“I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again”
— William Penn
Dale Carnegie had the above quote pasted on his mirror, where he could not help but see it every day.
You see, Carnegie knew that hurting people not only does not change them, it is never called for. In his book, “How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” he tells the story of Pamela Dunham of New Fairfield, Connecticut, who had among her responsibilities on her job the supervision of a janitor who was doing a very poor job. Other employees would jeer at him and purposely litter the hallways to show him what a bad job he was doing. It got so bad that productive time was being lost.
Without success, Pam tried various ways to motivate this person. She noticed that occasionally he did a particularly good piece of work. She made a point to praise him for it in front of the other people. Each day the job he did all around got better, and pretty soon he started doing all his work efficiently. Ultimately he did an excellent job and other people gave him appreciation and recognition. Honest appreciation got results where criticism and ridicule failed.
The lesson here is to try and figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Instead, give honest and sincere appreciation and people will cherish your words and treasure them over a lifetime.
Here’s an example of this principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey:
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