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The Relationship Building Principle That Dale Carnegie Got Wrong - Forbes

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In 1936, Dale Carnegie published How To Win Friends & Influence People. Since then, it has become the relationship building bible for 30+ million people including myself. However, not all of Carnegie’s principles work as advertised.

Here Is Dale Carnegie’s #1 Mistake:

If you were Dale Carnegie, in this situation, you would probably apply rule #4: be a good listener & encourage others to talk about themselves.

To a certain extent, this principle works. Following it will probably lead to good cocktail conversation.

However, you want more. You want an ongoing relationship.

Instead of applying rule #4, Michael Ellsberg applies his own rule, which he calls playing to your home court advantage.

He does not ask questions about the individual’s expertise. He asks questions that steer the conversation toward the other persons’ incomplete goals that he’s able to solve. He looks for an opportunity to proactively give.

Michael Ellsberg (36) leveraged his home court advantage of being a copywriter, Forbes columnist, and book author to get in the door with and build relationships with some of Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs despite having little business experience.


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