By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age
By Dale Carnegie & Associates with Brent Cole (Simon & Schuster, $29.99, softcover, 245pages)
More than seven decades ago Dale Carnegie made a forceful statement: “dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face”.
What he wrote in 1936 still rings true today and, in fact, underpins How to Win Friends and Influence People. However, it is more complex developing strategies to deal with people.
This self-help book has been updated for the modern age of sophisticated social media communications and the Internet. It reframes Carnegie’s insights about communication, self-expression and leadership focusing on email, the blogosphere, Facebook, Twitter and other tools for winning friends and influencing people in the technological era. It is essential to connect and stay connected on a common ground.
No longer is it relevant to impress and befriend people with face-to-face interaction or through letters. Carnegie had a relentlessly positive attitude and belief that cheerfully showing respect and interest in other people would reap dividends.
A pioneer of the self-improvement genre, Carnegie felt that the crowning essence of success lay along a spectrum between authentic human connection (winning friends) and meaningful, progressive impact (influencing people).
“ ...Become meaningful in your interactions and the path to success in any endeavour is simpler and far more sustainable”.
Carnegie had not anticipated the ways in which the digital age would provide new tools and challenges for winning friends and influencing people. The dawn of social networking sites, email dominance and the ways in which Internet has supplanted face-to-face interactions have made Carnegie’s perceptiveness all the more immediate and vital.
While the world has changed beyond recognition in 76 years, Carnegie’s essential message continues to be pertinent. That factor is significant because he’s talking about basic human characteristics: be pleasant, forthright and honest.
Twitter and Facebook have not completely changed communication—just accelerated its pace!
Edition 406, 22 April 2014
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