Book of the Month: How to Win Friends & Influence People

By Lori Moss Bielek – UB Career Coach

Book written by Dale Carnegie

This month’s book is related to the third phase of the UB Career Cycle — Communicate Your Brand. In this classic best-selling book, Dale Carnegie encourages readers to think of ways that they can be more successful in developing positive relationships with others. Using his guidelines, you can seek to improve your ability to influence others’ behavior and get them to support your personal or professional goals.

One of the main themes of the book is that in order to win over others, you need to get to know them. In a nutshell, here are the six ways that Carnegie proposes to get people to like you:

  • Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Principle 2: Smile.
  • Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Principle 6: Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

How could you use these principles in building and communicating your personal brand?Do you think these principles can be used when networking with others? Attending career fairs? Writing cover letters?

One tip for using the first principle is to remember to show genuine interest in a company and/or that particular position when writing a cover letter.  This will demonstrate to the employer that you are interested in them and not just seeking a paycheck.

Another big theme in the book is to avoid arguments and to not criticize others.  Instead, Carnegie recommends that you seek to praise others:

“Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.”

Carnegie argues that no one wins in an argument.  Even if you are right, the other person is left unhappy and this harms the relationship.

Check out the book for a multitude of personal anecdotes and stories that illustrate several situations when Carnegie’s tips and learned wisdom have been useful to others.

Do you agree with Carnegie’s principles? Why or why not? Please comment below.

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