Business Is ALL about People – The Book That Started It All

For most business leaders today, your only true competitive advantage is dealing with people and relationships.  Your ability to build trust, willing cooperation and leadership is, by far, the most important skills to develop in today’s hyper-competitive markets.  For most companies, building communications, leadership and employee engagement is now the main topic of most strategic meetings.

So where do you learn these human skills?  The classic business book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is just as useful today as it was when it was first published in 1937, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. For most of us we did not learn the skills of human relations in our education.

“Business and financial success”, Carnegie wrote in 1912, “is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to the ability to sell ideas, to assume leadership, and to build willing cooperation among people.”

The immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt rings true; “The single most important ingredient in the formula of success is your ability to deal with people.”

Carnegie writes of classic human relations through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. (The number one human need in business is appreciation and recognition of a job well done.) He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people through change willingly. Carnegie illustrates his points with anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday situations.

There’s a very good reason why “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has been a bestseller for seventy five years. Every single one of us can profit from Carnegie’s advice. This book is NOT about how to run your business or the latest trends and flavors. It is about human-interpersonal and behavioural dynamics. It is about building and keeping trust. It is about true leadership and your ability to take someone where they do not want to go but have to. It is about having the tough conversations that most people avoid.  No one can ever achieve their goals without influencing other people and gaining their assistance.

The principles in this book are not new to most of us.  The essence of Carnegie’s work is to apply these principles in a conscious manner to achieve results by design. Once you begin to practice these skills, your daily business interactions become MUCH easier.

Jeffrey Gitomer, President of Buy Gitomer and author of “The Little Red Book of Selling” says “Go to the nearest bookstore, buy Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Don’t leave home until you read it.”

Here are some principles to get you started:

  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  • Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  • Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  • Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

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