The Coach's Corner

Still relevant after all these years

December 8th, 2014 // Tom Doescher //


As many of you know, I am an avid reader of business books. After hearing about Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How To Win Friends & Influence People, for the 50th time, I decided I had to get my own copy of the book, which was first published in 1936.

Wow! Add me to the Carnegie Fan Club! How can a business book that is more than 75 years old still be relevant? Well, it is! It also nicely complements To Sell Is Human, by Daniel Pink (see our June 23, 2014, posting).

As you know, I am almost obsessed with getting leaders to provide actionable developmental feedback. Hopefully, I have encouraged you to be prepared, thoughtful, and careful with your word selection in your conversations and communications.

Along those lines, here are Carnegie’s WARNINGS:

  1. Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself.
  2. B.F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior.
  3. Hans Selye, another great psychologist, said, “As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.”

So, everything I have written about still stands. My takeaway is that it is important to be very careful and cognizant of how you are communicating your message in conversations.

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The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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