Dale Carnegie gave birth to the self-help genre with his best-seller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  His plan for getting what you want starts first with changing the way you behave.  He developed his principles by drawing on examples of persuasive people in history.  Although the book was written in 1935, his basic ideas are timeless and presented in an easy-to-read and personal style.  I recommend this classic to everyone seeking better relationships in their lives.   Here’s a summary of his key messages:

  • Be genuinely interested in other people
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain about people
  • If you have to find fault with someone, start with honest appreciation or talk about your own mistakes first
  • Encourage others to talk about themselves
  • If you make a mistake, acknowledge it quickly
  • Praise all improvement, no matter how slight
  • If you want to change others, start with yourself
  • To feel important is one of the strongest human desires.  Never undermine anyone’s sense of importance
  • Remember people’s names — it’s the sweetest sound in any language
  • Express your ideas in a dramatic way.  Use illustrations, stories to get your point across