People tend to have much more faith in ideas that we discover for ourselves rather than ideas that are handed to us on a silver platter. And if that’s true, 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?
Dale Carnegie found this out for himself when a man up in the beautiful Canadian province of New Brunswick used this technique on him and won his patronage:
“I was planning at the time to do some fishing and canoeing in New Brunswick,” said Carnegie. “So I wrote the tourist bureau for information. Evidently my name and address were put on a mailing list, for I was immediately overwhelmed with scores of letters and booklets and printed testimonials from camps and guides. I was bewildered. I didn’t know which to choose. Then one camp owner did a clever thing. He sent me the names and telephone numbers of several New York people who had stayed at his camp and he invited me to telephone them and discover for myself what he had to offer.
“I found to my surprise that I knew one of the men on his list. I telephoned him, found out what his experience had been, and then wired the camp the date of my arrival.
“The others had been trying to sell me their service, but one let me sell myself. That organization won.”
Twenty-five centuries ago, Lao-tse, a Chinese sage, said some thing that we can still use in our lives today:
“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, put himself below them; wishing to be before them, he put 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.”
For the greatest success, always let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers. Here’s an example of this important principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey:
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