Always Let the Other Person Save Face

March 29, 2014

ID-100100170One of Dale Carnegie’s class members, Anna Mazzone, a marketing specialist for a food packer, once told the story of her first major assignment—the test marketing of a new product. She told the class: “When the results of the test came in, I was devastated. I had made a serious error in my planning, and the entire test had to be done all over again. To make this worse, I had no time to discuss it with my boss before the meeting in which I was to make my report on the project.

“When I was called to give the report, I was shaking with fright. I had all I could do to keep from breaking down, but I resolved I would not cry and have all those men make remarks about women not being able to handle an assignment because they are too emotional. I made my report briefly and stated that due to an error I would repeat the study before the next meeting. I sat down, expecting my boss to blow up.”

But instead of blowing up, Anna’s boss thanked her for her work and remarked that it was not unusual for a person to make an error on a new project and that he had confidence that the repeat survey would be accurate and meaningful to the company. He assured her, in front of her colleagues, that he had faith that she had done her best, and that her lack of experience, not her lack of ability, was the reason for the failure.

Anna left the meeting with her head held high and with the determination that she would never let that boss down again.

Here’s some more information on this important principle from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio:

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