Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dale Carnegie and Me

I had a beer in the early 50's with Dale Carnegie. Well not exactly. I did listen to a Teaching Company tape on American best sellers and one of the lectures was on the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. It's possible the lecturer read the book so it's the same thing without the beer  and without Dale. Warn water  was what Dale actually had.  As I recall,  he dipped a tea bag in it for just an instant.

I seems that Dale was all about getting your way by getting people to like you. I guess I wish we had spoken to each other before starting this blog but that is a different matter.

As I listened to Dale or  to the person on the tape who had probably read the book or who I just liked ( because he had Carnegie-likeablity) so much I did not care if he had or not, I thought about-- what else -- my job and the folks who are successful, particularly in administration. I don't mean actual successful administrators but people who move up in the administrative ranks.

Here are some of the best things I learned from Dale:“You can't win an argument. You can't because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.” [I do not think he had lawyers in mind.]  Wow is that ever true. Did you ever know a "successful" administrator who argued. It would not matter about what or which side. If you want to be an administrator, do not disagree with anyone openly because eventually that person will be called about you. Of course, Dale was mainly interested in sales and law school administrators . . . oh, that is sales too.

Dale also said,“I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument— and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.” Did I mention Dale tended to repeat himself. Maybe it was the tea, Maybe it was the tea.

I think the most important thing he said was "A barber lathers a man before he shaves him.” Did I say "most important? Well yes I did. If you have short term memory issue just look up one line. I think I meant to write "most unnerving."

I realized that Dean's must have read Dale's best seller and learned from it. Of course, they also benefited from the Peter Principle but the PP alone won't do it. For the PP to work, you have to be liked. People have to buy what you are selling. The PP and making yourself liked are all it takes.


Anonymous said...

I have not been able to make sense of most of your posts.

Poorly written, poorly referenced, and rather non-sensical.

I usually have no idea what you are talking about.

Clearly you have not practiced law, ever.

The point of communication is that your readers can follow your message.

Jeffrey Harrison said...

I could not agree more. Thanks for reading.

Athena Stafyla said...

Hi Jeff,

I did understand the main points. I dont know the other author with whom you wish you had a beer. By the way what is the Peter Principle (PP)?

On the matter of the article all i have learned in leadership seminars is that argumentation at an administrative level, e.g. with a dean,or at a scientific level, e.g. a legal debate in a congress,must run under the golden fule "soft on the person tough on the issue!" That means you can insist on your point of view by presenting new reasons and arguments without being critical by using insulting words against the person,with whoom you disagree.

Best regards

Jeffrey Harrison said...

No beer at all. Just me and the guy on the tape. The Peter Principle comes from a book that must be at least 40 years old now. The theory is that people who are competent are promoted. If they are competent in the new job they are promoted again. They are no longer promoted when they are in a position and are not competent. Thus, so the theory goes, most people are incompetent in their current positions.