“Every man is entitled to be valued for his best moments.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson’s quote above sums up this book quite nicely. How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age is a lesson on effective relationship building, which can be applied to anyone in your life – personally or professionally. The authors write, “Which relationship is most strained in your life right now? What would it look like if you began focusing on that person’s best moments and sought to affirm them? This doesn’t presuppose the person doesn’t have his faults. It doesn’t even presume he has fewer faults than fine qualities… ‘When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.'”
How to Win Friends and Influence People is chock-full of practical tips and strategies for engaging with the people around us. One that I started to apply immediately after reading was to ask 15 questions per day – Five to your family or those in close proximity to you, five to the people with whom you work on a regular basis, and five for your digital space, including Facebook, emails, Twitter, and blogs. Most people love to talk about themselves. This strategy serves to make other people feel important, to deepen your relationships, and, as a bonus, it will make you better, if not more comfortable, with small talk.
My favorite lesson from this book is to “Leave Others a Little Better.” Mark Twain once said, “No man is a failure who has friends.” Every interaction you have with another human being leaves either party a little better or a little worse. Only benefits come when you take the time to cultivate the relationships in your life.
“Worry less about how many people you are connected to and worry a whole lot more about who you are connected to, who they are, and what you are doing to value and honor them.” – Mitch Joel