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How To Win Friends And Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Member Name: angusreid
How To Win Friends And Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Date: 04/11/05, updated on 05/11/05 (1964 review reads)
Advantages: Some very good lessons although need to be personalised
Disadvantages: Outdated and false.
Now who would have put money on me doing a review about this book?
Go on, would you?
How to win friends and influence people was the brainchild of Dale Carnegie, a chap back in the early 1900’s who developed a cunning plan.
Let me tell you a bit about him.
Born in 1888, Dale pursued a career in teaching before taking a job as a salesman for armour and Co. It was to supplement his income whilst a student that he embarked on what was to become the most attended training course in history, that of which the Dale Carnegie training company was founded on and still carries on to the day.
His idea was to help people overcome a fear of public speaking. Quite a simple course, where you spoke every time you attended and even sometimes twice a night. Subjects varied to try and push you a bit and rid you of the fear of the unknown. This helped you overcome the fear as you were with like minded people who also were trying to get to grips with one of the most frightening challenges life has to throw at you. This was done over a period of time until the person became comfortable with the idea and Dale’s reputation grew quickly.
If I remember rightly, he actually started the courses in a YMCA in New York before moving to Carnegie hall, where he took the name Carnegie as opposed to his original name, Carnegey.
Anyway, he franchised his training techniques and it was here I came to know of him, as I took a job with the company Dale Carnegie in the UK.
The book, “How to win friends and influence people!” is an actually a factual based training course in book form. Here you find various methods of building up a skilful repertoire of techniques you can use to make people think you care. Its quite sensational really, it teaches you how to remember names, how to win arguments, how to handle complaints, how to manipulate really, but in a nice way.
However, this book was written some 70 years ago and despite being updated on a regular basis, it does not teach you how to be sincere. How many times have you been spoken to like you are a five year old by someone when you try to complain? How many times have you thought someone is trying to analyse you rather than really talk to you? Sadly, that is what this book teaches unless the person who reads it is a genuine person.
Some of the things I can focus on here are when someone asks your name and then mentions it 6 times in the first minute of conversation to help the remember it. That’s one of the tips. It has good points though; you can learn to remember by pictures, such as my name is Angus Reid, so if you think of a Big Scottish Black Bull hiding by a river in some tall Reeds, then you have Angus Reid.
That bit I can relate to and it does help, but again, it takes away a lot of sincerity unless you make it personal.
The book is a good guideline into how to read people in all honesty and has plenty of good, if somewhat jaded and old tips. If you struggle to understand people and feel left out a lot then it is worth getting this and picking through for the meaty bits, but try and use the methods as a whole in this day and age and you will struggle to gain respect of people who are so used to the techniques and know what you are trying to do.
Now as I said, I worked for the company and joined them after achieving Sales Manager of the year in 2000 in the Autotrade awards so I was riding on a high, and then my whole life was shattered by what they call the Dale Carnegie Experience.
The Dale Carnegie course is designed to help people grow in stature, confidence and so on. Now when I joined the company, I was made to do this course and the company owners decided they wanted me to portray myself in a manner they felt was suitable for a DC employee, which I can now say was the exact opposite of what I am. Their background was different to mine and they wanted a more upmarket approach if you know what I mean.
Well all I can say is that this course broke me and took me back 5 years instead of improving me. At the end of the course I had lost my confidence, was unable to speak publicly, something I had mastered before and never had a problem with. It ended up with me leaving the company as they made my new position “redundant” you know, that cop out they use when they do not want you anymore?
You see, How to win friends and influence people is a great book if you take things from it and turn it into your strengths, not try and manifest your whole persona on it. Like all self-help books, building your confidence is a slow process and using your strengths to counteract your weaknesses is the direction you need to take, so this book will only help you if you help yourself as well.
It took me a good couple of years to build myself up after my fiasco with Dale Carnegie and my advice to anyone taking the course or reading the book is do not allow people to play with your head, it can be quite traumatic.
My short time with them is in the past now though, and once more I have rekindled the strengths that your have inside to become successful in the car industry again, so be careful when buying this book as it may have the reverse effect if you do not control the information it holds.
Summary: It really needs to come online with the 21st Century.
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