How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age

15-minute summary of Dale Carnegie's bestseller

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Originally published in 1936, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” is a timeless and iconic piece. This book has changed the lives of millions. If you crave the secrets to friendship and business influence, you’re about to be enlightened.

By understanding how people work, what motivates them, and how they think, you can preempt their reactions and build stronger and closer relationships. Communication can be a tricky subject, but learning more about the finer details stands you in good stead throughout all elements of life.

Through the expert words of Dale Carnegie, bestselling author and expert public speaker, “How to Win Friends And Influence People” has been updated for the most digital of ages. Be ready to have your eyes firmly opened. Success awaits!

Believe it or not, 1936 is still relevant today, with plenty for us to learn

Indeed a book written more than 80 years ago holds no relevance in the modern-day? Surely our lives have moved on; surely we’re far more digitally-minded than those days? Well, yes, but regardless of technological advancements, it seems the human mind is still stuck in the ’30s in so many ways!

Dale Carnegie spoke sense, and he told the truth — “dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face.” True even today! By understanding the art of communication in a way that goes far beyond simply speaking words, you’ll create opportunities for huge success throughout your life.

Learning to deal with people in the right way will open up your future potential in life, business, and relationships.

Learning to communicate in the right way, connecting with people at their most profound inner core, and using all of this in line with digital methods is your aim. These days the stakes are probably higher than they have ever been before. Digital methods mean that we can easily make a mistake, and it’s communicated across the globe virally, within seconds. Businesses, relationships, friendships, connections can all be broken with just the touch of a “send” button. By listening to the words that Dale Carnegie imparted upon us, you’ll see that 1936 is still very relevant, even today.

Did you know? “How to Win Friends & Influence People” featured on Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential books in 2011, ranking at number 19.

1. Be careful of what you type and what you say

Social media is a blessing in many ways but a curse in so many others. It brings you closer to more people than you could ever have imagined but takes you away from those sitting right next to you. It can also be a make or break in terms of business and relationships. Take Ryan Babel, the Dutch footballer, as a good example. Feeling rather annoyed after his team, Liverpool, lost to Manchester United, he took to his Twitter account to vent his frustrations, calling out the referee’s ability. The result? He was fined around $16,000.

We need to be more careful about what we post on social media. A lousy post can come back to bite you in the future.

We have to be so much more careful about what we say than ever before. We live in sensitive times, after all. The Huffington Post found that many people had been fired from their jobs due to what they posted on their social media accounts.

This ease of letting off steam digitally means that we criticize more than we air on the side of kindness. We can easily show our frustrations or opinions to others at the touch of a button.

Did you know? 500,000,000 tweets are sent every day; how many of those are well thought out?

2. Do you bad mouth? It’s time to stop and keep your calm

Had Ryan Babel remained tightlipped on his Twitter account and blown off steam to his friends instead, he would have kept $16,000 in his bank account. If he had given it 5 minutes to calm down, the savings would remain.

We should shift the focus of our social media from aggressive and critical to positive and encouraging. Ask yourself why you need to post what you’re thinking of posting; are you doing it because you have a bone to pick with someone? Is this the best way to solve it?

Before you post on social media, think about your motivation behind that post.

President Lincoln would have done well in the digital age because he was an expert at human communication. He took the time to calm down before speaking, and he knew when to speak and when to remain silent. He carefully weighed up every word he said. President Lincoln knew about humans, and he knew how to get the best out of people via the words he said.

The people you badmouth could be people you need to work with in the future; think very carefully before you speak.

Remember, if all you do is criticize and blow off steam on your social media accounts, you’re quickly going to lose followers, both in the personal and business worlds.

3. Make the ultimate impression by showing you care

Dale Carnegie highlights an example of a shepherd tasked with guarding 100 sheep. One evening he rounds up the sheep and finds 99 in place and one missing. Rather than praying and hoping the sheep will return safe and unharmed, he places the other sheep in their pen and goes out looking for that single sheep. In human terms, this shows those around you, and those you’re working with, that you care about them; nobody is left behind.

Kindness costs nothing, and it is the best way by far to show people you care. When you do that, they reward you with their loyalty.

Showing people that they are valuable to you enhances relationships beyond measure. We often find it hard to affirm the positives in others, usually finding it easier to highlight the negatives, but by doing this, you’re showing people that you are noticing their good points. There is a genuine difference between doing this and flattering without reason. At the heart of it is a real concern for other people.

Look for the positive points in other people, rather than focusing on the negatives.

The digital age has made us obsessed with celebrity and material things, but taking the time to go back to basics, and keep things on a human level, is vitally important.

Become meaningful in your interactions, and the path to success in any endeavor is simpler and far more sustainable. ~ Dale Carnegie