Book Review: ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends & Influence People: About the Book

Classic. That’s the one word that comes up time and again with descriptions of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People. Somehow that solitary word fails to adequately capture the phenomenon that is this particular literary and development masterpiece.

This book was written in 1936 for crying out loud. How on earth does it still work now?! ….and it does….and by the truckload too. This was perhaps the book that kick-started the self-development genre and yet you could be forgiven for thinking its recent title, it’s just that spot on.

Front cover of How to Win Friends & Influence People book
Although written in 1936, this book still has some incredibly relevant messages in leadership and communication skills

So What’s It Really About, Other Than the Two Areas That the Title Suggests?

Well, it covers a range of personal development topics such as leadership, communication, motivation and delivering feedback. It’s full of simple yet effective prompts and manages to thread these in with some incredibly powerful anecdotes.

It’s All About People

Connecting more effectively and more sincerely with people. Somehow this manages to work in a timeless fashion and still makes sense. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Common sense for a world where that kind of sense perhaps isn’t common enough.

How to Win Friends & Influence People challenges your mindset, daily actions and interactions whilst reminding you of numerous points that just make sense and feel right – Such as the best way to be interesting is to show interest in others, the best way to win an argument is to avoid it, plus how to generate healthy and productive competition in the workplace through to how to have fun in your work… and the tangible value from doing so.

Each of the sections is reinforced with the author’s principles and these act as great anchors and waypoints as you progress.

There are even notes about how to get the most out of the book, It’s designed to be a practical guide in navigating the interpersonal world.

It’s practical, insightful, heart-warming and an interesting read to boot.

Over 16 million copies in 36 languages and still going strong.

Final Thoughts

I bloody loved this book. Why it took me so long to get around to reading it, I have no idea! There were just so many reminders of points I knew yet had somewhere along the line just forgotten or simply stopped doing, this provided a timely reboot!

Celebrate the successes’ you can recognise from How to Win Friends & Influence People. Furthermore, work on those parts you identify as ones to develop further. A classic yes, more than that though it’s a reference manual for the ages and a feel-good read all in one.

Read, revisit, and reflect as you see fit. Enjoy.

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