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When I was a kid, my father introduced me to the principles of Dale Carnegie’sHow To Win Friends And Influence People”. It was one of the greatest gifts (among many) that my father ever gave me.

Now, as an adult, I start out every year by listening to this book on my iPod. It’s narrated by Mr. Carnegie himself, which I think makes it a little more personal. As the book is largely about more effective communication, I appreciate hearing the author deliver it with his own inflections.

Mr. Carnegie wrote this book in 1936, but the principles are timeless. There is no greater character trait than that of someone committed to listening, understanding and communicating effectively.

If you are interesting, people will like you, for sure. But if you are genuinely interested, people will love you. Be interested in others. Listen. Respect others enough to try and understand their perspective and desires. Then react with kindness and grace.

Of all the principles I’ve ever learned about business and relationships, this is the most relevant and effective advice I’ve received.

Thanks Mr. Carnegie, for being wise enough to write this book. And thank you dad, for being a living example of these powerful principles.

4 Comments

  1. Dan Miller on January 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Jared,

    How cool to hear how that took root with you. Thanks for the kind words as you look back on letting those seeds into your character.

  2. Kevin Miller on February 1, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    I always wonder if folks hear the title and discount it cause it sounds self-serving. Which would be a shame. Cause if you don’t make friends and influence them, then…what’s the opposite?

  3. Chris Sutton on February 1, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    We’ve just started reading this in our men’s group. So practical.

    Expanding on Kevin’s comment above – I didn’t read this book sooner because someone said it sounded like manipulation. Obviously based solely on the title. Not only do I need to check things out for myself but I’ll sure think twice before allowing that person to influence me in the future. It’s a good lesson; if you’re going to influence make sure it’s done with integrity.

    Thanks Jared.

    • Jared Angaza on February 2, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Yep, I agree with both of you. I always cringe when I recommend this book to people because it sounds so self serving. Obviously it isn’t about that at all. The content is profound. Unfortunately Carnegie wasn’t the best marketer. This book is about relational business, and deeper relationships. It’s about humanity, and being more human. It certainly isn’t about manipulation. Bummer about the title though. I agree.

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