carnegie1Carnegie advocated a new approach to leadership based on friendship and mutual understanding. He championed a special brand of civility and even-handedness that contrasted greatly with the take-all-you-can-grab attitude of the Robber Barons in his time.
Unfortunately, a lot of our internet culture seems to have lost touch with the “winning friends” approach. We read about Steve Ballmer screaming at the top of his lungs about destroying the competition. Both sides in the political battle fling flaming balls of crap at the other side. Internet comments can be so downright nasty, that it makes us cringe.
It’s time we revisit some of the best lines from Carnegie and think about how to apply them in the 21st century. In addition to making the conversation a bit more civil, you’ll be amazed how effective it can be in the following ways.
On fights: no one ever wins an argument
carnegie2• The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
• Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
• If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

No, we’re not just talking at the internet flame hurlers. Often we get into heated battles online about some of the silliest things: Mac vs. PC? PS3 vs. Xbox 360? Bacon vs. cupcakes? C’mon, it’s natural to have an opinion, but when you pick a fight with someone, you always drive them away from your opinion and towards the other side. Also, we’ve become pretty shy in the 21st century about saying “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong.” Practice that; you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve.
On sales: Dale Carnegie Sales 101
carnegie4• Begin in a friendly way.
• Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
• Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

• Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
Dale Carnegie accidently taught me more about sales than the 30-plus professional sales writers I’ve read. That’s because we do business with people we like or trust. This is why it’s always a good idea to keep the tone on your website friendly and positive. If you’re hurling flames at the other guy’s products, you’re just as likely to drive away potential customers. After all, who wants to do business with a jerk?
On influence: It’s about connection, not coaxing or cajoling
carnegie3• Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
• Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
• Appeal to the nobler motives.

Carnegie understood that no one ever does anything who doesn’t want to do it. The “Influence People” section is about common interests and win-win scenarios. When you’re writing the copy on your site, or writing blog and article posts, don’t forget how important the other person’s point of view is. Pay attention to both sides and learn to attract customers with your positive tone and enthusiasm.
Take some time to think through your overall message. Are you being friendly, polite and enthusiastic? If not, you may be losing sales.
This ending seemed a bit abrupt. Maybe add something like: “Pick up a copy of this book today, and watch your online sales, not to mention your number of friends, steadily increase.