Dale Carnegie’s lessons for responsible business

“There’s nothing new under the sun” goes the old catchphrase.

Whoever said it first was mostly right.

So it proves with learning about how to communicate with, and get along with others, or ‘stakeholder engagement’ as we in the corporate responsibility industry for some reason call it.

Here’s the guidebook for improving how to look at relationships and communication.

It was published in 1936, and begun in about 1912.

Here below are some of Dale Carnegie’s key lessons, produced by an early form of what we now call ‘crowdsourcing’, (ie asking lots of people what they think and adapting the product)

If you need a business case to read on, read this quote from his guide before you make up your mind:

“…even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15 percent of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85 percent is due to skill in human engineering – to personality and the ability to lead people.”

Some key lessons in life, business and relationships:

Fundamental Techniques In Handling People:
• Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
• Give honest and sincere appreciation.
• Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Six Ways To Make People Like You:
• Become genuinely interested in other people.
• Smile.
• Remember that a person’s name is to that person the
sweetest and most important sound in any language.
• Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about
• Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
• Make the other person feel important – and do it

Win People To Your Way Of Thinking:
• The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid
• Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say,
“You’re wrong.”
• If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
• Begin in a friendly way.
• Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
• Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
• Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
• Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point
of view.
• Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and
• Appeal to the nobler motives.
• Dramatize your ideas.
• Throw down a challenge.

Be A Leader:
• Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
• Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
• Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the
other person.
• Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
• Let the other person save face.
• Praise the slightest improvement and praise every
improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your
• Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
• Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to
• Make the other person happy about doing the thing
you suggest.

Here’s the full guide.

The part at the end about male/female relationships is perhaps the only section not to take too seriously, given its description of husband/wife roles in the home.

Some things really have changed, and for the better.

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