Dale Carnegie’s first golden rule

blog-complainersHeres a tip to all you bloggers out there who want to be noticed: Write something about Dale Carnegie. The people love him still. The books make loyal friends long after his seemingly sensible sounding home spun advice first took shape in 1912.

Today I am writing about the first of Dale Carnegie’s golden rules: Become a Friendlier Person. And, please note that these are rules. And rules are what? Meant to be obeyed.

Just 101 years after his first book was published, let’s spend a few minutes parsing this rule from the seat of management and/or leadership. The first question one might ask is, do I want to become a friendlier person?

Step One in Becoming a Friendlier Person

Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.

1. Don’t
Come on Dale, a declarative negative? Sounds unfriendly. Must be important. The author of How to Win Friends and Influence People is not in the least bit hesitant to come out fighting with a smile on his face. He’s serious.

2. Criticize
What does criticize mean? One web-derived definition: Indicate the faults of (someone or something) in a disapproving way. Many of us—whether teachers, parents, or business professionals—have been taught to criticize the behavior, not the person. The friendly person must be a wiser person, who can withhold criticism, because once voiced, it’s redundant. The person being criticized has already thought about it.

And, armchair psychologists, pull your chairs in closer—sometimes the criticism of others is really something we recognize in ourselves. Honestly, isn’t it?

3. Condemn
Condemnation (sounds like damnation without the devil) connotes considerable consternation bordering on the absolute. Even in many of the most egregious examples, we can focus on the behavior not the person. The lone wolf’s actions are a rarity in business, although they may attract more attention. Targeting individuals with condemnation risks their becoming your scapegoat for others’ complicity. And if you are the leader, look in the mirror. The complicit one may be staring you in the face.

4. Complain
Okay, a personal reaction. What’s yours when you hear someone complain? My first reaction is that the complainer is part of the problem, and I wonder what other problems they are causing. Leaders don’t complain. Leaders take action, and get results.

Okay, I’ll answer it. Do I want to become a friendlier person? Yes, I want to be a friendlier person. Why? It helps build strong relationships. And that’s what we do to get results.

Posted by Frank J. Mendelson | SEO, Business, Business Communications, About Us, Communications | Comments 0 |
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