Dale Carnegie

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Dale Carnegie (originally Carnegey) (November 24 1888 - November 1 1955) was an American writer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born in poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, first published in 1936, which has sold over 30 million copies through many editions and remains popular today. He also wrote a biography of Abraham Lincoln titled Lincoln the Unknown and several other books.

Carnegie was an early proponent of what is now called responsibility assumption, although this only appears minutely in his work. One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them.


[edit] Biography

Born in 1888 in Maryville, Missouri, Carnegie was a poor farmer's boy, the second son of James William and Amanda Elizabeth Carnegie. In his teens, though still having to get up at 4 a.m. every day to milk his parents' cows, he managed to get educated at the State Teacher's College in Warrensburg. His first job after college was selling correspondence courses to ranchers, then he moved on to selling bacon, soap, and lard for Armour & Company. He was successful to the point of making his sales territory, southern Omaha, the national leader for the firm.

Carnegie's first marriage ended in divorce in 1931. On November 5, 1944, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he married Dorothy Price Vanderpool, who also had been divorced. Carnegie had two daughters; Rosemary, from his first marriage, and Donna Dale from his second marriage.

The official word from Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc is that he died of Hodgkin's disease on November 1, 1955. He is buried in the Belton, Missouri cemetery, Cass County.

[edit] The Dale Carnegie Course

The Dale Carnegie Course is a self-improvement program conducted using a standardized curriculum by franchised trainers throughout the world. Several variations on the course exist, including a sales course, a high impact presentation course and a course intended for people who manage others.

The basic course consists of twelve evening sessions lasting three and a half hours each. Courses are scheduled in the evening, one night per week. Typically there are 10-30 attendees in a course. Unpaid assistants, who are "graduates" of the course seeking to meet the experience requirement for becoming an instructor, are on hand to assist participants between classes to prepare for the next class, assist with classroom logistics and work with small groups.

Instructors are college graduates who have experience working as managers in a business setting and must attend rigorous training which culminates in certification to teach the course. They must annually attend refresher courses to maintain their certification.

Much of the content of the course is based on Dale Carnegie's teachings over the years which started in 1912 as a public speaking course and then grew into controlling worry & stress. He compiled his thoughts in three books which form the basis for much of the program. They are: How to Win Friends and Influence People, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, and The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking. Participants are expected to read the books as homework over the twelve weeks.

A good deal of the time each evening is spent in short presentations given by each of the participants to the rest of the attendees. Though the format varies slightly from week to week, usually about 2/3 of the available time is spent listening to short talks of participants successes. Instructors say that this is to improve participants' skill in public speaking but it is probably nothing more than a way to increase peoples' self-confidence. Presentations are always based on personal experience rather than a topic that has been researched.

The remainder of each session is spent in lecture and small group exercises. Lecture topics cover memory techniques, the importance of learning names, conversational techniques, and problem resolution and small group skills.

[edit] Criticisms of the Course

A great deal of time is spent listening to speeches given by other participants, particularly in classes with larger numbers of participants. Some critics state that this time is not well spent.

Second, there is criticism that some techniques taught are manipulative. In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand included a lengthy subplot where one character feigns an interest in the hobby of another in an effort to become a partner in an architectural firm. This is a direct attack on Carnegie's techniques. The course repeatedly teaches that students should be sincere and "take a genuine interest in other people" (emphasis added), though some present-day critics consider this a Band-Aid for a fundamentally manipulative activity.

Finally, critics of the philosophy of responsibility assumption attack that aspect of the program.

[edit] Books

Public Speaking and Influencing Men In Business. Association Press.

How to Win Friends and Influence People. A self-help book about interpersonal relations. Simon and Schuster.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. A self-help book about stress management. Simon & Schuster.

Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie. A biography of Abraham Lincoln. Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking. Principles and practical implementation of expressing oneself before groups of people. Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

The Dale Carnegie Scrapbook edited by Dorothy Carnegie. A collection of quotations that Dale Carnegie found inspirational interspersed with excerpts from his own writings. Simon and Schuster.

How To Develop Self-Confidence and Influence Others Through Public Speaking.

Managing Through People. The application of Dale Carnegie's principles of good human relations to effective management. Simon and Schuster.

Enrich Your Life, The Dale Carnegie Way by Arthur R. Pell. A book describing how a variety of people have applied the principles that Dale Carnegie and his successors have taught. Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

[edit] External links

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Dale Carnegie

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