Coaching Tip From Dale Carnegie

In his famous book How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie devotes a section to teaching leaders how to effectively change behavior.  One chapter gives a simple tip – “Make the fault seem easy to correct.”  The essence of this tip is to give encouragement when coaching rather than discouragement.  A couple of things we can do during coaching which will be encouraging…

– Communicate in a way which indicates the person has the “hard part” nailed and now just needs to tweak a few details.  Example – “I can tell that you have the underlying communication skills – that’s more than half the battle.  Now, all we have to do is get you to ask more questions before you give a recommendation, and you’ll have this sales process nailed.”

– Keep the list of “things to fix” short so that it feels achievable.  Example – “Let’s focus just on Step 1.  Try it this way and see if it works better.  Once you get comfortable with Step 1, then we’ll take a look at Step 2.”

Dale Carngie’s book, though originally written in the 1930’s, remains highly relevant for managers today.




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