Seventy-five years ago, US author Dale Carnegie published the now-classic book, How to Win Friends & Influence People, which went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide.
It was named No 19 in the top 100 books of all time by Time magazine. The book has been valuable resource for many generations on the art of communication and success in both business and everyday life. Critic Jonathan Yardley has placed it among the 10 books that have most shaped the American character.
But the way we communicate and interact has changed dramatically in the digital age. Facebook, Twitter, Skype, e-mail, cellphones – communication portals have multiplied, but in many ways have become less personal. The need for Dale Carnegie’s commonsense approach to communicating has never been greater than now. With “How to Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age” [Simon & Schuster; October 4, 2011; $26.00] Dale Carnegie & Associates have rewritten and revamped the iconic book for the 21st century, while holding onto its root message for success.
“We live in an unprecedented era of self-promotion,” the book says. “We watch YouTube videos like the Double Rainbow go viral in a matter of weeks and garner the kind of global attention people used to break their backs for years, even decades, to obtain….We are daily tempted to believe that the best publicity strategy is a mix of gimmick and parody run through the most virally proficient medium. The temptation is too much for many. But for those who understand the basics of human relations, there is a far better, far more reputable, far more sustainable way to operate.”
“How to Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age” helps contemporary readers reconnect with the essentials of engagement: encouragement, collaboration, and meaningful communication. Affirming what is good about others, and connecting with their core desires through dialogue rather than monologue is as much a key now as it was when Carnegie wrote the book in 1936. Only the tools have changed. E-mail and social media can be used effectively if approached as a means of making connections – not for self-aggrandisement or blind self-promotion. The book outlines ways to strengthen your communication through social-media sites, placing emphasis on building relationships with “friends”, client, colleagues, and customers.
The book leads readers through six ways to make a lasting impression: take an interest in others’ interests; Smile; reign with names; listen longer; discuss what matters; and, leave others a little better. These are traditional precepts of success the Dale Carnegie way – only the methods have changed with the digital age. A smile, for example, may be harder to convey in an e-mail or a Facebook status post [short of using an unprofessional emoticon], but there are surefire ways to craft your message to get across the positive effect of an actual smile. Similarly, e-mail should not be a one-sided directive, but an invitation for dialogue.
Carnegie’s timeless prescription for relationship and business success has lost none of its potency with time. Presented with anecdotal ease, his proven advice contains an even stronger message today: “It’s true that the world is now open for business, but your first task remains the business of humanity. The greater endeavours are and always will be interdependent and interactive. In the end, the art of winning friends and influencing people in the digital age is summed up in the activity of connecting and staying connected on common ground.”
Flood crisis HR seminar
The National Institute of Development Administration’s School of Human Resource Development, in conjunction with Orchid Slingshot, a leading management consultancy, is holding a seminar “The Role of HR in Handling the Flood Crisis” at the institute this afternoon.
The speakers include SCG’s human resource director Kiti Madiloggovit, Thai Health Promotion Foundation’s director Dr Charnvit Vasantanarat, and Apiwut Pimolsaengsuriya, the executive director of Orchid Slingshot. The rector of Turakit Bandit University, Warakorn Samkoset, will present an overview of the Thai economy in the aftermath of the massive flood crisis.
This free seminar is held amid realisation that Thailand is entering a risky era and the human resource departments of organisations should be prepared for various forms of disasters that could happen in the future, according to NIDA.