If you’ve never read Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, I suggest you pick up a copy for yourself and everyone on your team (In fact, it’s in the public domain, and available for free online). The book is a guide to success in relationships on a personal and commercial level, and it’s all about generating positive attitudes within ourselves and others.
Humans are Weird, Illogical, and Emotional
I like to think of Carnegie’s very important lesson, “You can never win an argument”. A lot of people, Ironically, will read that statement and then try to argue against it – and therein lies the truth.
Sure, if humans were 100% logical, arguments could be laid out, examined, and the truth could be revealed. But humans are not logical. We’re weird. And if you don’t think you are, you’ll need to re-examine yourself before reading the next part.
Humans are emotional reactors at almost all times. Carnegie argues (and proves time and again) that you cannot “win” everyday arguments, because everyday arguments are not logical. When two egos collide, the they are no longer seeking the truth, they are only defending their egos.
How to Build a Humble Team
Think about a time when you’ve entered an argument and quickly realized you were wrong. However, you didn’t admit it, because it would mean sacrificing your ego, your sense of importance. So instead, you stood your ground.
This is best avoided whenever constructing a team. And that’s not at all to say that conflict should be avoided. It’s only to say that, when in conflict, use other methods to arrive at a solution. Carnegie says, “Show respect for others’ opinions”, and “Admit when you’re wrong.”
Remember, even if you’re the winner of an argument, both sides are really the losers. An ego has been threatened, and the bond between you has been broken. Keep your team healthy and strong, and learn to trust one another. This all starts with humbling yourself, and admitting that you don’t have all the answers.