Originally Posted by karp47
For me it's the book "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie. I picked it up at a convention center book sale a few years ago.
Even though this book has absolutely nothing to do with recording I feel that it has definitely helped me out the most.
It's basically all about interacting with people, influencing their decisions and how to react to different kinds of people. (It goes into a lot more depth than that though)
I would definitely suggest this to anyone working in the recording industry!
threw me totally
for a loop!
... yeah, it's an oddly great little book.
After hearing my dad tell me how helpful it was and what a great book it was for years, I probably had it in my mind to prove him wrong when I bought a copy of it at a high school library benefit paperback sale. I figured it was good for a few laughs. And it kinda was...
But the damnedest thing... after I got past the salesman schtick I realized he was on to an approach to dealing with people that was pretty unique to me at the time. At first I figured, yeah, yeah, act interested in people, it flatters them, uh huh.
I figured it was about playing
people -- but he kept emphasizing, No, don't fake it, be genuinely interested.
Since I was enormously self-involved at the time (most 17 or 18 year old males probably lean that way but I was pretty close to terminally narcissistic), that whole be genuinely interested
thing sounded like a huge stretch
But I worked through the book and some of the ideas took hold. It was
a huge stretch for me, no question. But it helped give me some (desperately needed) people skills and
opened up my eyes about people, who had always just sort of been props in my little self-contained drama before. Empathy isn't something that comes easy for us borderline personality types... it took root almost more through intellect and my oft-challenged sense of personal ethics, but it took root nonetheless.
My life was already turning around when I stumbled onto HtWFaIP, I was making the rather peculiar transition from extremely uncool geeky nerd to long haired, trendy hipster (I was certainly not anywhere as hip as I thought I was but I did manage to convince -- or at least intimidate -- a lot of the rubes who'd been looking down on me for years)... but I was still utterly cynical and supremely self-involved.
But HtWFaIP planted a lot of ideas about empathy and compassion in my head and gave me an equitable framework to contextualize those qualities not just as saintly ideals
-- but as real world approaches that could help inform and give value to my personal relationships in ways that I hadn't thought about before. It helped me extend the golden rule
(the ancient one not the recording studio
) into the realm of practical social interchanges and led me to important insights about my own desires and aspirations -- and how they might complement those of my fellow humans.
With regard to what How to Win Friends and Influence People
can do for you in the studio...
Back when I was active in the services sector, I worked both as a freelance engineer as well as a producer. I got to see a lot
of different types of engineers. The ones I
went back to not just knew their stuff on a technical level (which was quickly obvious to me since I had a pretty good technical grasp), but knew how to deal with people, knew how to keep their cool in the studio, and were generally a pleasure to work with. (It was those latter qualities where I
found my greatest challenges. And, in fact, it was my own, self-perceived failings on those fronts that eventually made me hang up my shingle and reserve my studio for my own artistically meager efforts. Ultimately, I just wasn't as interested in other people's music as I was in my own.)