Dale Carnegie taught us that the only way to get other people to do what we would like them to do is to get them to want to do so. Humans have a number of needs but none of them exceed the need to be appreciated. Humans need appreciation more than anything else – even more than food. This has been demonstrated by a number of studies.
If you want to influence people you must appreciate them and you must communicate that appreciation frequently and sincerely. Equally important one must be very reluctant to criticize and do so very carefully when needed. This may be the most difficult discipline to learn. People are all very adept at criticizing others – it is easy for us to see the deficiencies in others while it is very difficult to see them in ourselves.
Charles Schwab became Andrew Carnegie’s chief operating officer during the first decade of the 20th century and ultimately Schwab created US Steel from that empire. Schwab was extraordinarily adept at working with people and getting from them their voluntary cooperation and agreement. He said that he considered his ability to “arouse enthusiasm” in others as his greatest personal asset. He also said that there “is nothing that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors”. He firmly believed in being hearty in his approbation and lavish in his praise. It paid off very well for him.
It will in fact pay off very well for you. Schwab was not unique in his talent for working with people nor was his view rare. Most successful people, especially those who owe their success to working with other people, which is nearly everyone, has learned this lesson.
Dale Carnegie taught that the most important secret to dealing well with people is to never criticize, always compliment and to endeavor to generate an enthusiasm in people which will serve your common interest. The more you follow that advise the more effective you will be working with others, whether they be employees, colleagues or superiors. The same basic principles of human behavior and relationships apply to everyone regardless of their station or their relationship to you.
Few men have demonstrated the ability to effectively motivate and work with others as President Lincoln did. On is death a number of letters were found rolled up in his desk. Each letter was written to a general or other government official under the President who has misbehaved or had failed to meet the President’s expectations. Each letter chastised the recipient for their failures and demanded that they perform. None of the letters were ever sent. Lincoln satisfied his own frustration by writing them but never sent them. They were squirreled away in his desk. He often wrote notes and letters of commendation and approval for those who did well. However he rarely if ever wrote anyone a letter of criticism. Lincoln’s success both in policy and as a leader speaks for itself – we all have a lesson to learn from his gentle handling of others. He understood this important principle – this secret of dealing with people.
“The greatest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James.
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.