“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.” -Emerson
Carnegie mentions this quote by Emerson and it is that sort of humbleness that resonates throughout the book, and one of many lessons that I hope to keep with me.
As one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published and a frequent occupant of many lists of essential books for those in business to read, I will begin by saying that, in my opinion, both are well warranted.
A couple things to note is that I consider myself quite the charismatic person and this is mainly due to the fact with the people around me who frequently seem to enjoy my company, without any apparent agenda, and the high regard that those same people seemingly hold of me. I feel I have no trouble with ‘winning’ friends, although I would never call it ‘winning’ friends, as the book cover would say, as in all honesty, for the most part, most of my friends that I surround myself with weren’t due to some conscious effort to win over and that verbiage to me sounds intentional in it’s pursuit.
I feel that there are two main audiences that this book will attract:
First off would be those who wish to ‘win friends’ in general. In that regard, I feel it is those who perhaps are not as socially adept as others and may have trouble with connecting to others who are attracted to this book. Those that basically exhibit introverted characteristics.
And second, would be those who wish to ‘influence people.’ In that essence, it would be those with an agenda to progress or advance in scenarios relating to business or personal wealth. In the most blunt of terms, a motive that centers around greed.
This book definitely will aid in both pursuits however what I enjoyed most about the book is the seemingly simple concept around the book. Yes, there are subtle nuances in how to approach and perhaps moments of undermining the other person as you may have expected. However, the purest essence of the book is simply the understanding of another person and how one should be treated in order for the other to reciprocate, to respect the other. It highlights importance of humanity and the basic respect and morals that should govern our actions.
Each principle is explained thoroughly with analogical stories that helps the reader come into complete understanding of each. Dale Carnegie’s mastery of education shines with this book with it’s ease of understanding the concepts being put forth.
Though the use of this knowledge could advance any person’s success in sales, management or any job that involves human interaction; this book is something that shouldn’t be seen as simply a ‘business’ book. I assure you, if this book was a required text in our education system today, a foundation of sorely needed communication and understanding between society participants would be built and benefit our kind greatly. Especially in light of many arguments and disagreements in the world today, perhaps “winning friends” is a skill that should be taught more vigorously.