Three Ways Dale Carnegie Books Influence Technology

If you are familiar with the works of Dale Carnegie such as How to Win Friends and Influence People, you would know that his techniques touch on the quality of interpersonal relationships. In his books and teachings, he emphasises that humans are not creatures of logic but creatures of emotion – but how is it that millions of dollars are spent online, where only (logical) human to machine interaction is needed? Does this mean that Automation and Artificial Intelligence could well replace human niceties and personal interaction?

Take for example a food delivery service that you have been loyal with for more than three months because of its superior service. One day you had a chance to meet the founding members of the service and you were appalled as they brushed you away in their seemingly more important conversation. As a loyal paying customer, you would have taken it personally and vow to move on to a different service provider and wanting to kick yourself for having been a ‘fan’ for so long! How have you allowed their polite automated prompts and artificial intelligence bots to have swooned you into purchasing their service?

You didn’t think they ‘naturally’ knew you that well, did you?

We see here that Dale Carnegie lessons still stand the test of time and it is Automation/AI that are actively adapting to his lessons. So how do we use the lessons from Dale Carnegie in Automation and Artificial Intelligence? Read more below to find out the three ways lessons from Dale Carnegie are used in technology.

NUMBER 1: REMEMBER THAT A PERSON’S NAME IS TO THAT PERSON THE SWEETEST AND MOST IMPORTANT SOUND IN THAT LANGUAGE

Don’t you feel immediately flattered when somebody remembers your name? Do you notice how more drawn you are to a text you are reading when you see your name imprinted within it? A lot of online merchants capitalise on this rule by using data to include the user’s first name to build a personal rapport with the user. Although it is best if you had taken the effort to remember a person’s name and their habits on social media, it doesn’t hurt to use a little technology to accomplish this task wisely.

NUMBER 2: YOU CAN MAKE MORE FRIENDS IN A MONTH BY BECOMING INTERESTED IN OTHER PEOPLE

Ever wonder why Facebook suggests the best Pages that are totally in line with your current situation? That is because Facebook studies your usage on Facebook, by tracking the post you Like and take the time to read or share, also by tracking your the behaviours of those in your Friend List. All these data when used with Artificial Intelligence gives the best user experience for the consumer. Ever noticed that we rarely see posts from the official Facebook Page flying around in our timeline/wall? Certainly Dale Carnegie’s principle is in use here.

NUMBER 3: MAKE THE OTHER PERSON FEEL IMPORTANT

Don’t good vibes blossom in our hearts when we receive an email from an Online Shopping website saying that there is a special discount for you on your birthday? For all the wishes we receive on our holidays that make us feel that they have taken a time in their day to wish us well? Don’t we just feel good about ourselves and feel thankful for the TLC shown by these businesses? Making us feel important is their business to ensure customer loyalty and sense of belonging. Just by using automation, businesses may accomplish this important principle by Dale Carnegie.

In a nutshell, I would conclude that the advancement of technology could not replace human to human personal touch but it definitely plays a huge advantage when the correct principles, such as ones by Dale Carnegie is applied. Reading books by Dale Carnegie would open you up to a plethora of ways to improve your communication skills, interpersonal relationships and your satisfaction in life.

-Baini Mustafa

How to Choose Non-Fiction: Cognitive Science

Don’t let the term ‘Cognitive Science’ shun you away from this post. Hear me out, allow me to explain cognitive science and then you can decide if this is what you need. There is nothing intimidating in the word cognitive, it simply means ‘thinking behaviour’ and in today’s post I will provide the top three thinking behaviour books that are useful for you to read or just keep a copy at home and hope one day your kids might read it.

For reasons (yet) unbeknownst to me, I visit this section at the library quite often when I was younger because it made me realise that thinking is not an integral part of your self – thinking is an entity in itself and there are ways to monitor and control it. How many times in a day do you see people doing things without thinking? Driving and making a turn without signals? Liking a post on Facebook without reading its content? Buying something useless just because it was on sale? I rest my case.

So you see, thinking is NOT an integral part of your self and isn’t it worrisome? Let’s backtrack ourselves and make THINKING back in style by picking up a book on thinking behaviours. Or you may simply check out the three listed below on how to choose cognitive science non-fiction.

NUMBER 1: THE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY BY ROLF DOBELLI

In this book, Dobelli breaks cognitive theories using case studies which makes this book easy to relate to, hence easy to read. I would definitely recommend this book to those who are considering this genre of non-fiction because you would find that the case studies are interesting and the outcomes of the case study usually don’t match our expectation. Just the way anyone would read a mystery novel and your suspect isn’t the actual murderer. Aren’t those kind of reads the most satisfying ones? 🙂

Dobelli shows how people apply biases in every decisions that they make and that anxiety amplifies the smallest matter. Although Dobelli’s book showcases many examples, he did not provide a solution to overcome the problems of our thinking behaviour. This is the kind of book that would introduce you to the world of cognitive science and make you aware of your own thinking behaviour. And I believe being aware and conscious of your thoughts is AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP.

NUMBER 2: ORIGINALS BY ADAM GRANT

I super love this book! Unlike the Art of Thinking Clearly, this book is written by a professor in the study of psychology and I will always endorse quality reading of verified information from reputable writers. In the same vein, don’t let the writer’s credentials fool you into thinking this book as academic, because its writing style targets the general public with laymen terms and relatable examples and ideas. In this book, Adam Grant provides solutions to overcome degenerating cognitive practices by becoming an original.

He provides insights on what non-conformists can do to make themselves heard and understood in order to shatter groupthink – to champion change and challenge the status quo. He encourages thinking differently than we are used to, to create more opportunities for ourselves and not confine ourselves to the defaults. In my opinion, Originals is a fresh take on the normal everyday wisdom we are accustomed with, its insight on the limitations we set for our cognitive skill had hindered a lot of progress and freedom. One of the key takeaway I get from this book is to triple the amount of ideas you generate and to welcome criticism.

I would recommend this book to those who feel the need to fight when it comes to advocating their work and for those who find themselves making personal decisions (routinely)  by considering its outward impact as opposed to its inward impact on yourself. On that note, I welcome any questions you have about this book, as I really believe everyone should read or at least know about this book.

NUMBER 3: ANY BOOK BY EDWARD DE BONO

I would seriously recommend any book from the person who coined the term ‘lateral thinking’, Edward de Bono. He is best known for his widely-practiced 6 Thinking Hats and has a large collection of publication simply on the topic of cognitive science. I have read a few of his books throughout the years and I discover that we really don’t think as hard as we should, we don’t think as much as we think we do, we really don’t use much of our brain capacity – we let our brain rest too much! Edward de Bono does not only cover problem solving, his books are actually targeted to finding problems!

People might think finding problems is easier than solving one until it had to be done. By finding problems, we intentionally build something before the problem it causes becomes expensive and difficult to manage. For this to be done, a makeover on our thinking behaviour is needed – we need to harp on creativity instead of analytical skills. Edward de Bono’s books provide guides to induce creativity, case studies of where his methods have been tested and proven positive. I would say that Edward de Bono’s books are like textbooks to creativity, but then that’s an oxymoron – where oxymoron is also a branch of creativity 🙂

I hope my post provides an insight on how to chose non-fiction in the cognitive science section. These are wonderful books to read if you allow yourself to bask in the light of our thinking behaviour.

-Baini Mustafa

 

How to Choose Non-Fiction: Social Science

Without a doubt, a good non-fiction on social science is the best non-fiction reading materials around as it explains about ourselves. Why we do the things we do, how we have come to doing the things we do and when we will stop doing these things. The whole nine yards on the study of human behaviour is parked under non-fiction as Social Science. Such reading is not limited to just textbooks for schools and my goal is to enlighten the fact such books provide vast knowledge and is not intimidating.

When reading social science non-fiction, I believe the writing skill of the author is not as important as the idea that the author is bringing forward. It is important to get to know whether the content of the book would pique your interest and curiosity in order to keep the momentum of reading from cover to cover. I have listed below three best books to choose when reading non fiction sectioned under Social Science, where I have further categorised them into narrower brackets for your ‘easy consumption’ 🙂

NUMBER 1: SAPIENS BY YUVAL NOAH HARARI

The rave reviews about this book is true, it is definitely something to read to find out the perspective of human evolution from a historian’s point of view. Harari points out the reason that human advances is not because our fingers function better (who came up with that theory, again?), but because of our ability to form an idea and disseminate it. Throughout history, ideas have been disseminated where the process of convincing and believing happens in exchange through conversations, publications and broadcasts. Harari points out that one of the most popularly believed and practiced idea is capitalism.

Harari explains that the advancement of the world today would not have been possible without the idea of ‘credit’ and explains the change in human behaviour as the idea of developing something based on someone’s future worth is condoned by human. He also went on to the assert that the future of human is dependant on automation. I would recommend this book if you are interested in human behaviour throughout history as I would section this book under social science non-fiction and further catogerise it under Anthropology.

NUMBER 2: TIPPING POINT BY MALCOLM GLADWELL

Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell covers a lot of technical social science theory into a readable and enjoyable book. In this book he covers the Pareto Principle at length, not in theory, but in the form of real-life stories that anyone could relate to so that the effects of Pareto Principle is easily understood. If you are new to non-fiction, Malcolm Gladwell is definitely an author you should try reading as I had stated in my post about Tried and Tested Authors.

I would recommend The Tipping Point to anybody who is interested to see the explanation on why sometimes things happen and why sometimes things don’t. Malcolm Gladwell has that all in this page turner that can be finished within a weekend and I would park this social science non-fiction under Sociology.

NUMBER 3: THE MALAY DILEMMA

In this controversial book, Tun Mahathir pointed out the problems that the Malay race faces if they don’t change their behaviour. Not only did he not sugar coat when he spoke about his own race, he also exercised the same writing style when commenting about the behaviours of other races. As a Malay myself, I would say that even though Tun M’s writing at the time was not backed by data but merely his own observation, his claims are true. As a Malaysian, I read his book without feeling offended because I read from the perspective of a person who wanted to solve a problem that exists in his country.

I would recommend this book to all Malaysians who would like to understand Tun M’s perspective in racial harmony and the importance of education and can-do attitude in the long run. I would further categorise this read under social science non-fiction as Politics.

There you go, three different types of non-fiction under the arm of Social Science that you could choose from. I hope my recommendations help you to assess the type of reading that is suitable for your need and more importantly, it keeps you peeling page after page!

-Baini Mustafa

 

How to Choose Non-Fiction: Memoirs of Terminal Illness

One of the easiest ways to start reading non-fiction is to read memoirs. Memoirs are biography or autobiography of events in a person’s life. In my blog today, I zoom in to a specific shelf I call ‘memoirs of terminal illness’. The reason I narrow down the selection is because when you want to read and stay interested in reading, you should know what you are choosing to read and then let the author’s writing skill drive you towards the end of the book.

In today’s post, I will provide recommended terminal illness memoirs because I believe it is easy to relate to as we are all mortals and would eventually face death. On top of that, there is a beauty in the literature of a person who knows he/she was dying and vows to live to the fullest – when we, the ones blessed with freedom and health choose to browse our phone for hours a day! In that note, I would recommend reading terminal illness memoir if you would like to delve into non-fiction but not interested to read the ones from the business or self-help shelves.

But also, get ready to have your heart tugged with the list below: three terminal illness memoir and how one is different than the other. I hope my recommendation will help you select your reading!

NUMBER 1: TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE BY MITCH ALBOM

This book is Mitch Albom’s personal account of his professor (Morrie Schwartz) who faced a terminal illness. Mitch would make time to visit Morrie every Tuesday just to spend some time with him, not really to see Morrie’s progress but to just talk and be with Morrie. Along the time they spent together, Morrie began sharing some wisdom about life and Mitch began recording their conversation which he compiled as this book.

Tuesdays with Morrie is not only a memoir of a person who witnessed the degrade and suffering of a person dying with ALS, it is a philosophical account on how life should be lived.

NUMBER 2: THE LAST LECTURE BY RANDY PAUSCH

This is my personal favourite among the three because it is written as a first person, by Randy Pausch himself when was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Randy had small children and wanted to leave his kids something they can remember him of, little did he know his book about achieving childhood dreams is one EVERYONE should read in their lifetime. Randy’s narration of his perspective was highly positive in spite of his condition, he expressed his gratitude for his illness as it allowed him to make time for the things that really matter before his death.

Randy stressed that everyone should be happy at what they are doing because life is short and life can be taken away from us at any time. His vision of achieving ones childhood dreams is anchored together with his vision of enabling others’ childhood dreams, because he also emphasises the importance of quality relationship with those around us. I choose this book as the best among the three because it was easy to read and it doesn’t try to make you cry. (Randy is against sympathy to his illness.)

NUMBER 3: WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

This book is a personal account of Paul Kalanithi who was neurosurgeon and was very used to breaking bad news to patients and supporting his dying patients physically and mentally. One fateful day, his own prognosis came back with the possibility of lung cancer and after series of tests, the prognosis was positive. Upon learning that he had a terminal disease, his wife and he decided it was time to have a baby and to write a memoir about helping the dying while fully knowing he was dying too.

Some pages in this book can get a bit technical about neuro but I must give a hand at Paul Kalanithi’s writing skill. He has the ability to describe situations, feelings, taste, in a mix of words that are antagonistic – yet is fully understood. I would recommend this book for those who love literature (first and foremost) and those who wants a doctor’s perspective on living with a terminal disease.

I hope my list helps you choose the kind of books to find that ‘reader’ in you. It is best to read a memoir you can relate to according to professions, gender, the ordeal etc. Remember, it is always about making the right choice of books for yourself and I think reading on terminal disease memoir is relatable to all of us because without us realising, we are all in fact – dying.

-Baini Mustafa

Three Tried and Tested Authors

Throughout my years of reading, there are some authors that I find could inject more ‘sit-down-and-finish-my-book’ substance into their sentences. Although I did no research to test if author preference is deeply rooted to ones personality, here are three tried and tested authors that could make most people endure more pages than others. My opinion is strictly based on author’s writing style and observation on reader’s tendency to pick their books.

NUMBER 1: JOHN GRISHAM

John Grisham’s niche is strictly law crime and it is a wonder how he makes courtroom and investigation activities interesting. Not only is he a good writer, his story plot is always fresh, engaging and leaves you wanting. I would highly recommend John Grisham’s books to those who love speculative drama, mystery and a novel that ends with a problem solved (there are books that don’t end this way). John Grisham now also has another range of novels targeted to young boys aged 8 to 13, the series are called Theodore Boone. If I were to read Theodore Boone when I was younger, I would have considered careers in Law for sure.

NUMBER 2: MALCOLM GLADWELL

Malcolm Gladwell writes non-fiction that is engaging because he reveals truth through his sentences just the way one opens up a wrapped up present. His truths are presented as stories that you do not realise you are really reading a non-fiction. I listed Malcolm Gladwell as one of the three tried and tested authors because I have read all his books and I could not really pinpoint his ‘special sauce’ building his sentences. His writing skill is totally level seventh heaven! In my opinion, Malcolm Gladwell is top-notch writer as he is a top-notch storyteller as well. I always recommend picking up any of Malcolm Gladwell books to those who are keen to read non-fiction.

NUMBER 3: TIM FERRIS

Tim Ferris is probably the least famous of the three tried and tested authors, but personally he is the number one author in my own list. None of his books is less than 500 pages but it had never taken me more than a few days to finish. I believe his writing style is also backed by his various knowledge in productivity, fitness, stoicm and salesmanship that makes his books seem like this big nine course meal and every bite is just as tasty. Other than that, Tim Ferris’s books are always organised by content so you zoom in for what you need and you know right away if something is irrelevant to you. He is THE author of our times and his works had the most impact on my life.

So there you have it, three authors I recommend if you are looking for books that you don’t have to read. Because, trust me, their books speak 🙂

-Baini Mustafa

(All pictures were Googled)