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Did you ever...? All the time!

With a nod to Lee & Nancy, have you ever:

  • Wondered why certain people just seem to ‘get’ you and others drive you to distraction?

  • Labelled someone as stupid, irresponsible, lazy, or rude (or been labelled as such yourself)?

  • Just known that things would go more smoothly if only people would listen to you?

And have you ever lost a deal, been unable to progress an internal project, failed at interview as a result?

In his book: “How to win friends and influence people” published by Simon and Schuster in 1936, Dale Carnegie writes:

“Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are a businessman. Yes, and that is also true if you if you are an accountant, housewife, architect, or engineer. Investigation and research made a few years ago under the auspices of the Carnegie Foundation uncovered a most important and significant fact - a fact later confirmed by additional studies made at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. These investigations revealed that even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15 per cent of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85 per cent is due to skill in human engineering - to personality and the ability to lead people. “

Does the essence of this still hold true today, eighty years later?

If asked for my view, then I would say yes; possibly even more so given the immensely wider range of communication capabilities. We might use slightly different words and phrases and identify different occupations but, I would think, the essence remains intact.

We hear constantly of statements that are made and then retracted because they were, to use one of the in-vogue phrases, “mis-spoken”. Or, someone either did not realise their microphone was still switched on or that they were being secretly recorded.

Indeed, research shows that it is not so much the content that gets in the way of effective communication, rather the manner in which it is delivered; “it ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it” still has the ring of authenticity about it.

These days, there is so much more research and understanding of how our brains work and how we can control and cannot control our behaviour it can be quite over-whelming to determine how to deploy this in our own situations.

How would it be, then, if there were some ways to know our preferences and, more crucially, pick up the right signals to help us know the preferences of those with whom we are engaging or wishing to engage?

To be able, in the words of Dale Carnegie, have skill in human engineering?

Worth exploring?


If you are curious about this, register your interest by contacting me, John Busby, to discuss at:; + 44 7968 066 165

Copyright©2015 John Busby

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