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: 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: Science

It is a peculiar fact that anybody who had freely chosen to read non-fiction in the Science section would freely pick up more and more of the same kind. I have found reading books of this genre particularly interesting and difficult to put down. Never mistake science non-fiction books as boring and difficult to read. Movies like Star Wars, Planet of the Apes all stem from the creative use of science knowledge.

The essence of choosing a great science non-fiction heavily depends on the author’s storytelling skills. The writings of great scientists paired with their knack for storytelling, creates magic of a book that I often find myself spellbound amidst reading. I would not be exaggerating to say that there is a sense of ‘lift’ after completing such book for just having experienced an upheaval of my mediocre science knowledge to its application level. Probably the brain just loves new triggers for ideas or the fact that reading such genre would always trace back to A Higher Order or An Invisible Hand or A Creator or in any other name, God.

Although science writers rarely state this fact themselves, it would require your own train of thoughts to develop your own ideas as you read science non-fiction effectively. Here below, my recommendation on how to choose science non-fiction by the most compelling Non-Fiction: Science writers I have experienced.

NUMBER 1: STEPHEN HAWKING

Most famous for his book A Brief History of Time but I choose The Grand Design as the best I’ve read of his work because I can’t remember how much I smiled reading it. Nope, I didn’t smile sarcastically because I thought his theories were absurd, I smiled/chuckled because it was really funny and I totally enjoyed going through the pages. In the non-fiction genre of Science, I would further categorise Hawking’s books to cosmology. If you are interested in cosmology, try picking up a Stephen Hawking book – you would be surprised that Hawking had a great personality that is reflected from his writing.

NUMBER 2: RICHARD DAWKINS

Richard Dawkin’s works are always controversial because his thoughts are so advanced and new, it is difficult for people to accept. Acceptance of an idea is a totally different ballgame when it comes to reading because in my opinion, reading critical thoughts of a highly intellectual person allows yourself the freedom to weigh his opinion and then for you to form your own opinion. Reading books by a man who purportedly claimed that there is no such thing as God in all the unguided process that happens in all humanly or worldly whether intrinsic or extrinsic – would surely rub off a little on you in terms of critical thinking. Richard Dawkins has written a plethora of books which I would further catogerise as non-fiction science: Biology.

NUMBER 3: THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF THE HUMAN GENOME BY FRANK RYAN

Although Frank Ryan is the least famous of the authors I have listed, I must say that his book, The Mysterious World of the Human Genome is one of its kind. I would describe my experience reading this book as an intellectual adventure. Never had I ever read a book that covers the history of evolution with all the theories and personnel involved in it be captured in a way a novel would. A box in my head imagined DNA, proteins, bacteria, virus, all at play when reading this book. Definitely not something you get from a science textbook. I would recommend this book to anybody who would like to understand the works of genetics without its intimidating terms. I would categorise Frank Ryan’s book as non-fiction science: Genetics.

I hope my list above helps you loosen up around the Non-Fiction: Science shelf. The books are there to teach and entertain, not to create an elite section for superior readers only. Especially Stephen Hawking books with all his hilarious toons in his explanation. Go on, give it a try!

-Baini Mustafa

How To Choose Non-Fiction: Business Books

Picking up business books as a leisurely read sure need to come with time and practice. I have a few in this genre that I am very keen on and found too heavy to read even a single chapter in one sitting, so I tend to break it down to be read through several months. Truth be told, I started reading The Intelligent Investor in 2008 and haven’t finished it. But as I have always iterated in this blog, just put the book down and move on. The book will be ready for you when YOU are READY!

Let’s begin with the definition of business books here – when I say business book, what I mean is books which contains text on how business is run or managed through innovation, use of case study, well placed strategies or even data analytics. Don’t be intimidated by the terms, as some books are great to be read before sleeping to assist your subconscious with dreaming up a solution to your problem. Yes, that’s a by-product of reading 🙂

Although a lot of business books are aimed for corporate managers, you shouldn’t have to wait until you are one to begin reading business books. If you are an adult who needs money, that is an identification enough that you need to read business books. The books will help you understand how the corporate works, how entrepreneurs persevere, how to climb the right ladder and most importantly the hardship and time investment it takes to be on top. If my previous sentence did not appeal in any way to you, I would really wonder why you are still reading this.

Now that we have the definition and purpose of reading business books sorted, I will list three types of business book to read depending on your interest. Here goes how to choose non-fiction: business books.

NUMBER 1: ANYTHING WRITTEN BY RICHARD BRANSON

Richard Branson is an amazing writer, and I can feel that he contemplates each word and term he uses in his books. I have read his books over the decade not as a business person, but as a person who loves good books. That said, if you are looking for business books to read why not pick up a book written by him? He usually covers his concept with an example that came from his own experience so you not only get some business knowledge, you get a personal insight by him as well.

I would recommend Richard Branson’s books to managers, entrepreneurs, basically anybody above the age of 18, EXCEPT (yes, except..) EXCEPT if you are narrow minded (like who would admit that, lol) or can’t accept liberal ideas that involve parties, fun, music. Then don’t ever pick up any of Richard Branson’s books because they’re not for you.

NUMBER 2: FREAKONOMICS

There are various case-study books out there that I have read and I found the Freakonomics series the easiest to read for us without a Masters Degree in Economy. When I read Freakonomics, I get a feeling like I’m listening to a talk show on radio. It doesn’t feel too much of a read and the sentences just flow as you nod at the nuances that totally explains something that had puzzled you before.

Here’s what I say whenever I recommend Freakonomics to people: Do you want to know why whenever you receive a scam chain email from somebody asking you to help get their inheritance money from blablabla, the person would always include the fact that they are from Nigeria? Wouldn’t they have a higher chance of you helping them out if they hadn’t mentioned the fact that they are from that country? I welcome you to be enlightened to the concept of ‘False Positive’ by reading Freakonomics.

NUMBER 3: HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

I always know in my heart of hearts that my HBRs are the most precious in my collection of book. I always know if in any situation that requires me to abandon the house, my HBRs would come along with me (stuffed in the handbags that I can’t leave behind, of course). The reason being, I find the journals selected in HBR are by far the most functioning piece of information in the best indexed titles. Have you ever searched for information on the Internet and suddenly you find thousands of useless information. HBR covers that for you so that whenever you look up the Internet, you know if the search result is not relevant to your problem.

Besides that, there are various topics covered by HBR ranging from Managing Yourself (this is super important) to Leadership Lessons from Sports. Personally, reading HBR is the biggest favour I’ve done to myself as it covers the important aspects I need when reading – verified knowledge, great writing skills, the pull to reread the book. I believe there is an HBR copy for everybody out there, I will write a blog post on how to choose an HBR in the future for you.

There goes my three answers on how to choose non-fiction: business books. I hope you benefit from the post and will have more clarity in making a decision when choosing what to read and enjoy.

-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)