How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie
Contributed by Jack Shields

Dealing with people is incredibly complex, especially in business. While many people would want to expand their webs of friendship, they almost fail to establish the most suitable foundations for their friendship. In any facet of society, the ability to connect with people has been determined as the most critical contributor to success. Research conducted long time ago by various institutions indicates that even in technical areas like engineering, it is only 15% of success that is contributed by the technical aspects of the operation. The remaining 85% is contributed by what Carnegie terms as ‘human engineering.' It is a technique that is essential in managing people.

To demonstrate the importance of the ‘human engineering' in professions, Carnegie states in his studies that he discovered the highest paid engineers are not those that had the technical knowledge of the course but those who had an understanding of human management. Unfortunately, few individuals qualified. In many occasions, Carnegie received students and professionals who all wanted insight on the best way with which they could master the art of winning friends and influencing people.

From the analysis, there was an adverse shortage of individuals who were skilled in influencing people to make a difference. In any organization, where it is desirable for individuals to have the technical skills to execute their responsibilities, there is always an interest in persons who can speak, articulate issues as well as arouse enthusiasm. The world is in a dire need for persons who have these qualities, and Carnegie was desirous to contribute to the development of persons who can influence other people positively.

Dealing with people is not only desirable in commercial institutions. In social circles, it is essential for individuals to possess some traits for them to be in a position to influence other people. In the modern times, just like during the times when Carnegie lived, there are family problems that are all associated with the lack of interrelation skills. Husbands and wives find themselves in awkward positions when they fail to find the most suitable ways to solve their differences. Marriage has lost meaning, and the rates of divorce are hitting the roof. The institution of marriage has become dysfunctional, and there are signals that the situation could only be worse.

Traditionally, communities have placed a significant value on friendship among people in the communities. However, evidence suggests there are very few friendships that may be counted today. What remains of the original friendships ate loosely held relationships that are built on sand and may not stand the test of time. While that may be a result of the erosion of the value systems of the societies, there is evidence to suggest that people are continually finding it difficult to have the skills to win and maintain friends.

Winning friends and having influence over people requires specific skills. Carnegie, in his interaction with successful people in different fields such as business, entertainment and politics realize that it takes particular attribute for individuals to win friends over as well as have to influence over people. Initially, Carnegie conducted training on individual who desired to improve their relationships. It did not take long before he started realizing the impact of this approach. Men and women reported that their marriages were doing better than before the program began. When Carnegie developed this work, he intended to contribute to the social relations among people by helping them to build and nurture desirable skills.

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