If You’re Wrong, Admit It Quickly

“What would be the most difficult technique in this book so far for you to learn how to do well? Why?”

One of the best books I have read so far for this course is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is all about……well, the title says it all. There are so many techniques, pretty much all of which I would like to implement in my life. However, many of these techniques do not apply to me, yet—such as those that have to do with being a business manager, owner of a company, etc….  I have picked four techniques that I think I can implicate in my life, right now.

  1. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  2. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  3. Show respect for other people’s interests and wants—never say “you’re wrong”.
  4. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest sound in any language.

If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. We all have the natural tendency to become defensive when we are criticized or told we have made a mistake. Personally, I very quickly become defensive when I am criticized, not so much when I make a mistake. In a business environment admitting your mistakes is crucial. When you do it, the other person wants to give you another chance because they feel like you know your mistakes and will learn from them.

The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. I don’t get into many arguments at all. But, this is many times a very hard thing for people to do. It’s very important for us to remember this technique all the time so that when we are met with a situation where we differ in opinion with another, we don’t start arguing. There are several techniques that tie into this one. One of these is show respect for other people’s interests and wants—never say “you’re wrong”. In an argument-like situation we can remember this and accept that people think differently than us. We can acknowledge their side of the argument and then try to persuade them, without arguing, to our own side. This takes skill and practice, of course, but then again, we can do anything we set our minds to.

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest sound in any language. Remembering people’s names can be hard, especially if you know hundreds of people. Some can and some can’t. But why not try. I am going to. My name is not very common, and more often than not it gets not only spelled wrong, but pronounced wrong. When I was twelve, I went to a homeschool choir and I told my name to the teacher (and spelled it for her). The next year I went again, and spelled it again. The third year, I saw that she had spelled my name correctly! It gave me a very pleasurable feeling that someone I didn’t know as a close friend had spelled my name right, and remembered it. We don’t often think that remembering a person’s name and spelling it right is important, but as Carnegie said, it’s the sweetest sound in any language to its owner.

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