A Look at the Principles of Dale Carnegie

I’ve been reading How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie and thought it might be interesting for you to either get a refresher of his major tenants, or be introduced to him for the Dale Carnegie book, How to Win Friends and Influence Peoplefirst time here. This is my second time to read it – I think my first was when I was in high school, so it’s like reading it for the first time! My goal is to put in writing an outline of his principles and perhaps it’ll refresh your memory of the book, or it’ll motivate you to get it and read or re-read it. First, a little history of Mr. Carnegie.

Carnegie Bio and Background

Dale Carnegie started out selling correspondence courses to ranchers. Then he went on to selling soap, bacon and lard. It was the years he spent selling that gave him great insight into people and how to influence them. He discovered that if he made his prospect feel smart, funny or that they had the answers, he made the sale and gained a friend.

He became very successful and saved enough money to move to New York City where he wanted to become a Chautauqua lecturer. That didn’t work out so he did various other things, but was not making much money. While living at the YMCA, he got the idea to teach people coming into the Y the art of public speaking. He convinced the manager to let him have 80% of the profits from his classes. He found a real niche in helping people overcome one of their biggest fears – that of public speaking. His training course was so successful that by 1914 (age 26),  he was making $500 a week (about $11,700 in today’s dollars). He went on to establish his famous speaker school and wrote several books on life, working and business.

Carnegie Principles Book

His best selling book is How to Win Friends & Influence People, originally published in 1936. It’s had over 15 million copies sold. You can take a glance at his milestones and click the image below to read more extensively about his background.

Dale Carnegie - Wikipedia bio information

One of his well-known quotes is  “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Next week, we’ll delve into his book and his ‘Fundamental Techniques in Handling People’, and ‘Six Ways to Make People Like You’ and outline those sections of the book and see how they compare to what contemporary writers say.

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