Pages 244 – 248
Carnegie has already covered mistakes very thoroughly earlier – “If you’re wrong, admit it.” Now he’s giving guidance on how to correct someone else’s mistakes – and he’s saying to be indirect.
Since 2015 the phrase ‘compliment sandwich‘ has caught on for people who follow Carnegie’s first two leadership methods:
- Begin with honest praise
- Give indirect compliments
Indirect correction of mistakes is okay, if the other person is capable of grasping the indirectness. What if they are not capable? If they don’t grasp the technical foundation of their mistake, can they grasp the nature of their error? What if language or cultural gaps are making the mistake worse?
Be indirect – but be prepared to be direct if needed. Carnegie is telling the reader to not be a jerk. Don’t make them feel stupid. But do be clear if need be.
“Gentlemen,” he started, “you are leaders. You will be most effective when you lead by example.” Page 246
Page by Page
“Quietly slipping behind the counter, he waited on the woman himself and then handed the purchase to the salespeople to be wrapped as he went on his way.”
“This could be easily overcome by changing the word “but” to “and.””
““Gentlemen,” he started, “you are leaders. You will be most effective when you lead by example.”
Lyman’s sermon is not good. How should his wife coach him?
“Lyman, that is terrible. That’ll never do. You’ll put people to sleep. It reads like an encyclopedia. You ought to know better than that after all the years you have been preaching. For heaven’s sake, why don’t you talk like a human being? Why don’t you act natural? You’ll disgrace yourself if you ever read that stuff.”
PRINCIPLE 2 Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.