ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticise themselves for anything no matter how wrong it may be.
an animal rewarded for good behaviour will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behaviour. Later studies have shown that the same applies to humans. By criticising, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.
There you are; human nature in action, wrongdoers, blaming everybody but themselves. We are all like that. So when you and I are tempted to criticise someone tomorrow, let’s remember Al Capone, ‘Two Gun’ Crowley and Albert Fall. Let’s realise that criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home. Let’s realise that the person we are going to correct and condemn will probably justify himself or herself, and condemn us in return; or, like the gentle Taft, will say: ‘I don’t see how I could have done any differently from what I have.’
sharp criticisms and rebukes almost invariably end in futility.
When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? ‘I will speak ill of no man,’ he said, ‘. . . and speak all the good I know of everybody.’
Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain– and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all.’ As Dr. Johnson said: ‘God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.’ Why should you and I?
Sigmund Freud said that everything you and I do springs from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to be great.
If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.
‘I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,’ said Schwab, ‘the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. ‘There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticise anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.’
The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.
‘Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.’
Emerson said: ‘Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.’
Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want. So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: ‘How can I make this person want to do it?’
Here is one of the best bits of advice ever given about the fine art of human relationships. ‘If there is any one secret of success,’ said Henry Ford, ‘it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.’
Thousands of salespeople are pounding the pavements today, tired, discouraged and underpaid. Why? Because they are always thinking only of what they want. They don’t realise that neither you nor I want to buy anything. If we did, we would go out and buy it. But both of us are eternally interested in solving our problems. And if salespeople can show us how their services or merchandise will help us solve our problems, they won’t need to sell us. We’ll buy. And customers like to feel that they are buying– not being sold.
‘First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.’
IN A NUTSHELL FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN HANDLING PEOPLE PRINCIPLE 1 Don’t criticise, condemn or complain. PRINCIPLE 2 Give honest and sincere appreciation. PRINCIPLE 3 Arouse in the other person an eager want.
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends, real friends, are not made that way. Napoleon tried it, and in his last meeting with Josephine he said: ‘Josephine, I have been as fortunate as any man ever was on this earth; and yet, at this hour, you are the only person in the world on whom I can rely.’ And historians doubt whether he could rely even on her.
It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.
I never forgot that to be genuinely interested in other people is a most important quality for a salesperson to possess– for any person, for that matter.’
If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people– things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness.
When somebody calls you on the telephone use the same psychology. Say ‘Hello’ in tones that bespeak how pleased you are to have the person call.
‘We are interested in others when they are interested in us.’
Become genuinely interested in other people.
‘People who smile,’ he said, ‘tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively, and to raise happier children. There’s far more information in a smile than a frown. That’s why encouragement is a much more effective teaching device than punishment.’
The chairman of the board of directors of one of the largest rubber companies in the United States told me that, according to his observations, people rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it. This industrial leader doesn’t put much faith in the old adage that hard work alone is the magic key that will unlock the door to our desires. ‘I have known people,’ he said, ‘who succeeded because they had a rip-roaring good time conducting their business. Later, I saw those people change as the fun became work. The business had grown dull. They lost all joy in it, and they failed.’ You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.
‘Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
‘There is nothing either good or bad,’ said Shakespeare, ‘but thinking makes it so.’
Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual . . . Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude– the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.
‘No. You are wrong,’ he said. ‘I can call fifty thousand people by their first names.’
Note: Try to remember people’s names.
Jim Farley discovered early in life that the average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together. Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it or misspell it– and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage.
Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that one of the simplest, most obvious and most important ways of gaining good will was by remembering names and making people feel important– yet how many of us do it?
‘To recall a voter’s name is statesmanship. To forget it is oblivion.’
His technique? Simple. If he didn’t hear the name distinctly, he said, ‘So sorry. I didn’t get the name clearly.’ Then, if it was an unusual name, he would say, ‘How is it spelled?’ During the conversation, he took the trouble to repeat the name several times, and tried to associate it in his mind with the person’s features, expression and general appearance. If the person was someone of importance, Napoleon went to even further pains. As soon as His Royal Highness was alone, he wrote the name down on a piece of paper, looked at it, concentrated on it, fixed it securely in his mind, and then tore up the paper. In this way, he gained an eye impression of the name as well as an ear impression.
Note: Write down names of every person you meet. In a special page of your notebook.
The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as we deal with others.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Doubtless Mr.– had considered himself a holy crusader, defending the public rights against callous exploitation. But in reality, what he had really wanted was a feeling of importance. He got this feeling of importance at first by kicking and complaining. But as soon as he got his feeling of importance from a representative of the company, his imagined grievances vanished into thin air.
So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more intested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one’s neck interests one more than forty earthquakes in Africa. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.
Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested.
PRINCIPLE 5 Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return– if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve. Oh yes, I did want something out of that chap. I wanted something priceless. And I got it. I got the feeling that I had done something for him without his being able to do anything whatever in return for me. That is a feeling that flows and sings in your memory long after the incident is past.
Always make the other person feel important.
Little phrases such as ‘I’m sorry to trouble you,’ ‘Would you be so kind as to– ?’ ‘Won’t you please?’ ‘Would you mind?’ ‘Thank you’– little courtesies like these oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life– and incidentally, they are the hallmark of good breeding.
The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realise in some subtle way that you realise their importance, and recognise it sincerely.
‘This house was built about 1890, wasn’t it?’ he inquired. ‘Yes,’ she replied, ‘that is precisely the year it was built.’ ‘It reminds me of the house I was born in,’ he said. ‘It’s beautiful. Well built. Roomy. You know, they don’t build houses like this anymore.’ ‘You’re right,’ the old lady agreed. ‘The young folks nowadays don’t care for beautiful homes. All they want is a small apartment, and then they go gadding about in their automobiles. ‘This is a dream house,’ she said in a voice vibrating with tender memories. ‘This house was built with love. My husband and I dreamed about it for years before we built it. We didn’t have an architect. We planned it all ouselves.’
Note: Find something to appreciate someone for
‘Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.’
Make the other person feel important– and do it sincerely.
IN A NUTSHELL SIX WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU PRINCIPLE 1 Become genuinely interested in other people. PRINCIPLE 2 Smile. PRINCIPLE 3 Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. PRINCIPLE 4 Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. PRINCIPLE 5 Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. PRINCIPLE 6 Make the other person feel important– and do it sincerely.
I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument– and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.
You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And– A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still.
If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.
Buddha said: ‘Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love,’ and a misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.
Welcome the disagreement. Remember the slogan, ‘When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary.’ If there is some point you haven’t thought about, be thankful if it is brought to your attention. Perhaps this disagreement is your opportunity to be corrected before you make a serious mistake.
Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.
Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.
Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding.
Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which you agree.
Be honest. Look for areas where you can admit error and say so. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help disarm your opponents and reduce defensiveness.
Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. It is a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in a position where your opponents can say: ‘We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.’
Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear. In preparation for this meeting, ask yourself some hard questions: Could my opponents be right? Partly right? Is there truth or merit in their position or argument? Is my reaction one that will relieve the problem, or will it just relieve any frustration? Will my reaction drive my opponents further away or draw them closer to me? Will my reaction elevate the estimation good people have of me? Will I win or lose? What price will I have to pay if I win? If I am quiet about it, will the disagreement blow over? Is this difficult situation an opportunity for me?
‘My wife and I made a pact a long time ago, and we’ve kept it no matter how angry we’ve grown with each other. When one yells, the other should listen– because when two people yell, there is no communication, just noise and bad vibrations.’
PRINCIPLE 1 The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Never begin by announcing ‘I am going to prove so-and-so to you.’ That’s bad. That’s tantamount to saying: ‘I’m smarter than you are. I’m going to tell you a thing or two and make you change your mind.’ That is a challenge. It arouses opposition and makes the listener want to battle with you before you even start. It is difficult, under even the most benign conditions, to change people’s minds. So why make it harder? Why handicap yourself? If you are going to prove anything, don’t let anybody know it. Do it so subtly, so adroitly, that no one will feel that you are doing it. This was expressed succinctly by Alexander Pope:
Men must be taught as if you taught them not And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.
If a person makes a statement that you think is wrong– yes, even that you know is wrong– isn’t it better to begin by saying: ‘Well, now, look. I thought otherwise but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.’
Note: Next time in argument use these exact words.
You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong. That will stop all argument and inspire your opponent to be just as fair and open and broad-minded as you are. It will make him want to admit that he, too, may be wrong.
Few people are logical. Most of us are prejudiced and biased. Most of us are blighted with preconceived notions, with jealousy, suspicion, fear, envy and pride. And most citizens don’t want to change their minds about their religion or their haircut or communism or their favourite movie star.
We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we are wrong, we resent the imputation and harden our hearts. We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, but our self-esteem which is threatened . . . The little word ‘my’ is the most important one in human affairs, and properly to reckon with it is the beginning of wisdom. It has the same force whether it is ‘my’ dinner, ‘my’ dog, and ‘my’ house, or ‘my’ father, ‘my’ country, and ‘my’ God. We not only resent the imputation that our watch is wrong, or our car shabby, but that our conception of the canals of Mars, of the pronunciation of ‘Epictetus,’ of the medicinal value of salicin, or of the date of Sargon I is subject to revision. We like to continue to believe what we have been accustomed to accept as true, and the resentment aroused when doubt is cast upon any of our assumptions leads us to seek every manner of excuse for clinging to it. The result is that most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.
I have found it of enormous value when I can permit myself to understand the other person. The way in which I have worded this statement may seem strange to you. Is it necessary to permit oneself to understand another? I think it is. Our first reaction to most of the statements (which we hear from other people) is an evaluation or judgment, rather than an understanding of it. When someone expresses some feeling, attitude or belief, our tendency is almost immediately to feel ‘that’s right,’ or ‘that’s stupid,’ ‘that’s abnormal,’ ‘that’s unreasonable,’ ‘that’s incorrect,’ ‘that’s not nice.’ Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand precisely what the meaning of the statement is to the other person.1
When we are wrong, we may admit it to ourselves. And if we are handled gently and tactfully, we may admit it to others and even take pride in our frankness and broad-mindedness. But not if someone else is trying to ram the unpalatable fact down our oesophagus.
‘I made it a rule,’ said Franklin, ‘to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiment of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbade myself the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix’d opinion, such as “certainly,” “undoubtedly,” etc., and I adopted, instead of them, “I conceive,” “I apprehend,” or “I imagine” a thing to be so or so, or “it so appears to me at present.” When another asserted something that I thought an error, I deny’d myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition: and in answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appear’d or seem’d to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engag’d in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I propos’d my opinions procur’d them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevail’d with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.
‘I am convinced now that nothing good is accomplished and a lot of damage can be done if you tell a person straight out that he or she is wrong. You only succeed in stripping that person of self-dignity and making yourself an unwelcome part of any discussion.’
‘I judge people by their own principles– not by my own.’
PRINCIPLE 2 Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong.’
If we know we are going to be rebuked anyhow, isn’t it far better to beat the other person to it and do it ourselves? Isn’t it much easier to listen to self-criticism than to bear condemnation from alien lips?
Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to say– and say them before that person has a chance to say them. The chances are a hundred to one that a generous, forgiving attitude will be taken and your mistakes will be minimised just as the mounted policeman did with me and Rex.
There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one’s errors. It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error.
Note: Criticize yourself before they does.
Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes– and most fools do– but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.
When we are right, let’s try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong– and that will be surprisingly often, if we are honest with ourselves– let’s admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. Not only will that technique produce astonishing results; but, believe it or not, it is a lot more fun, under the circumstances, than trying to defend oneself.
‘By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.’
PRINCIPLE 3 If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
‘If you come at me with your fists doubled,’ said Woodrow Wilson, ‘I think I can promise you that mine will double as fast as yours; but if you come to me and say, “Let us sit down and take counsel together, and, if we differ from each other, understand why it is that we differ, just what the points at issue are,” we will presently find that we are not so far apart after all, that the points on which we differ are few and the points on which we agree are many, and that if we only have the patience and the candour and the desire to get together, we will get together.’
If a man’s heart is rankling with discord and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom. Scolding parents and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging wives ought to realize that people don’t want to change their minds. They can’t be forced or driven to agree with you or me. But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so friendly.
Daniel Webster, who looked like a god and talked like Jehovah, was one of the most successful advocates who ever pleaded a case; yet he ushered in his most powerful arguments with such friendly remarks as: ‘It will be for the jury to consider,’ ‘This may, perhaps, be worth thinking of,’ ‘Here are some facts that I trust you will not lose sight of,’ or ‘You, with your knowledge of human nature, will easily see the significance of these facts.’ No bulldozing. No high-pressure methods. No attempt to force his opinions on others. Webster used the soft-spoken, quiet, friendly approach, and it helped to make him famous.
PRINCIPLE 4 Begin in a friendly way.
IN TALKING WITH people, don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasising– and keep on emphasising– the things on which you agree. Keep emphasising, if possible, that you are both striving for the same end and that your only difference is one of method and not of purpose. Get the other person saying ‘Yes, yes’ at the outset. Keep your opponent, if possible, from saying ‘No.’
The skilful speaker gets, at the outset, a number of ‘Yes’ responses. This sets the psychological process of the listeners moving in the affirmative direction. It is like the movement of a billiard ball. Propel in one direction, and it takes some force to deflect it; far more force to send it back in the opposite direction.
Did he tell people they were wrong? Oh, no, not Socrates. He was far too adroit for that. His whole technique, now called the ‘Socratic method,’ was based upon getting a ‘yes, yes’ response. He asked questions with which his opponent would have to agree. He kept on winning one admission after another until he had an armful of yeses. He kept on asking questions until finally, almost without realising it, his opponents found themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly denied a few minutes previously.
PRINCIPLE 5 Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately.
MOST PEOPLE TRYING to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves. Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things. If you disagree with them you may be tempted to interrupt. But don’t. It is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression. So listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere about it. Encourage them to express their ideas fully.
Even our friends would much rather talk to us about their achievements than listen to us boast about ours.
La Rochefoucauld, the French philosopher, said: ‘If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.’
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
DON’T YOU HAVE much more faith in ideas that you discover for yourself than in ideas that are handed to you on a silver platter? If so, isn’t it bad judgement to try to ram your opinions down the throats of other people? Isn’t it wiser to make suggestions– and let the other person think out the conclusion?
No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas. We like to be consulted about our wishes, our wants, our thoughts.
‘In every work of genius we recognise our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.’
‘The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them. Thus they are able to reign over all the mountain streams. So the sage, wishing to be above men, putteth himself below them; wishing to be before them, he putteth himself behind them. Thus, though his place be above men, they do not feel his weight; though his place be before them, they do not count it an injury.’
PRINCIPLE 7 Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
‘Cooperativeness in conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own. Starting your conversation by giving the other person the purpose or direction of your conversation, governing what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener, and accepting his or her viewpoint will encourage the listener to have an open mind to your ideas.’1
Tomorrow, before asking anyone to put out a fire or buy your product or contribute to your favourite charity, why not pause and close your eyes and try to think the whole thing through from another person’s point of view.? Ask yourself: ‘Why should he or she want to do it?’ True, this will take time, but it will avoid making enemies and will get better results– and with less friction and less shoe leather.
PRINCIPLE 8 Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
WOULDN’T YOU LIKE to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively? Yes? All right. Here it is: ‘I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.’
Note: Use this phrase when you have to disagree with someone
‘Sympathy the human species universally craves. The child eagerly displays his injury; or even inflicts a cut or bruise in order to reap abundant sympathy. For the same purpose adults . . . show their bruises, relate their accidents, illness, especially details of surgical operations. “Self-pity” for misfortunes real or imaginary is, in some measure, practically a universal practice.’
PRINCIPLE 9 Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
If you are satisfied with the results you are now getting, why change? If you are not satisfied, why not experiment?
PRINCIPLE 10 Appeal to the nobler motives.
PRINCIPLE 11 Dramatise your ideas.
‘The way to get things done,’ says Schwab, ‘is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.’ The desire to excel! The challenge! Throwing down the gauntlet! An infallible way of appealing to people of spirit.
‘All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory’ was the motto of the King’s Guard in ancient Greece.
The one major factor that motivated people was the work itself. If the work was exciting and interesting, the worker looked forward to doing it and was motivated to do a good job.
Note: If you are asking someone to do something, make the job interesting.
PRINCIPLE 12 Throw down a challenge.
IN A NUTSHELL WIN PEOPLE TO YOUR WAY OF THINKING PRINCIPLE 1 The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. PRINCIPLE 2 Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong.’ PRINCIPLE 3 If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. PRINCIPLE 4 Begin in a friendly way. PRINCIPLE 5 Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately. PRINCIPLE 6 Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. PRINCIPLE 7 Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers. PRINCIPLE 8 Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. PRINCIPLE 9 Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires. PRINCIPLE 10 Appeal to the nobler motives. PRINCIPLE 11 Dramatise your ideas. PRINCIPLE 12 Throw down a challenge.
That was probably the most effusive praise Silent Cal had ever bestowed upon a secretary in his life. It was so unusual, so unexpected, that the secretary blushed in confusion. Then Coolidge said, ‘Now, don’t get stuck up. I just said that to make you feel good. From now on, I wish you would be a little more careful with your punctuation.’
PRINCIPLE 1 Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
CHARLES SCHWAB WAS passing through one of his steel mills one day at noon when he came across some of his employees smoking. Immediately above their heads was a sign that said ‘No Smoking.’ Did Schwab point to the sign and say, ‘Can’t you read?’ Oh no, not Schwab. He walked over to the men, handed each one a cigar, and said, ‘I’ll appreciate it, boys, if you will smoke these on the outside.’ They knew that he knew that they had broken a rule– and they admired him because he said nothing about it and gave them a little present and made them feel important. Couldn’t keep from loving a man like that, could you?
PRINCIPLE 2 Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
PRINCIPLE 3 Talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person.
He always gave suggestions, not orders. Owen D. Young never said, for example, ‘Do this or do that,’ or ‘Don’t do this or don’t do that.’ He would say, ‘You might consider this,’ or ‘Do you think that would work?’
PRINCIPLE 4 Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
Letting one save face! How important, how vitally important that is! And how few of us ever stop to think of it! We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticising a child or an employee in front of others, without even considering the hurt to the other person’s pride. Whereas a few minutes’ thought, a considerate word or two, a genuine understanding of the other person’s attitude, would go so far toward alleviating the sting!
Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face. The legendary French aviation pioneer and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote: ‘I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.’
PRINCIPLE 5 Let the other person save face.
Use of praise instead of criticism is the basic concept of B.F. Skinner’s teachings. This great contemporary psychologist has shown by experiments with animals and with humans that when criticism is minimised and praise emphasised, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.
What Mr. Roper did was not just flatter the young printer and say ‘You’re good.’ He specifically pointed out how his work was superior. Because he had singled out a specific accomplishment, rather than just making general flattering remarks, his praise became much more meaningful to the person to whom it was given. Everybody likes to be praised, but when praise is specific, it comes across as sincere– not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good.
PRINCIPLE 6 Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’
‘Give a dog a bad name and you may as well hang him.’ But give him a good name– and see what happens!
PRINCIPLE 7 Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
PRINCIPLE 8 Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
Childish? Perhaps. But that is what they said to Napoleon when he created the Legion of Honour and distributed 15,000 crosses to his soldiers and made eighteen of his generals ‘Marshals of France’ and called his troops the ‘Grand Army.’ Napoleon was criticised for giving ‘toys’ to war-hardened veterans, and Napoleon replied, ‘Men are ruled by toys.’
1 Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person. 2 Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do. 3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what is it the other person really wants. 4 Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest. 5 Match those benefits to the other person’s wants. 6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit. We could give a curt order like this: ‘John, we have customers coming in tomorrow and I need the stockroom cleaned out. So sweep it out, put the stock in neat piles on the shelves and polish the counter.’ Or we could express the same idea by showing John the benefits he will get from doing the task: ‘John, we have a job that should be completed right away. If it is done now, we won’t be faced with it later. I am bringing some customers in tomorrow to show our facilities. I would like to show them the stock-room, but it is in poor shape. If you could sweep it out, put the stock in neat piles on the shelves, and polish the counter, it would make us look efficient and you will have done your part to provide a good company image.’
PRINCIPLE 9 Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
IN A NUTSHELL BE A LEADER A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behaviour. Some suggestions to accomplish this: PRINCIPLE 1 Begin with praise and honest appreciation. PRINCIPLE 2 Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. PRINCIPLE 3 Talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person. PRINCIPLE 4 Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. PRINCIPLE 5 Let the other person save face. PRINCIPLE 6 Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’ PRINCIPLE 7 Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. PRINCIPLE 8 Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct. PRINCIPLE 9 Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.