"How to Win Friends & Influence People" is a must read, esp for MBA aspirants/ candidates. My dad gifted me this book when I was 10 years old. Needless to say, I barely read a couple of pages before jumping for the stack of Archie's comics.
I have been asking a few MBA graduates for a list of must-do/haves before embarking upon the MBA program. One common theme among all their replies was... you guessed it... "How to Win Friends & Influence People".
So, i got myself a copy of the book. I was hooked from the get-go. The messages in this book are not foreign, they are pretty much common sense. However, the book delivers these messages in a powerful way, and ends up hitting the message home. I still have not finished reading the book, but what I have learnt so far has been invaluable already.
During my conversations with other people, I couldn't wait to blurt out my opinion/ story. Now, I have become a good listener, and only put across my opinion/story if forced to - the results have been astonishing. I have seen that the Customer Service folks are so much more effective if you are nice to them, than if you are rude and yell at them. I recently received a mail from someone about something that I had posted. The person didn't like what I had put up, and asked me to remove it. A month ago, I would have told that person to "get lost" and gone about my business. Today, however, I have learnt to look at the situation from the other person's perspective. I realised that what I had put up could be calamitous to the other person, and since I had nothing to gain from doing so, I decided to remove the bit concerning them - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I must stop digressing. The main point of this post: if you have not read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends & Influence People", please do so immediately. It will be, by far, the most influential book that you will come across.