Session seven of the Carnegie course focused on gaining others’ cooperation. We emphasized Carnegie’s principles of influence. We discussed each of the principles and various techniques for applying them. One technique that I learned and liked was the leading question. That is, instead of ordering – “Do X”, or even suggesting – “Let’s do X”, it’s better to get buy in through questions. “What if we do X?” or “We can do X can’t we?” or “Would it make sense for us to do X?”
We each presented a two minute talk about how we’ve applied these principles to gain others’ cooperation.
Incidentally, I’ve heard Carnegie and his principles criticized as manipulative. At first glance it might appear that way. After all, the book is How to Win Friends and Influence People. But if you read the book and study the principles, you’ll find that Carnegie didn’t advocate manipulation or deception of any kind. Instead, he offered techniques for getting along with others and for presenting your position in the most favorable manner.