If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically

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The core idea in [@carnegie2010How to win friends & influence people] is that if you know you are doing something wrong, it is best to admit it quickly instead of generating a confrontation with the other person. The chapter starts with a story of him walking in the park with a dog and a policeman telling him that the dog should be on a leash. Next time he repeats the offense, instead of finding excuses like 'there is no one in the park', he goes straight up front and says: I am doing something wrong, you are right, I am sorry.

This is, I find, tightly related to when he discusses that The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. The idea here, however, is knowing that we are wrong, while in the other chapter it is the opposite (or at least we think we are right).

Although I see the value in admitting one's mistakes, the examples he gives in the book are a bit anachronistic. If you are working for a boss that forces to rush results and then blames you because of the quality, that is a very bad boss. Sure, throw blame on yourself so his anger passes, and then convince him of giving you more time. I don't think this is how any kind of manager should behave.

The example at the end, when he tells the story of the Chinese man who was an addict and had no courage to ask forgiveness to his son was more inspiring. Cultural norms establish sometimes what we are expected to do or not do. In this case, the man was not allowed to approach the son. Forgiveness should be given, not asked for. However, the old man surpass the limitations and went to see the son, said he was sorry and all good.

A bit of a cliché, but it still is a valid point. When we are encorsetted by a system of believes, we can be pushed away from what we want to achieve, and the peace we can obtain, even without realizing.

Literature note on The Leader in You - Dale Carnegie

Tags: #reading #literature-note #2021 #management-books


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Aquiles Carattino
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