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Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age Kindle Edition
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|Length: 274 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
I also read and/or listen the original "How to Win Friends and Influence People" at least once every couple years and firmly believe in it. It is good, solid advice. I believe the concept of this book was a great idea. That is where my praise stops.
This version on the "Digital Age" however is AWEFUL. There are soooooo many metaphors, analogies, and overly forced advanced English word choices that this book is unreadable. You literally have to "digest" every paragraph on the meaning of the language alone. It made this a painful read. I wonder if the authors were sitting around trying to make themselves sound smart or see how complex they can make this book. If Dale Carnegie were around today, he would be scratching his head in disgust. After all the original concept of this book was for the reader to function in any scenario, not to insult his/her intelligence. The original book was written for the common person which is why the it was such a success.
Take my advice skip this version and read the original instead.
Additionally, I don't even think some of the examples used to illustrate the different principles had anything to do with the principle it was trying to explain. An example of this was the section on never telling people "you're wrong", the book used the example of the Francis Collins-Craig Venter race on the human genome. The book illustrates how Collins, the long distinguished scientist who had been working on the problem for years, didn't play the "you're wrong" card when Venter came along and tried to beat him at his life's work, rather, he collaborated and helped for the better good of the cause. You can't say "he didn't do A, therefore it was successful" as an example of why not doing A in general works.He didn't punch him in the face either, but you wouldn't want to use this as an example of why not to punch somebody in the face.
The sagacious investor, Warren Buffett, has only one diploma hanging in his office, his certificate of Dale Carnegie training.
The version I am reviewing here follows the format of the original 1936 edition, but does more than simply use twenty-first century examples; it adapts the time-honoured principles to the age of the social megaphone. If there ever was a time when Carnegie’s principles need to be taken seriously, it must certainly be now.
The first principle, “If you want honey, don’t kick over the hive,” has been retitled “Bury your boomerangs.” The boomerangs are the things you say and write that when aimed at others, spin back and hit you. An article from the Huffington Post quoted in the book describes thirteen Facebook posts that got their authors dismissed from their jobs. Googling “dismissed from my job because of Facebook” yields fourty-six million more. In 1936 an unwarranted letter might have been seen by the recipient and a few others, all of whom might be appeased, today try retracting what you tweeted or said in front of a TV microphone you believed was off.
Carnegie counselled: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Most people can distinguish between what is nothing more than flattery and what is an affirmation. Flattery is telling the person what they want to hear, affirmation requires more thought, requires seeing the person well enough to sense what to affirm. For that reason affirmation can have the life-changing impact that flattery never has. This is Carnegie’s second essential principle of engagement, “Affirm What’s Good.”
In the section on making a lasting, positive impression on others, Carnegie opens with the call to “take an interest in other’s interest.” Quoting a piece of research conducted by the New York Telephone Company in the 1930’s the most frequently used word in conversations was the personal pronoun “I.” The significance of self-interest has not and is unlikely to change.
The former editor of the New Republic and political blogger, Andrew Sullivan, invited readers to submit shots of the world just outside their homes. This interest in other’s interest went on to become the centrepiece for the Atlantic Monthly’s online strategy, and enhanced his personal following. People are attracted to people who care about what interests them.
Carnegie placed great store on the value to relationship of smiling. The research finding of Christakis and Fowler confirms that people who smile tend to have more friends with smiling getting you an average of one more close friend. This is not trivial as people only have about six close friends.
With much of our communication mediated through digital technologies, smiling takes on a new challenge: How to express warmth over the phone, sms, e-mail or twitter? This is only a challenge not an impossibility with the assistance of emoticons (the little faces) for informal settings and the use of the recipient’s name in the text wherever possible for formal ones.
When the lead singer of a little-known band had his guitar smashed by careless baggage handlers on a United Airlines flight he sought redress from the airline for a year with no result. No one listened or showed any concern for his situation. In frustration he wrote a song describing his experience, videoed it with friends and posted it on the Internet. Within two weeks it had attracted 4.1 million views and the Times of London reported that the video had precipitated a $180 million drop in United’s share price. Not listening to customers is always expensive, but not listening to friends, colleagues and family is no less damaging. The converse is similarly true; listening is a very engaging social force.
Carnegie sites avoiding arguments as a key ingredient in meriting and maintaining other’s trust. I do not know of anyone who put this better than the humourist, Dave Barry: “I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.”
There is probably nothing in this book of interpersonal insights that you do not know, so you will learn nothing new. What makes this worth a quick read on your next flight is that it will remind you of what you already know and in the reminder lies the value.
Readability Light +--- Serious
Insights High ---+- Low
Practical High --+-- Low
Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy
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