground breaking in this book and in fact all the principles are simply principles of common sense but it helps you put them into action day-to-day.

I highly recommend this book for people who need help breaking out of their shell, for people who work in sales or give presentations, or for anyone who wants to move up in their job.
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on November 6, 2015
This book was suggested by many business professionals looking to work in the field of business, but after reading I realized this book is extremely applicable overall disregarding the occasion or work field. Dale presents very practical situations and habits to practice; key to this book is to consistently repeat the habit Carnegie suggests until it becomes second nature. This book is very helpful in building professional and personal relationships since the tips general can be applied in most situations. The book teaches you to appreciate others through compliments, no complaints and arguments without coming off as kissing their behinds. Dale teaches small details such as remembering the name of every one you meet to have a closer personal connection. One issue I see happening is some individuals have issues with beginning conversations or interacting with others, but as a person who belongs in this group, I can say the tips are simple and easy to complete so taking that first step is not a monumental leap which makes it easier to get the ball rolling. Overall, this book teaches principles of how to communicate to others which can definitely improve and enhance aspects of your work and personal life, definitely recommend for people who look to improve their relationship building skills or general life improvement tips.
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on January 31, 2002
Take two handfuls of dazzling writing, then mix it with pure brilliance and you have one of the greatest books of all phases. This book stood and will continue to stand the test of time. This is chiefly because of the universal thoughts expressed by Carnegie. All readers will be able to relate to it, no matter how their popularity rates. No wonder it went on to sell over fifteen million copies in a space of sixty odd years. There have been countless editions of this book and particularly, the Harper Collins Business Classic edition, is the most prominent.
The primary reason why I admire Carnegie's writing is because he always, always backs up his ideas with examples and past accomplishments based on the same specific thoughts. This makes it easier for the reader to understand the principles which are conveyed. True, the book could have been shortened to half its size, but what good would that have done?
Carnegie has laced his incredible thoughts with quotes from well-known individuals and this assists to make the book far more interesting than others in its self-help category. I can't begin to tell you how many connections Carnegie had in his existence.
It's interesting to note that the author wasn't a pure success in his early days. He explains that his family were at the bottom of the economical scale and it took him years to discover what he so eloquently writes about. In fact, it took him around fifteen years to write, "How to Win Friends and Influence People." In that time he interviewed hundreds of successful people and accumulated knowledge of their sensational victories. A reader tends to gain more from self-help books knowing that the author wasn't always a genuine success and that he essentially had to work his way up the ladder of achievement. It conveys the message that accomplishments can be carried out by almost anyone and at anytime of their lives.
Some people attempt to read the book thinking that it will be an easy journey, so it's imperative to note that a person cannot change without persistence and diligence. Carnegie mentions early on that to get the most out of his words, you will need to have a "deep desire" to learn. Everything we do in our existence goes hand in hand with how much passion we have. This book will not change your life, unless, you willingly make it change your life. The principles he outlines are difficult to carry out in reality. But with practice and continued determination, it will almost inevitably help you on your odyssey.
Common sense? Well, maybe. But most people don't realise the true meaning of courtesy and lack essential people skills.
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on May 12, 2013
I only bought this because I read it as a youth and found it interesting. After re-reading it, I still think it is very good. I almost never read self-help books, but this has a lot of ideas that, while seeming obvious, are easy to overlook, and easy to lose sight of. It isn't so much an instruction book on how to be a "player" as it is a commonsense guide on how to be a more likable person (and a less obnoxious person).
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on November 17, 2000
Having noticed that this work is once again popular, I could not resist commenting.
Dale Carnegie's work has nothing whatever to do with cultivating genuine friendship. It is based mainly on giving the appearance of being interested in others, solely in order to use them to attain some personal goal. There is some valuable advice (for example, how one gains nothing from contradicting others), but the general tone is completely self-centered.
I suppose my many years in purchasing management flavour my assessment here, because the techniques Dale Carnegie recommends still are widely used in sales (though long-term customers are seldom deceived, it is an understood game). This book may be useful to those who have only business gain in mind. However, its total emphasis on furthering one's own interests, and basically insincere approach, rules out any value for those who have true friendship in mind.
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on August 28, 2015
Very useful insight with regards to how people think. Psychology has always been my favorite subject and this book explores it beautifully.

Though it's not always obvious, but we all want to feel superior to one another. This fact alone breeds unacceptable attitude on both sides of the argument.

The first one to talk elegantly and with a cooperative style would always win, whereas the hard and brittle mindset will always be blown away by the strong winds of logic and kindess.

This book emphasizes Bruce Lee's saying: "Be shapeless, be formless, be 'water' my friend."

Just to give you a small taste...using the strategies in this book enabled me to talk to people with an elegance that I had lost before, boy was I surprised! The result was overwhelming to say the least!!! When I genuinely showed interest in other people, they would talk for nearly an hour and a half, and would give me what I want - because I had given them first what they wanted: a feeling of superiority or importance.

This book doesn't teach you how to be a sycophant, but rather, how to win people's hearts in simple said terms.

Highly, HIGHLY, recommended.
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