1936, by Dale Carnegie

Reading this book is like a rite of passage for all emerging leaders.  Carnegie began writing about emotional intelligent ways to lead long before we understood the brain science of why his approaches work.  As I review his 12 principles, they are as relevant today as when he first published the book in 1936.  It seems to me that this publication and its overwhelming success was an early signal that leadership skills were needed.

Carnegie’s 12 principles are as follows; (1) The best way to win an argument is to avoid it.  (2) Show respect for the other person’s opinion.  (3) If you are wrong, admit it quickly and empathetically.  (4) Begin in a friendly way.  (5) Get the other person saying “yes, yes” quickly.  (6) Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.  (7) Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.  (8) Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. (9) Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desire.  (10) Appeal to the nobler motives.  (11) Dramatize your ideas (12) Throw down a challenge.

I believe that every leader can do more in at least one of these areas, so I challenge you to identify where you are strong, and which of these leadership skills sit in your blind spot.  One of the ways of identifying a blind spot is by your reaction: “I don’t really care about that”, or “I don’t really need to do that”, or even, “I’ve never given that any thought.

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