Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
1.1 “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don't Kick Over the Beehive”
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?
1.2 The Big Secret of Dealing With People
Hurting people not only does not change them, it is never called for. There is an old saying that I have cut out and pasted on my mirror where I cannot help but see it every day:
I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
If that was true of Emerson, isn’t it likely to be a thousand times more true of you and me? Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
1.3 “He who Can do this has the Whole World with Him. He who Cannot Walksa Lonely Way”
William Winter once remarked that “self expression is the dominant necessity of human nature.” Why can’t we adapt this same psychology to business dealings? When we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think it is ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea themselves. They will then regard it as their own; they will like it and maybe eat a couple of helpings of it.
Remember: “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.”
Six Ways to Make People Like You
2.1 Do Thisand You’ll be Welcome Anywhere
Why read this book to find out how to win friends? Why not study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives: he doesn’t want to sell you any real estate, and he doesn’t want to marry you.
Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.
2.2 A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression
THE VALUE OF A SMILE AT CHRISTMAS
It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.None are so rich they can get along without it and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote fee trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
And if in the last minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!
2.3 If You Don’t do this, You Are Headed for Trouble
We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing and nobody else. 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.
2.4 An Easy Way to Become a Good Conversationalist
People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves. And “those people who think only of themselves,” Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, long time president of Columbia University, said, “are hopelessly uneducated. They are not educated,” said Dr. Butler, “no matter how instructed they may be.” 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 interested 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.
2.5 How to Interest People
Everyone who was ever a guest of Theodore Roosevelt was astonished at the range and diversity of his knowledge. Whether his visitor was a cowboy or a Rough Rider, a New York politician or a diplomat, Roosevelt knew what to say. And how was it done? The answer was simple. 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.
For Roosevelt knew, as all leaders know, that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.
Talking in terms of the other person’s interests pays off for both parties. Howard Z. Herzig, a leader in the field of employee communications, has always followed this principle. When asked what reward he got from it, Mr.Herzig responded that he not only received a different reward from each person but that in general the reward had been an enlargement of his life each time he spoke to someone.
2.6 How to Make People Like You Instantly
I was waiting in line to register a letter in the post office at Thirty third Street and Eighth Avenue in New York. I noticed that the clerk appeared to be bored with the job weighing envelopes, handing out stamps, making change, issuing receipts the same monotonous grind year after year. So I said to myself: “I am going to try to make that clerk like me. Obviously, to make him like me, I must say something nice, not about myself, but about him.” So I asked myself, “What is there about him that I can honestly admire?” That is sometimes a hard question to answer, especially with strangers; but, in this case, it happened to be easy. I instantly saw something I admired no end.
So while he was weighing my envelope, I remarked with enthusiasm: “I certainly wish I had your head of hair.”
He looked up, half startled, his face beaming with smiles. “Well, it isn’t as good as it used to be,” he said modestly. I assured him that although it might have lost some of its pristine glory, nevertheless it was still magnificent. He was immensely pleased. We carried on a pleasant little conversation and the last thing he said to me was: “Many people have admired my hair.”
I’ll bet that person went out to lunch that day walking on air. I’ll bet he went home that night and told his wife about it. I’ll bet he looked in the mirror and said: “It is a beautiful head of hair.”
How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
3.1 You Can’t Win an Argument
In an article in Bits and Pieces, some suggestions are made on how to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument:
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.”
Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends.
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?
Opera tenor Jan Peerce, after he was married nearly fifty years, once said: “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.”
3.2 A Sure Way of Making Enemies and How to Avoid it
By the way, I am not revealing anything new in this chapter. Two thousand years ago, Jesus said: “Agree with thine adversary quickly.”
And 2,200 years before Christ was born, King Akhtoi of Egypt gave his son some shrewd advice advice that is sorely needed today. “Be diplomatic,” counselled the King. “It will help you gain your point.”
In other words, don’t argue with your customer or your spouse or your adversary. Don’t tell them they are wrong, don’t get them stirred up. Use a little diplomacy.
3.3 If You’re Wrong, Admit it
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.
Remember the old proverb: “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”
3.4 A Drop of Honey
Aesop was a Greek slave who lived at the court of Croesus and spun immortal fables six hundred years before Christ. Yet the truths he taught about human nature are just as true in Boston and Birmingham now as they were twenty six centuries ago in Athens. The sun can make you take off your coat more quickly than the wind; and kindliness, the friendly approach and appreciation can make people change their minds more readily than all the bluster and storming in the world.
Remember what Lincoln said: “A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.”
3.5 The Secret of Socrates
In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing – and keep on emphasizing – the things on which you agree. Keep emphasizing, 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.”
A “No” response, according to Professor Overstreet,is a most difficult handicap to overcome. When you have said “No,” all your pride of personality demands that you remain consistent with yourself. You may later feel that the “No” was ill advised; nevertheless, there is your precious pride to consider! Once having said a thing, you feel you must stick to it. Hence it is of the very greatest importance that a person be started in the affirmative direction.
3.6 The Safety Valve in Handling Complaints
By far the best liked placement counsellor in the Midtown Personnel Agency in New York City was Henrietta G It hadn’t always been that way. During the first few months of her association with the agency, Henrietta didn’t have a single friend among her colleagues. Why? Because every day she would brag about the placements she had made, the new accounts she had opened, and anything else she had accomplished.
“I was good at my work and proud of it,” Henrietta told one of our classes. “But instead of my colleagues sharing my triumphs, they seemed to resent them. I wanted to be liked by these people. I really wanted them to be my friends. After listening to some of the suggestions made in this course, I started to talk about myself less and listen more to my associates. They also had things to boast about and were more excited about telling me about their accomplishments than about listening to my boasting. Now, when we have some time to chat, I ask them to share their joys with me, and I only mention my achievements when they ask.”
3.7 How to Get Cooperation
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 judgment 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.
3.8 A Formula that will Work Wonders for You
Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Any fool can do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people even try to do that.
There is a reason why the other man thinks and acts as he does. Ferret out that reason – and you have the key to his actions, perhaps to his personality.Try honestly to put yourself in his place.
If you say to yourself, “How would I feel, how would I react if I were in his shoes?” you will save yourself time and irritation, for “by becoming interested in the cause, we are less likely to dislike the effect.” And, in addition, you will sharply increase your skill in human relationships.
If, as a result of reading this book, you get only one thing an increased tendency to think always in terms of the other person’s point of view, and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own if you get only that one thing from this book, it may easily prove to be one of the steppingstones of your career.
3.9 What Everybody Wants
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.”
Dr. Arthur I. Gates said in his splendid book Educational Psychology: “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. ‘Selfpity’ formisfortunes real or imaginary is in some measure, practically a universal practice.”
So, if you want to win people to your way of thinking, put in practice...
3.10 An Appeal That Everybody Likes
“Experience has taught me,” says Mr. Thomas, a former student of mine, “that when no information can be secured about the customer, the only sound basis on which to proceed is to assume that he or she is sincere, honest, truthful and willing and anxious to pay the charges, once convinced they are correct. To put it differently and perhaps more clearly, people are honest and want to discharge their obligations. The exceptions to that rule are comparatively few, and I am convinced that the individuals who are inclined to chisel will in most cases react favourably if you make them feel that you consider them honest, upright and fair.”
3.11 The Movies Do It. TV Does it. Why Don’t You Do It?
Television commercials abound with examples of the use of dramatic techniques in selling products. Sit down one evening in front of your television set and analyse what the advertisers do in each of their presentations. You will note how an antacid medicine changes the colour of the acid in a test tube while its competitor doesn’t, how one brand of soap or detergent gets a greasy shirt clean when the other brand leaves it grey. You’ll see a car manoeuvre around a series of turns and curves far better than just being told about it. Happy faces will show contentment with a variety of products. All of thesedramatize for the viewer the advantages offered by whatever is being sold – and they do get people to buy them.
You can dramatize your ideas in business or in any other aspect of your life.
It works in home life as well. When the old time lover proposed to his sweetheart, did he just use words of love? No! He went down on his knees. That really showed he meant what he said. We don’t propose on our knees any more, but many suitors still set up a romantic atmosphere before they pop the question.
3.12 When Nothing Else Works, Try This
Frederic Herzberg, one of the great behavioural scientists, concurred. He studied in depth the work attitudes of thousands of people ranging from factory workers to senior executives. What do you think he found to be the most motivating factor – the one facet of the jobs that was most stimulating? Money? Good working conditions? Fringe benefits?No – not any of those. 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.
That is what every successful person loves: the game. The chance for self expression.The chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win. That is what makes foot races and hog calling and pie eating contests. The desire to excel.The desire for a feeling of importance.
Be a Leader: How to Change People without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
4.1 If You Must Find Fault, This is The Way to Begin
“We recently hired a young lady as a teller trainee. Her contact with our customers was very good. She was accurate and efficient in handling individual transactions. The problem developed at the end of the day when it was time to balance out.
“The head teller came to me and strongly suggested that I fire this woman. ‘She is holding up everyone else because she is so slow in balancing out. I’ve shown her over and over, but she can’t get it. She’s got to go.’
“The next day I observed her working quickly and accurately when handling the normal everyday transactions, and she was very pleasant with our customers.
“It didn’t take long to discover why she had trouble balancing out. After the office closed, I went over to talk with her. She was obviously nervous and upset.
I praised her for being so friendly and outgoing with the customers and complimented her for the accuracy and speed used in that work. I then suggested we review the procedure we use in balancing the cash drawer. Once she realized I had confidence in her, she easily followed my suggestions and soon mastered this function. We have had no problems with her since then.”
Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins his work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain killing. A leader will use . . .
4.2 How to Criticize and Not Be Hated for it
On March 8, 1887, the eloquent Henry Ward Beecher died. The following Sunday, Lyman Abbott was invited to speak in the pulpit left silent by Beecher’s passing. Eager to do his best, he wrote, rewrote and polished his sermon with the meticulous care of a Flaubert. Then he read it to his wife. It was poor as most written speeches are. She might have said, if she had had less judgment, “Lyman, that is terrible. That’ll never do. You’ll put people to sleep. It reads like an encyclopaedia. You ought to know better than that after all the years you have been preaching. For heaven’s sake, why don’t you talk like a human being? Why don’t you act natural? You’ll disgrace your self if you ever read that stuff.”
That’s what she might have said. And, if she had, you know what would have happened. And she knew too. So, she merely remarked that it would make an excellent article for the North American Review. In other words, she praised it and at the same timesubtly suggested that it wouldn’t do as a speech. Lyman Abbott saw the point, tore up his carefully prepared manuscript and preached without even using notes.
An effective way to correct others’ mistakes is . . .
4.3 Talk About Your Own Mistakes First
Admitting one’s own mistakes even when one hasn’t corrected them can help convince somebody to change his behavior. This was illustrated more recently by Clarence Zerhusen of Timonium, Maryland, when he discovered his fifteen year old son was experimenting with cigarettes.
“Naturally, I didn’t want David to smoke,” Mr.Zerhusen told us, “but his mother and I smoked cigarettes; we were giving him a bad example all the time. I explained to Dave how I started smoking at about his age and how the nicotine had gotten the best of me and now it was nearly impossible for me to stop. I reminded him how irritating my cough was and how he had been after me to give up cigarettes not many years before.
“I didn’t exhort him to stop or make threats or warn him about their dangers. All I did was point out how I was hooked on cigarettes and what it had meant to me.
“He thought about it for a while and decided he wouldn’t smoke until he had graduated from high school. As the years went by David never did start smoking and has no intention of ever doing so.
“As a result of that conversation I made the decision to stop smoking cigarettes myself, and with the support of my family, I have succeeded.”
A good leader follows this principle:
4.4 No One Likes to Take Orders
Ionce had the pleasure of dining with Miss Ida Tarbell, the dean of American biographers. When I told her I was writing this book, we began discussing this all important subject of getting along with people, and she told me that while she was writing her biography of Owen D. Young, she interviewed a man who had sat for three years in the same office with Mr. Young. This man declared that during all that time he had never heard Owen D. Young give a direct order to anyone. 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?” Frequently he would say, after he had dictated a letter, “What do you think of this?”
In looking over a letter of one of his assistants, he would say, “Maybe if we were to phrase it this way it would be better.” He always gave people the opportunity to do things themselves; he never told his assistants to do things; he let them do them, let them learn from their mistakes.
A technique like that makes it easy for a person to correct errors. A technique like that saves a person’s pride and gives him or her a feeling of importance. It encourages cooperation instead of rebellion.
4.5 Let the Other Person Save Face
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.
“A real leader will always follow . . .
4.6 How to Spur People on to Success
Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition, and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wants insincerity. Nobody wants flattery.
Let me repeat: The principles taught in this book will work only when they come from the heart. I am not advocating a bag of tricks. I am talking about a new way of life.Talk about changing people. If you and I will inspire the people with whom we come in contact to a realization of the hidden treasures they possess, we can do far more than change people. We can literally transform them.
Exaggeration? Then listen to these sage words from William James, one of the most distinguished psychologists and philosophers America has ever produced:
“Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.”
Yes, you who are reading these lines possess powers of various sorts which you habitually fail to use; and one of these powers you are probably not using to the fullest extent is your magic ability to praise people and inspire them with a realization of their latent possibilities. Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement. To become a more effective leader of people, apply . . .
4.7 Give a Dog a Good Name
There is an old saying: “Give a dog a bad name and you may as well hang him.” But give him a good name – and see what happens!
When Mrs. Ruth Hopkins, a fourth grade teacher in Brooklyn, New York, looked at her class roster the first day of school, her excitement and joy of starting a new term was tinged with anxiety. In her class this year she would have Tommy T., the school’s most notorious “bad boy.” His third grade teacher had constantly complained about Tommy to colleagues, the principal and anyone else who would listen. He was not just mischievous; he caused serious discipline problems in the class, picked fights with the boys, teased the girls, was fresh to the teacher, and seemed to get worse as he grew older. His only redeeming feature was his ability to learn rapidly and master the school work easily.
Mrs. Hopkins decided to face the “Tommy problem” immediately. When she greeted her new students, she made little comments to each of them: “Rose, that’s a pretty dress you are wearing,” “Alicia, I hear you draw beautifully.” When she came to Tommy, she looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Tommy, I understand you are a natural leader. I’m going to depend on you to help me make this class the best class in the fourth grade this year.” She reinforced this over the first few days by complimenting Tommy on everything he did and commenting on how this showed what a good student he was. With that reputation to live up to, even a nine year old couldn’t let her down and he didn’t.
If you want to excel in that difficult leadership role of changing the attitude or behavior of others, use . . .
4.8 Make the Fault Seem Easy to Correct
Abachelor friend of mine, about forty years old, became engaged, and his fiancée persuaded him to take some belated dancing lessons. “The Lord knows I needed dancing lessons,” he confessed as he told me the story,” for I danced just as I did when I first started twenty years ago. The first teacher I engaged probably told me the truth. She said I was all wrong; I would just have to forget everything and begin all over again. But that took the heart out of me. I had no incentive to go on. So I quit her.
“The next teacher may have been lying, but I liked it. She said nonchalantly that my dancing was a bit old fashioned perhaps, but the fundamentals were all right, and she assured me I wouldn’t have any trouble learning a few new steps. The first teacher had discouraged me by emphasizing my mistakes. This new teacher did the opposite. She kept praising the things I did right and minimizing my errors. ‘You have a natural sense of rhythm,’ she assured me. ‘You really are a natural born dancer.’ Now my common sense tells me that I always have been and always will be a fourth rate dancer; yet, deep in my heart, I still like to think that maybe she meant it. To be sure, I was paying her to say it; but why bring that up?
“At any rate, I know I am a better dancer than I would have been if she hadn’t told me I had a natural sense of rhythm. That encouraged me. That gave me hope. That made me want to improve.”
4.9 Making People Glad to do What you WantThe effective leader should keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior:
- 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.
- Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
- Be empathetic. Ask yourself what is it the other person really wants.
- Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
- Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
- 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 stockroom, 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.”
Will John be happy about doing what you suggest? Probably not very happy, but happier than if you had not pointed out the benefits. Assuming you know that John has pride in the way his stockroom looks and is interested in contributing to the company image, he will be more likely to be cooperative. It also will have been pointed out to John that the job would have to be done eventually and by doing it now, he won’t be faced with it later.