Gratitude is Seeing the Miracle in Every Moment.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Win Friends and Influence People- Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

The Big Secret of Dealing with People

There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything…. by making the other person want to do it.

However, we know that crude, sharp methods are not the best mode of encouraging others to do what you want. So if you can't do it by force, what is the alternative?

Mr. Carnegie suggests that we give the other person what they want, in order to get what we want them to do. Hmmm… seems a bit sly and under handed. But perhaps there is an interesting method to this madness. We start by considering what it is that people want. Does that imply that we actually hone in on peoples main animalistic drives, i.e. sex and the desire to be great, according to Dr. Sigmund Freud. Or as Mr. John Dewey points out here on this book's pages: "the desire to be important". 

We further read to discover a list of possibly typical wants/wishes of the average human being, regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation:

1. Health and the preservation of life.
2. Food.
3. Sleep.
4. Money and the things money will buy.
5. Life in the hereafter.
6. Sexual gratification.
7. The well-being of our children.
8. A feeling of importance.

Almost all these wants are usually gratified-- all except one. But there is one longing-- almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep-- which is seldom gratified. It is what Freud calls "the desire to be great." It is what Dewey calls the "desire to be important."

"Everybody likes a compliment." -Abraham Lincoln

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." -William James

Here is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his or her hand and "even the undertaker will be sorry when he dies."

How people get their own feelings of importance determines what they are; determines their character.

"I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person by appreciation and encouragement.
There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise, but loathe to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise." -Charles Schwab

An average person would likely resume the opposite way of thinking; bawling out loud to others when they don't like something, and yet saying nothing when something is approved.

"In my wide association with life, meeting with many and great people in various parts of the world I have yet to find a person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism." -Charles Schwab

We nourish the bodies of our children and friends and employees, but how seldom do we nourish their self-esteem? We provide them with roast beef and potatoes and build energy, but we neglect to give them kind words of appreciated that would sing in their memories for years like the music of morning stars. 

But beware of flattery, as it disguises itself to walk along side praise, compliment and appreciation. It can do more harm than good in it's counterfeit and fake way of being; it is insincere, is not heartfelt, selfish, cheap praise and condemned.

"Don't be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you." -General Alvaro Obregon

One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation. Somehow, we neglect to praise… and we fail to encourage. Nothing pleases more than this kind of interest and approval. In our interpersonal relations we should never forget that all our associates are human beings and hunger for appreciation. It is the legal tender that all souls enjoy. 

I shall pass this way by once; any good, therefore, that I can do air any kindness 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. 

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.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How To Win Friends and Influence People- Don't Criticize or Complain

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

I think its key to remember right from the start, that they… and I do mean all of us mortal people, are just that; mortal. We fall into the category of imperfect beings; of what the Holy Scriptures refer to as, "the natural man". Such categorization referring to in real terms the actual animal, weak-minded, unmannered, habitual persons who as children of a great God, stumble in meeting our true purpose and destiny to become in reality: god-like. Hence the reason why we are having this life of experience in the first place right?! Of course. Part of becoming "god-like" is to LEARN! And learning to handle situations and other people is a key component to achieving the successful end result.

Dale Carnegie proceeds to instruct his first idea/technique in handling people:

1. Don't Criticize, Condemn or Complain 

If You Want to Gather Honey, Don't Kick Over the Beehive

We've learned through life's experiences in dealing with others that the "natural man" (which is an enemy to God… and therefore an enemy to our becoming like Him) often finds reason to rationalize and explain away actions which may be morally incorrect, harmful, and in some cases perhaps even sinful. Most of them attempt by a form of reasoning, fallacious or logical, to justify their anti-social acts even to themselves, consequently stoutly maintaining that they should never have been in the wrong at all. In fact, it would seem that those of this world who may be perhaps MORE influenced by the "natural man", than by the spirit within him that gives his natural body life and personality, often don't blame themselves for anything! (No matter how wrong they may be.)

I'm not writing this as an act of scolding such imperfections… even in my own person. John Wanamaker is quoted in this book at having said, "I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence". 

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on a defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person's precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment. Again, this is much like an animal reaction to the situation, but remember, having not yet obtained godhood nor perfection in any form this is the natural reaction to negative reinforcement. With this thought in constant consideration, we can recall countless scientific studies and personal experiences where an animal (person or not), who when rewarded for good behavior learns much more rapidly and retains what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Therefore, by criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.

In conjunction with criticism, standing as an unwanted wall that keeps us from communicating effectively with others, we are often crossed with the innate behaviors of insulting our fellow men, and ridiculing them for our own purposes and agendas. Seems to be a bit more like casting judgement where judgement has yet to have been served. "Judge not, that yet be not judged." I dunno about you, but I'm only wanting myself and God to be my judge and witness of my actual doings and who I am… not any other imperfect being. So I'll make it my resolve to not behave opposite of my desire for myself toward any other.

Dale Carnegie continued to write on the matter:

Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in favor of it. But why not begin on yourself? From a purely selfish standpoint, that is a lot more profitable than trying to improve others-- yes, and a lot less dangerous. 

If you and I want to stir up a resentment tomorrow that may rankle across the decades and endure until death, just lest us indulge in a little stinging criticism-- no matter how certain we are that it is justified.

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.

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. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to Win Friends and Influence People- A Study Journal

As I was pulling in to work this morning, the day after we celebrate the birth of our Savior; I found myself contemplating the stark reality that I had fallen so far from where I once was. While pondering this grave fact of my current life status, I've since come to the conclusion that the reason for this downfall, is ultimately due to my lack of endurance to meet an end goal. Now, without getting too religious about this undeniable factor currently contributing to my lack of direction and current course of life, yet knowing that my faith and living of gospel principles should also be a constant driving force, I know that I have to pick up where I left off... once I get out of the woods here.

In short, I recall having not only a regular habit of living a faithful life, but also of consistent intellectual improvement by reading well written teachings and theories on characteristic improvements. This too, I have lost an ability to endure in. So although some may deem this a little too early to acquire new year resolutions, I've made it a tactical life decision to take more time reading and studying what many call "self-help" books. Perhaps it will encourage a more adept ability to be successful on a larger scale... at least this is my hope.

My first attempt at personal improvement was recommended some years ago to me by a close friend whom I view as not only a vastly successful businessman, but also an inspiring motivator and spiritual giant. He has sworn by Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" as a powerful foundation that built who he is now is both professionally and personally. I therefore plan to indulge my thought processing by compiling my own commentary and insight on the words I will be reading here in this blog.

Opening Page Reads: The More You Get Out of This Book, the More You'll Get Out of Life!
This seems to be a premise for an alluded promise, yet to be experienced. In my experience, a promise such as this, would require personal effort on my part. Mr. Carnegie states on this page:
In order to get the most out of this book:
a. Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles of human relations.
b. Read each chapter twice before going on to the next one.
c. As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how you can apply each suggestion.
d. Underscore each important idea.
e. Review this book each month.
f. Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use this volume as a working handbook to help you solve your daily problems.
g. Make a lively game out of your learning by offering some friend a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches you violating one of these principles.
h. Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvement, what lessons you have learned for the future.
i. Keep notes in the back of this book showing how and when you have applied these principles.

I'm assuming that one would not be required to pursue each of these suggestions in order to get "the most out of this book", however there are some good examples of what I would deem to be successful study habits.... such habits that could easily be applied to all other books and techniques one might be seeking to learn. Hence why I have noted them here.

It is keen to note that originally, this written work was to be used as a sort of textbook for Mr. Carnegie's courses in Effective Speaking and Human Relations. These courses, according to Mrs. Dale Carnegie are still offered today. I wonder what those courses entail...

In Mr. Carnegie's self written prologue about how this book was written-- and why, he candidly points out, "Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect, or engineer."
Oh how peculiar this world would be without some sort of interpersonal communication! Anyone who thinks contrary to Dale's statement of the obvious, needs to make a serious check in with reality. In fact, he also points out only 15% of one's financial success is due to one's technical knowledge on any subject and approximately 85% of this same form of success is actually due to personality and the ability to lead people. This proves to be an intriguing concept. While 15% adds up to a fair amount of the sum, I'm baffled by the amount of success that actually comes simply by being.... AWESOME, to put it blankly. And to think I spent thousands of dollars on higher education. I could almost find it irritating and obnoxiously annoying that the highest-paid personnel in almost any industry are frequently not those who know the most about their field. My one saving grace to amount to anything in the future is the hope that if I have the technical knowledge PLUS the ability to express ideas, assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people-- in other words, communicating effectively, then I will be enabled with a higher earning power. I suppose at this point I can at least be grateful that I actually majored in communication while studying for my undergraduate.

Side Note: Someone very close to me, aka a family member with parental insight and authority recently made their opinion known regarding my hard earned education. He eluded if not matter of factually stated that a degree in Communication was "tiddly winks"; insinuating that I shouldn't seek a graduate degree in it because it wont get me anywhere in this world. While I harbor no ill will against this person whom I still hold in high esteem and respect, my heart was crushed at his condemnation. I fully accept the fact that I entered the work force at the peak of a national recession and jobs in my originally chosen field were scarce, and that the current job position I hold was not part of my original professional business plan. But I also accept the fact that all things considered, my ability to promote upwards in my current company of employment is due largely in part to my education and daily application in effective communication and leadership. These have enhanced my knowledge and experience in ways I could not see before, and I will only improve and move upward because of it. We'll see who's education was tiddly winks in due time.

There are some inspiring quotes within this prologue's last pages:

"Compared to 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."  -William James, Harvard Professor

"Education is the ability to meet life's situations." -Dr. John G. Hibben, Former President Princeton University

"The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action." -Herbert Spencer

If Mr. Carnegie intended these final quotes to be associated with each other in this conclusion, one can be lead to think that in order to live outside our limits and what we ought to be, then we require education and that very education must lead to action or a performance of the knowledge gleaned from said education. Would it be safe to assume, if we are to glean anything from life the sole basis of such accomplishments is determined by an education; knowledge on simply.... "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

Hmmmm....... Interesting...