Give People an Opportunity to Correct Their Errors

September 27, 2013

ID-100201978Dale Carnegie once had the pleasure of dining with Mrs. Ida Tarbell, the dean of American biographers. When he told her was writing his book, “How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” the began discussing the all-important subject of getting along with people.

Mrs. Tarbell told Carnegie that while she was writing her biography of Owen D. Young, she interviewed a man who had sat for three years in the same office with Mr. Young. This man declared that during all that time he had never heard Owen D. Young give a direct order to anyone. Instead, he always gave suggestions.

Mr. Young never said, for example, “Do this or do that,” or “Don’t do this or don’t do that.” E would say, “You might consider this,” or “Do you think that would work?”

Frequently he would say, after he had dictated a letter, “What do you think of this?” In looking over a letter of one of his assistants, he would say, “Maybe if we were to phrase it this way it would be better.”

He always gave people the opportunity to do things themselves; he never told his assistants to do things; he let them do them, let them learn from their mistakes.

A technique like that makes it easy for a person to correct errors. A technique like that saves a person’s pride and gives him or her a feeling f importance. It encourages cooperation instead of rebellion.

Here’s an example of this important principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training  of Central Ohio:

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