There are lots of self-help books available today, although you may not be familiar with many of them. But you probably have heard of the granddaddy of these books, and every other self-help book published in living memory, for that matter: Dale Carnegie’s 1936 self-help classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
The first best-selling book of its kind, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has entered the public consciousness for good reason. The precepts Carnegie shared in his 14-week leadership training and sales training courses, then later set down in his book, work just as surely now as they did for the generation of Americans who lived through the Great Depression. Why else would David Letterman reference the book in his popular jokes or billionaire Warren Buffet keep his own diploma from Carnegie’s course on his office wall?
But, just in case you don’t believe how powerful Carnegie’s advice was and still is, check out the following list of tips, pulled straight from his book. As Carnegie suggests in his introduction, practice them in your daily life and see if you don’t see an amazing difference in your interpersonal relationships.
Tip No. 1: Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain
It’s said that human beings have 60,000 thoughts per day, and 50,000 of those are negative. However, in his book, Dale Carnegie advises against so much negativity. As Carnegie explains in the book, all people, even criminals, see themselves as heroes in their own stories, and consequently, they (and their egos) are apt to respond negatively toward those who view them in a negative light.
Tip No. 2: Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation
What Carnegie says concerning this is that we all too often only remark on others’ failings and rarely comment on their successes. Doing this, however, gets us into trouble interpersonally because, as the old saying goes, “you catch more flies with honey.” But, to completely understand this one, just think about how you react to those who criticize you versus those who commend you, and you’ll easily see why this tip will win you more friends.
Tip No. 3: Arouse in the Other Person an Eager Want
Carnegie lays this one out as keeping with humans’ most basic needs: money, love and feelings of importance. So his advice to those taking his leadership training and sales training course was to inspire other people to cooperate with you by showing them how that cooperation will satisfy one of these basic human needs. Perhaps you’re actually offering them something that will save them money or make the object of their affection love them more, but at the very least, you can show them how working with you will boost their own esteem.