Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Book Review


To sum it up in one sentence - this book changed my personality - from a (hardcore) introvert to a cool and popular extrovert. Way back when I was in my teens and going through that very rough and rocky terrain (called 'starting teens' by me  - though only of late I've discovered this teen phase goes on forever or recurs but never ends) this book was a gift from the Gods - who happened to be my father actually. Among hundreds of other books in his collection, I still don't know what made me pick this one - maybe good luck.

 It started me on a journey of countless friends,  continuing interest in personal development and career as a counselor and mentor. The simple narrative style, the real life incidents, the anecdotes, and summing up the chapters in principles and above all - the fact that the author walked the talk is what makes it the bible of personal development.

Excerpts from the book

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you". Dale got this insight from his puppy Tippy - well he sure was inspired from every aspect of life.

"When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first?"
Insights like these hit the target straight - it makes learning and remembering the concepts so much easier.

"Six ways to make people like you - Principle 3:
Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
When I greeted him by his full name: Good afternoon, Mr.Nicodemus Papadoulos, he was shocked. For what seemed like several minutes there was no reply from him at all. Finally, he said with tears rolling down his cheeks, 'Mr.Levy, in all the fifteen years I have been in this country, nobody has ever made the effort to call me by my right name.'"
 
I wonder if the scenario has changed much in the U.S but in India where most of the people are referred to as bhayya, babu, anna, tambi maybe it helps to call people by their name - even just once - to give the personal touch.

Here goes the Q & A session

Q : What did Dale Carnegie do to humanity?
A : He filled it up with a large dose of human sense, which is much much more vital than common sense.

Though the book was published in 1936 and is filled with incidents from U.S, it is a book for the global citizen and for anyone who is a homo sapien.

The final question
Q : Should I buy this book?
A : Yes, Yes, Yes. You should buy this book, by-heart this book and eat it if you can :) 
An apple a day keeps the doctor away and reading this book a page a day can improve our human sense by leaps and bounds.

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