Saturday, June 28, 2014

How To Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age

Earlier this week I ordered this book online and I just finished reading it. It was such a great book, I just had to sing my praises!

How To Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age is adapted from one of the best selling self-help books of all time written by Dale Carnegie. Published in 1936, it has sold 15 million copies worldwide!

I opted to buy the updated version which covers the aspects of using social media to your advantage or detriment. I've never read the original, but according to many reviews I read online before purchasing, the core information from decades ago is timeless and this book just uses a modern perspective with some updated examples and references.

Bob asked me why I would want to read this book. I first learned of it while watching Big Brother 14. Wil Heuser and Janelle Pierzina were talking about it during Big Brother After Dark. I had actually forgotten about it until this week, (Big Brother 16 woot woot!) but I found it online while I was researching some other books on Amazon. After reading about it and many reviews, I thought maybe it might help me with my canvassing. That and I recently read an article that said the difference between poor people and rich people is that poor people read fiction for fun and rich people read non-fiction for self-improvement.

Initial thoughts: Everyone can benefit from reading this book. It is slightly geared toward someone who is working in a management position toward the end, but really anyone, employed or not, can benefit from the majority of this book. It's really insightful, and shows you how changes in the way you speak to others, how you react to others, and even changes in the way you think about others, will have a lasting impact over time, make you a more likeable person, and make you a more successful person. You'll be able to form connections faster and more easily.

There were so many great quotes in this book. Here's one of my favourite ones that really resonated with me:
"Many are accustomed to to holding a sword called the First Amendment in one hand and a shield called the Fifth in the other."
He's talking about how prevalent criticism and judgement have become online. With so many digital soapboxes, people feel like they can say whatever they want, when they want, especially when they think they are in the right, and then refuse to open their mouth when it is they who are wrong. Acting in this manner will most definitely stunt your success and it could even lead to your downfall.

What it really boils down to, if you want to have better relationships with others and become a more respected, trusted person, you need to be positive more often than not, take a genuine interest in others, be transparent, forgiving, patient, empathetic, and encouraging. That's the essence of this book. It sounds a little bit hokey and simplistic when I lay it out like that, however those are the main points I took away from the book. The examples and anecdotes included really flesh things out obviously and can help alter your current perspective on things.

And something that really drove home these points was as I was reading this book I could visualize certain people, famous or ordinary or in my life, who seem to naturally have some of these qualities and characteristics. They're popular, they're charismatic, they're leaders.
"The two highest levels of influence are achieved when 1) People follow you because of what you have done for them, and 2) People follow you because of who you are."
I believe that.

You should read this book and tell me what you think about it!

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