Should I give a boss and his son the book "how to win friends and influence people"?

A boss and his son of a small business are constantly arguing over pretty much everything, I am close friends with them and have in the past been the middle man to arguments (not of my choosing).

I am currently reading "how to win friends and influence people" and believe the book would be a great help them but should I be the one to introduce it to them?

Or would this antagonise thing?

The fighting does affect their business and has in the past made the son thing about leaving the business and starting out on his own.

I am not a fan of standing by and watching things go wrong when I can help but I'm not sure on the best way forward.

I look forward to your insightful advice.



acao162's picture

I would not "give" this book to the boss.  I might bring it to work, leave it on my desk & wait to be asked about it.  Or, I might even bring it to work, start raving about how wonderful it is & give 2 examples of things that I learned from the book & close with - if you wanted to borrow it, i'll just leave it on my bookshelf. 

I'd also start making a habit of bringing all the life changing books you read & sharing them with others.  That's what I actually do.  I have a lending library available & am happy to make recommendations based on circumstance.


mattpalmer's picture

If you are truly "close friends", then I don't think it is inappropriate to have a quiet word with either of them explaining your concerns about their arguments and its impact.  Suggesting that you've read a great book and would really recommend it to them and their situation would be a good way to assist them in improving their situation.

On the other hand, though, if you're not close enough that you'd be willing to have many other sorts of "personal" conversations, I'd stay out of it.  For example, would you be willing to tell either of them that they had bad breath, or something like that?  This is, ultimately, a personal issue -- a *very* personal issue -- and you need to have a really solid relationship to be able to bring it up comfortably.

Finally, if you have any sort of business relationship here, keep out of it.  You may also be friends, but anything even ephemerally related to work needs to stay completely professional, and there are precious few situations in which it would be professionally appropriate to raise this sort of thing (if you were the boss of either -- or both -- of the people involved, for example, it would be appropriate then, because it was reducing their effectiveness).