I recently read an article regarding the classic Dale Carnegie book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I first read that book at the urging of my mother, when I was a young teenager, and I can honestly say that it changed my life. I started to apply the principles in that book and I noticed that my interactions with those around me were much improved. The title of the book seems pretty self-serving and potentially manipulative. But I believe Carnegie’s basic points, when applied appropriately, are sound:
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
So I’ve decided to share some of these principles with my kids around the dinner table. Each week, I intend to focus on a different principle and hopefully it will have an affect on their lives.
What books have influenced your life?