Itâ€™s not always easy to admit to mistakes that weâ€™ve made, but most of the time itâ€™s the easiest way of getting someone to see your point of view.
In his book, â€śHow to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,â€ť Dale Carnegie tells the story of Clarence Zerhusen of Timonium, Maryland, when he discovered his fifteen-year-old son was experimenting with cigarettes:
â€śNaturally, I didnâ€™t want David to smoke,â€ť said Mr. Zerhusen, â€śbut his mother and I smoked cigarettes; we were giving him a bad example all the time. I explained to Dave how I started smoking at about his age and how the nicotine had gotten the best of me and now it was nearly impossible for me to stop. I reminded him how irritating my cough was and how he had been after me to give up cigarettes mot many years before.
â€śI didnâ€™t exhort him to stop or make threats or warn him about their dangers. All I did was point out how I was hooked on cigarettes and what it had meant to me.
â€śHe thought about it for a while and decided he wouldnâ€™t smoke until he had graduated from high school. As the years went by David never did start smoking and has no intention of ever doing so.
â€śAs a result of that conversation I made the decision to stop smoking myself, and with the support of my family, I have succeeded.â€ť
The next time you want to point out somebodyâ€™s mistakes, remember to talk about your own mistakes first before directing any criticism at the other person. Hereâ€™s an example of this important principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training Benelux:
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