I can certainly make an argument that this book has had a bigger influence on my life than almost any other one that I have read. My father gave me a copy of this book when I was in my teens, and I have read it many times over throughout my life.
Unfortunately, I was “too smart” to read it when I was a teenager, and simply let it sit on the shelf unopened. Thankfully, as I started to mature and realize that I really didn’t know everything there was to know about life, I opened the book and became a student of relationships.
Funny thing, interpersonal relationships; with careful tending they can grow like a garden, bearing fruit for everyone to enjoy. Or, with neglect can wither away and die.
This book does not teach some type of mind control. It’s simply filled with valuable lessons about how people work, how relationships are built and the best way to help them grow. Really basic principles that we all know, but never really think about.
I’m really a bit introverted by nature, and have always felt some anxiety when I was forced to speak in social situations. Obviously that’s not the most helpful trait when the success of your business relies on interpersonal communication.
How to Win Friends and Influence People has helped me become more comfortable in social situations, and has had an amazing benefit on my (personal and) business life. It’s helped me realize what I should be paying attention to when I’m talking to people, and made me much more comfortable in these situations.
The book is a very easy read, and is broken into different chapters that can easily stand on their own. You don’t really need to read the whole book to see a benefit. But, once you start reading it you won’t be able to stop.