How to Win Friends and Influence People (herein called Friends for brevity)
Did you know that this ultra classic was originally published in the 1930´s? The book is a hoot to read because Dale Carnegie talks about the prominent folks of the day. It´s a great business relationship book that offers a history lesson on the side!
Admission: I am a bullet kind of girl. No, not the violent kind (not physically violent, anyway). I tend to read and write in laconic, choppy bits. Perhaps its my ADD, but I like to get concepts quickly.
Friends offers bullets, snap shots, and In-a-Nutshell sections that cut to the chase and are MEMORABLE. There´s the magic. If you don´t want to really read the book you can just look for the quick and dirty sections. But that´s not what I am recommending. Read the WHOLE book, and then these precious little bits will become the mnemonic devices for remembering all the great advice.
Just like "I´ll be back"?? did for the Governor. Well, maybe better than that.
Friends is the best and most simple advice one can buy. Here´s a couple juicy bits. Please use this as your impetus to go borrow or buy this book. It´s a book I always have on hand and have given to dozens of managers.
In a section irresistibly named, "How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking"?? comes this wisdom:
"You can´t win an argument. You can´t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And –
A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still."
“Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one´s mistakes. For example, one of the most beautiful things that history records about Robert E. Lee is the way he blamed himself, and only himself, for the failure of Pickett´s charge at Gettysburg.
When we are right, let´s try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong – and that will be surprisingly often, if we are honest with ourselves – let´s admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. Not only will that technique produce astonishing results; but believe it or not, it is a lot more fun, under the circumstances, than trying to defend oneself."??
Admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. That bit of advice has been worth the price of my college education. I used to be quite headstrong and bossy (no comments from the peanut gallery). And I could not be wrong. This was years ago. I finally got a clue and realized that this set of beliefs was both wrong and counterproductive. I am now the first person to point out my mistakes (with enthusiasm) and have never had this backfire on me. It´s wonderful!
I´ll venture into Friends again on the blog soon. If you have never read it, please trust me on this one and do. It´s a quick and quite interesting read! Carnegie wrote a brilliant book and his heirs have kept it alive and available to us (there was a time in the 90´s that the book was not in print and I can remember hoarding copies like Elaine´s sponges*).
*Testing your Seinfeld knowledge