Dale Carnegie published How to Win Friends and Influence People before World War II – in 1936, to be precise. To this day, this book still stands as the best in the self-improvement, self-help category in any bookstore.
I read this book about 25 years ago and felt I needed a refresher. What spurred this on was the fact that my son, age 15, has found out about this book from Hamza, a YouTuber he watches. My son asked if we had the book. Well, I used to. I moved countries one too many times and left it behind somewhere in Sweden.
I ordered another one from Amazon, but in the meantime I got a copy for him from the library. For myself, I went on Libby and got the audiobook.
Little did I know that this was an updated version, for the digital age. The complete title is “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age.” The authors are only identified as “Dale Carnegie and Associates.”
Updates and Summaries
In this updated version, you do not get all of the original content, which is a pity. If you have never read the original “How to Win Friends…,” you should. Then, this upgrade for the digital age will make more sense.
Of course, Libby also proposed to me a 30-minute summary of the original. I read it quickly – anybody can find 30 minutes in a day or a week, right? That summary distills the knowledge down to the basic principles. Again, if you have read the original, it makes sense. It may not be as clear if you have not.
Nothing beats reading the original classic. Then, you can have fun with summaries and upgrades for 2023.
Carnegie teaches people to smile, remember people’s names, give eye contact, never chide anyone, never correct anyone, let people save face, never point out their mistakes, and to be genuinely interested in others. This is how you establish true connections which can lead to fulfilling relationships and successful businesses.
Carnegie’s advice is needed now more than ever, as we see more and more young people hiding behind their screens and growing up in isolation from real human contact.
Great advice that has stood the test of time – almost 100 years! And now I am gratified to see my 15-year-old son is also reading and learning how to win friends and influence people.