In his book, “How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” Dale Carnegie tells the story of Clarence Zerhusen of Timonium, Maryland, when he discovered his fifteen-year-old son was experimenting with cigarettes:
“Naturally, I didn’t want David to smoke,” said Mr. Zerhusen, “but his mother and I smoked cigarettes; we were giving him a bad example all the time. I explained to Dave how I started smoking at about his age and how the nicotine had gotten the best of me and now it was nearly impossible for me to stop. I reminded him how irritating my cough was and how he had been after me to give up cigarettes mot many years before.
“I didn’t exhort him to stop or make threats or warn him about their dangers. All I did was point out how I was hooked on cigarettes and what it had meant to me.
“He thought about it for a while and decided he wouldn’t smoke until he had graduated from high school. As the years went by David never did start smoking and has no intention of ever doing so.
“As a result of that conversation I made the decision to stop smoking myself, and with the support of my family, I have succeeded.”
The next time you want to point out somebody’s mistakes, remember to talk about your own mistakes first before directing any criticism at the other person. Here’s an example of this important principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Atlanta, Georgia:
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages