Friday 26 January 2007

Theories & Models - Dale Carneige

First written in 1936, How to Win Friends, and Influence People is probably the seminal self-help text, and spawned a subsequent industry of personal development handbooks. The book was originally written to provide "training in the fine art of getting along with people, in everyday business and social contacts".

The book is divided into four parts, with a number of key principles underpinning each section, as follows:-

Part 1 - Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

- don't criticize, condemn or complain
- give honest and sincere appreciation
- arouse in the other person an eager want

Part 2 - 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 & most important sound in any language
- be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- talk in terms of the other persons interests
- make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely

Part 3 - How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

- the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
- show respect to the other persons 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 immediately
- let the other person do a great deal of the talking
- let the other person feel the idea is his or hers
- try honestly to see things from the other persons point of view
- be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires
- appeal to their nobler motives
- dramatize your ideas
- throw down a challenge

4 Be a Leader: How to Change People without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment

- begin with praise and honest appreciation

- call attention to peoples mistakes indirectly

- talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person

- ask questions instead of giving direct orders

- let the other person save face

- praise the slightest improvement, and every improvement

- give the other person a fine reputation to live up to

- use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct

- make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest

In many respects, it can be argued that Carneige's approach is subservient and lacks assertiveness in the extreme. It is very people centred, and is predicated on protecting the other persons feelings. However, whilst much of the language, and many of the examples, used in the book are now dated, the core principles espoused over 70 years ago have provided the bedrock of many of the Personal Development approaches still being used today.


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