You need to read this book though it is not a life changer.
Dale Carnegie wrote it back in the ’30s of last century and you can feel it in the way it is written and from the assumptions about roles in society.
The book is written as an infinite series of anecdotes aimed to illustrate specific suggestions for our behavior.
I found it really effective and useful.
The content is divided in 3 main sections, each with a series of suggestions about how to relate with other persons with respect to the topic of the section.
The sections are about: being accepted by others, convince others about our ideas and help other people improve changing their mind.
It is easy to find the following quote taken from this book:
“There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it”
I feel that this does not say as much about the attitude suggested by the author as the following one:
“The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.”
Reading the book we are immediately reminded of the need to struggle to understand the reasons behind others’ actions.
We need to understand them in order to feel the intimate reasons of other persons and accept them.
We then are helped to remind how much we, as human beings, care about being important and being appreciated.
Given this starting point, the author advise us to focus on other persons’ point of view.
This will help us understand what the other person wants and not focus solely on what we want.
This kind of interest in others desires must be sincere and everything we say and every time we act we are expected to be honest.
This is the only way in which any suggestion in this book can work.
The kind of wisdom you will find from that point on are suggestions like: smile, remember the name of other persons, listen and underline your curiosity towards other people’s stories, etc.
Every suggestion you will read could be interpreted as a trick towards cheating other people…and it if you interpret this way it won’t work.
…or you can understand it the other way round: remember how much you care about other persons and act so that they will know it.
With this attitude in mind we are then presented with a series of real time examples of persons that have successfully applied Dale Carnegie’s suggestions.
The examples show how you can achieve positive goals by agreeing some desired behavior by someone else.
An example of suggestions among the others:
I found really interesting ‘the bias of yes’: the fact that if we start a conversation answering ‘yes’ to the first questions we are more willing to have a positive attitude towards subsequent topics.
Then it is preferable to start a conversation with topics for which there is agreement.
Summarizing probably this book does not contain unforeseeable ideas nor surprising points of view but for sure it will help you with concrete wisdom.