Dale Carnegie in his bestseller, How to Win Friends and Influence People, recalls:
“MY NIECE, JOSEPHINE Carnegie, had come to New York to be my secretary. She was nineteen, had graduated from high school three years previously, and her business experience was a trifle more than zero. She became one of the most proficient secretaries west of Suez, but in the beginning, she was – well, susceptible to improvement.”
“. . . susceptible to improvement” – love it.
Those words open Mr Carnegie’s book chapter entitled, “Talk about your own mistakes first.” He goes on to say:
“One day when I started to criticise her, I said to myself: ‘Just a minute, Dale Carnegie; just a minute. You are twice as old as Josephine. You have had ten thousand times as much business experience. How can you possibly expect her to have your viewpoint, your judgement, your initiative – mediocre though they may be? And just a minute, Dale, what were you doing at nineteen? Remember the asinine mistakes and blunders you made? Remember the time you did this . . . and that . . . ?’
Whether younger, the same age, or older … the principle of what Mr Carnegie has to say seems about right … before criticising others, look to yourself. And when you’ve realised you’re not so perfect, share that and let it help you to help them to improve.
I guess we can all be susceptible to improvement on occasion?