This is a classic. If you havent read it before I recommend you reading it.

As old as the book might be, the principals are still the same. It's a great book. I'm sure many people here have read it.

bflynn's picture

[quote="Ali"]As old as the book might be, the principals are still the same. It's a great book. I'm sure many people here have read it.[/quote]

Strong second on the recommendation. The book was written in 1936, the author was born in 1888 (I think I have those dates correct). When you're reading a book and think that the information is dead on, then read something like "I was speaking to Mr. SoAndSo, who once counselled [i]President Lincoln[/i] about...", you know you have a classic.


steveaz26's picture
Training Badge

I completely agree! I'm in the process of listening to the audio book. I'm astonished as to how timeless the principles are. I've always considered myself a 'people' person and typically get along well with most everyone. I was happy to see that I'm already practicing some of the concepts and yet, also realized there's much more I can do. I'm actively trying to keep an awareness of those principles and put them into action whenever possible.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

One of the greatest books ever written for business. If I were teaching college, I would require both its reading and adherence to its recommendations.


cowie165's picture

That book changed my life! I also had the privilege of reading a 1936 original print!

I loved it so much I took notes so I can keep referring to them. The notes are great by themselves, but you should go find that book and read all about it!

As an aside, I found it very funny to read how wives should treat their husbands - ask him about his day/have his newspaper and cigar ready when he comes home/make an effort each day to prepare your hair and makeup before he arrives home/and so on!


Six Ways to Make People Like You

1. Become genuinely interested in the other person
2. Smile
3. Remember that someone’s first name is the most important to them
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
5. Talk in terms of another’s interests
6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely

Twelve Ways of Winning People to your way of thinking

1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
2. Show respect for someone else’s opinion. Never tell someone they are wrong
3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
4. Begin in a friendly way
5. Get the other person saying yes
6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
7. Let the other person feel that the idea is theirs
8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
10. Appeal to nobler motives
11. Dramatise your ideas
12. Throw down a challenge

Nine Ways to change people without giving offence or arousing resentment

1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person’s
4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
5. Let the other person save face
6. Praise the slightest improvement and every improvement
7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
8. Use encouragement. Make any fault seem easy to correct
9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest

bradfordleak's picture

I always hesitate to differentiate management of technical people from "regular" management... The principals of management apply everywhere.

However, I would tell my technical brethren, that it is even more important for them to read this book. The ideas presented helped transform me from an introverted, socially averse person to someone comfortable with (gasp) human beings.

cowie165's picture

Hi Bradford.

I too found it transforming. It was great feedback - comparing what the book suggested to what I had been doing, and then observing the results! The analogy of a ship needing a heading correction comes to mind.

:) When you do [i]this, here's what[/i] happens.

Gold Jerry.

loyaltygirl's picture

Has anyone ever attended any of the Dale Carnegie seminars? I put it in my wishlist for 2007 as a developmental opportunity, but wanted to see if anyone has any feedback on the program.


Glenn Ross's picture

I took the Dale Carnegie "Human Relations" course in 1988. They've since renamed and revised it down to 12 weeks. This course was extremely relevant to me and has helped me in both my personal and professional lives. I highly recommend it. Later I became an avocational instructor but had to give it up in 1991 when my day job's schedule changed. (I've had no connection with them since then.)

This is not some pep rally type course. Each week you study one or two of Carnegie's principles. You are given reading assignments in several books including his famous one.

This is not a lecture course. I never took a single note. Many nights the three hours just flies by. But it was several weeks before I was sold on the course. During those early weeks I attended because I had made the commitment. Then I had an "aha!" moment when I saw one of the principles work for me. After that I was sold.

Go for it. Even if it means rearranging your schedule so that you can be in class on the same night every week for 12 weeks. (Makeup options are available, I think.)



stacy_c's picture

At its core this is about human psychology, but there is also something disingenuous and manipulative about approaching human relations this way. Even if you don't care, pretend that you do so you can make them see things your way in the end ... or, say what you have to say in order to get what you want. I don't care much for this philosophy.

It may be "effective" in a strictly practical sense, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of human relationships and big picture thinking.

jamie_uk's picture

I'm currently attending the 12 week - Effective Communications and Human Relations course, it's really really good and I’m only on week 4! I have already applied lots of the principles and have had several breakthrough moments improving personal relationships, having genuine interests in others and speaking more confidently in meetings.

Several critics of this course claim it involves too much sitting around and listening to others. I for one think this adds to the experience - hearing other people’s achievements, defining moments and how they've learnt a lesson from an experience is inspiring. For the person speaking these can be immensely personal moments and sharing this can be a breakthrough in itself. I have been inspired by so many stories of bravery, determination, flexibility, leadership...I could go on…..

In terms of leadership, we are already being introduced to feedback. I'm covering the key learning’s from the course on my blog (see link in my signature if you’d like to find out more).

If you want to know anything more specific please ask it'd be a pleasure to share my experiences with you.


GlennR's picture


I'm confused about your point of view. Could you clarify what you mean?

>>Even if you don't care, pretend that you do so you can make them see things your way in the end ... or, say what you have to say in order to get what you want. <<

Doesn't he advocate the exact opposite?

[b]2. Give [u]honest, sincere [/u]appreciation.
4. Become [u]genuinely[/u] interested in other people.
11. [u]Show respect [/u]for the other person's opinion. Never say, "You're wrong."
17. Try [u]honestly[/u] to see things from the other person's point of view.



MichaelJSwenson's picture
Licensee Badge

As a Sr. Manager of an IT group for a major telecom company, I was told that I needed to improve my interpersonal skills (imagine that). This lead to my exploration of taking the DC course (often referred to as "The Dale").

It was probably the best training experience I have ever had. Watching the affect the course and the fantastic instructor was having on folks, so inspired me, I decided by the 3rd session to try and become an instructor.

I did just that: and now I know one reason why the course is so good...they take the training of their instructors VERY seriously.

Take the'll change your life in such great ways you can't even imagine.


cowie165's picture

Has anyone in this thread also read 7 Habits?

I have just started and it is interesting to read Covey critique the early 20th century writings, which would include Carnegie's work.

I'd love to hear how they differ if you have a minute to share!

GlennR's picture

I reread 7 Habits last June and reviewed the Dale Carnegie principles. I'm not sure, but I believe Covey was influenced by Carnegie. Just about everyone in the field has been.

I don't believe they differ, to me they are highly complimentary, just different perspectives or approaches.

Both have been relevant and of value to me.



cowie165's picture

Thanks Glenn, great to hear. Looks like I misunderstood Covey's intent. Cheers!

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I wish Mike Swenson would chime in on Covey and Carnegie.

He TEACHES both, and will be helping at our conference.

And I disagree with Stacy. Carnegie does not suggest insincerity. If you don't mean it, don't say it. If you can't find a place in your heart to mean it, you won't have great relationships until you do.


mahiman's picture


Do you always agree with Carnegie's recommendations?
Wouldn't you give adjusting feedback instead of beginning with praise and honest appreciation (before finding fault), calling attention to people's mistakes indirectly, or talking about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person?

- Mahi

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


It's safe to say that I don't always agree with anything or anybody. :wink:


cowie165's picture

Mark can no doubt fight his own battles but as I understand things the "here's what happens" is indirectly drawing attention to the behaviour by highlighting the outcome.

"Can't you do this? Are you an idiot?" is direct.

"When the cover page is missing from the TPS reports, Mr Lumbergh has to spend part of his day doing jobs that are our responsibility".... blah etc.

In some cultures, it is polite to draw attention away from the person. In the vein of "why isn't this software easier to use?" rather than "man, you're really behind the C++ 8-ball!..."

Beginning with praise is your traditional 'bath-tub' method. Starting with your own mistake is skewing the passive-aggressive continuum to the left, probably as a way to prevent the recipient becoming defensive. I'm not a card carrying Carnegie cheerleader; interpretation of the 70 year old text is necessary.

JorrianGelink's picture

The book is brillant, so brillant I gave the book as a gift to my team members last week.

No need for a review, just read it doesn't matter what position you are in in life :).

bonomodr's picture

I took the coarse Effective Communications and Human Relations. The coarse was far more communications (public speaking) than human relations in my opinion. I still found a lot a value in the coarse.