Most people interested in interpersonal communication consider How to Win Friends & Influence People mandatory reading. While I devour anything that’s even loosely related to this topic, it was only a few months ago when I finally picked up this classic.
There’s a reason why I had ignored it for so long: I thought it was a gimmick.
I mean, how could a billionaire have written a book on this in the 1930s that’s still relevant today? That’s just too good to be true.
As it turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
First of all, it was not the steel billionaire Andrew Carnegie who wrote the book but Dale Carnegie who dedicated his professional life to this. Secondly, it’s nothing short of a masterpiece filled with invaluable lessons about what Carnegie calls human relations: the fine art of getting along with people in business and life. His starting point are the universal truths about human nature, which indeed haven’t changed much in the more than 80 years since the book was first published.
Why I started reading it despite my initial resistance?
A few months ago, I read an article about how Warren Buffett overcame his fear for public speaking in his early 20s. He signed up for a Dale Carnegie course, which made such a lasting impression that he still displays the certificate in his office more than half a century later. As Buffett later explained:
“You’ve got to be able to communicate in life and it’s enormously important. Schools, to some extent, underemphasize that. If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”
Who am I to contest one of the greatest investors of all time?
I don’t want you to make the same mistake as I did. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my most important insights from the book. So please stay tuned.