Learn and Improve with just Three Questions

February 28, 2012

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is one of the most powerful personal and professional improvement books ever written by a single author.  First printed in 1944, nearly 80 years ago, it is still full of excellent and timely advice. Rich with true stories and lessons, its practicality is exposed in virtually every page. Leaders across New Jersey need to take the time to read this important textbook.

Chapter 22, entitled “Fool Things I have Done”, is an excellent discussion about personal and professional flaws and how to handle constructive criticism. Ownership of both problems and misfortunes, without blaming others is essential to professional growth.

Ask yourself the following three questions each week and document the answers:

  • What mistakes have I made this week?
  • What did I do right?
  • How can I improve performance?

This self-analysis was maintained by Mr. Carnegie for years, and it optimized every aspect of his leadership prowess. We must always be eager to learn and improve, and most importantly, we must be our own critic. Being honest with ourselves allows and invites positive criticism. It is necessary that we accept frank, knowledgeable, sincere and helpful assessment and evaluation from others as well.

We should never fear or worry about critique. We are not perfect. It is always a good thing to get advice from others that makes us better people.

Mr. Carnegie quoted the late writer, artist, and philosopher Elbert Hubbard: “Every man is a fool for at least five minutes every day. Wisdom consists in not exceeding that limit.”

We are emotional beings first and logical beings second. Accepting the assessment regardless of how hurt we might be is the sign of maturity and growth. When you think about it, it certainly helped Dale Carnegie.

An excellent partner to the book is the class, How to Communicate with Diplomacy and Tact scheduled in Bordentown on Monday March 19th.

This post is shared with you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook

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