As a graduate and former instructor of the Dale Carnegie Course, I enjoy comparing and contrasting other human relations and leadership principles, mantras and methods with those of Dale Carnegie. I recently read an article by another best-selling author, Deepak Chopra, and drew some interesting parallels between tenets outlined in his recent article, ‘The #1 Awareness Skill: Paying Attention,’ and Mr. Carnegie’s Human Relations principles.
In the article, Mr. Chopra outlines how the ability to pay attention and maintain focus is paramount to any leader’s success. To determine if you are an enlightened leader, ask yourself these three questions:
- Do you use your formal power to coerce others?
The principles from Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, are tried and true ways of influencing others. By ‘arousing in the other person an eager want’ and ‘appealing to nobler motives,’enlightened leaders use their power to guide, rather than to force, people to her way of thinking. Chopra says that, “The inspired leader’s power comes not from other people, but from her very being…Power on this level isn’t a force that you use like a weapon to get your own way.” Being adept at soft skills and applying Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principles enables leaders to influence their teams in a positive and healthy manner vs. a coercive one.
- When others criticize or condemn you, do you become upset and allow the comments to falter your focus?
Dale Carnegie’s first Human Relations principle is, ‘Don’t criticize, condemn or complain,’ however you more than likely encounter criticism from other people daily. Truly enlightened leaders allow the criticism to roll off of their backs because their true self power cannot be compromised by anything someone says or does. Chopra says, “True self power lies feeling beneath no one; being immune to criticism and being fearless. It starts with a vision of the core self as the author of your own story…which is in turn aligned with the greater collective of society that is earth.”
- Do you listen to respond instead of listening to understand?
The 7th Human Relations principle by Dale Carnegie is to, ‘Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.’ Many leaders are focused on jumping from the issue directly to the solution, however taking time to listen is a critical first step to resolution. Without understanding the entire issue, how can any leader propose an ideal solution? Chopra concurs stating, “In this way, leadership is first a task of perceiving and listening prior to doing or achieving…In the midst of chaos, certain individuals step out of the shadows in order to lead society in new directions necessary for further evolution. Only a truly great leader can find wisdom in the face of mythic proportion challenges.”