What Makes an 82-Year-Old Business Book Relevant? Dale Carnegie’s Classic Offers Timeless Advice
It’s a tall claim to say that a book will change your life, but this one has certainly had a profound impact on many people. Despite having been originally published 82 years ago, Dale Carnegie’s effervescent classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is still recommended by everyone who comes across it, and it’s one of the best-selling books of all time. In 2011, the book was No. 19 on Time’s most influential books list. How has it remained relevant in a massively different, technologically advanced world? Fundamentally, Carnegie’s book focuses on people, who may evolve, but whose basic needs don’t change much.
appreciation” and “Be a good listener.” Adopt this advice by paying extra attention when a client introduces themselves. A person’s name is important, because, according to Carnegie, it may be “the sweetest and most important sound in any language” to that individual. Be Nice Carnegie’s ideas are revolutionary in their simplicity. This is what makes almost anyone who reads the book able to implement them immediately and see results. As Robert Kelsey, author of several business and self-help books himself, points out, Carnegie’s first principle was simply “Be nice.” “That will always be an important thing to remember in whatever business you’re in,” Kelsey says. “His advice will always be relevant.” In the chapter entitled “Six Ways to Make People Like You,” Carnegie’s second suggestion is similarly straightforward: “Smile.” We’ve all read science on the psychological effects of smiling, but it’s still too easy to forget this simple gesture. Be Honest Be transparent with partners and clients, and as Carnegie suggests, be quick to admit when you’re wrong. When it comes to conflict, being right won’t win you anything — it’s better to avoid that lose-lose scenario and instead listen to your associate’s point of view. Respect their opinions. Even better, begin with something you know they’ll say an enthusiastic “yes” to. Set your relationships up for success by implementing Carnegie’s timeless, genuine advice, and see the results for yourself.
We all need to feel valued, appreciated, and respected. By fulfilling these needs for your business associates, you will indeed win friends and influence them. When it comes to business, showing a genuine interest in the other person goes a long way toward building a lasting relationship, something we all know is key to converting leads into sales. With a message based on relationships, Carnegie’s book hasn’t grown stale with time. Here are three of his suggestions that you can implement today. Be Authentic Carnegie’s methods for winning people over are, at their core, about authenticity. “Show a genuine interest in others,” he instructs. “Give honest and sincere
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