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June 19, 2017

This is the last column filled with the ideas of Dale Carnegie. The last chapters of the book were good, but not filled with as much inspiration as the first chapters. So, I’ve highlighted some bits and pieces to share here. Hope you enjoy them. Remember Carnegie is giving us advice on how to win friends and influence people. He’s telling us how to be socially adept. How to get people to work with us. It’s good things to know, no matter what you are doing in life.

“Cooperativeness in conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own,” wrote Carnegie.

He also tells, “Experience has taught me that when no information can be secured about the customer, the only sound basis on which to proceed is to assume that he or she is sincere, honest, truthful, and willing and anxious to pay the charges, once convinced they are correct. To put it differently and perhaps more clearly, people are honest and want to discharge their obligations. The exceptions to that rule are comparatively few, and I am convinced that the individuals who are inclined to chisel will, in most cases, react favorably if you make them feel that you consider them honest, upright, and fair.

“Let Charles Schwab say it in his own words, ‘The way to get things done,’ says Schwab, ‘is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid, money – getting way, but in the desire to excel.’

“The desire to excel! The challenge! Throwing down the gauntlet! An infallible way of appealing to people of spirit.

“’I have never found,’ said Harvey S. Firestone, founder of the great Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, ‘that pay and pay alone would either bring together or hold good people. I think it was the game itself.’

“If the work was exciting and interesting, the worker looked forward to doing it and was motivated to do a good job.

“That is what every successful person loves: the game. The chance for self – expression. The chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win. That is what makes footraces and hog – calling and pie – eating contests. The desire to excel. The desire for a feeling of importance.”

And when you are in the position of leadership, there are some simple rules to follow to keep people from being offended and to get the most from your workers. Always begin with praise and appreciation. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person. Ask questions instead of giving orders. Let the other person save face. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. Use encouragement and make the fault seem easy to correct. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

And remember, it is always good to improve your skills and become a better person.

See you on the bricks – excelling and competing and praising.