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Begin with praise and honest appreciation
It is always easier to listen to unpleasant things after we have heard some praise of our good points.
“Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins his work with Novocain. The patient still gets the drilling, but the Novocain is pain-killing.”
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
Calling attention to one’s mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism. Change the world “but” to “and”.
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
You were not born with judgment. That comes only with experience. You have inclination to criticize people.
“… you are twice as old as Josephine. You have had ten thousand times as much business experience. How can you possibly expect her to have your viewpoint, your judgment, your initiative – mediocre thought they may be? And just a minute, Dale, what were you doing at nineteen? Remember the time you did this… and that…?”
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person. Praise after you criticize. It will work miracles for you.
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
No one likes to take orders.
“He always gave suggestions, not orders. He would say, ‘You might consider this,’ or ‘Do you think that would work?’, ‘What do you think of this? He always gave people the opportunity to do the work themselves; he never told his assistants to do things; he let them do them, let them learn from their own mistakes’.
Instead of giving orders – ask questions. Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it oftentimes stimulates the creativity of the person whom you asked.
Let the other person save face
Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement
When criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.
“Compared with what we’re out 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”
One of these powers is the ability to praise and inspire people with a realization of their latent possibilities.
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
Give a dog good name. If you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics.
“Assume a virtue, if you have it not”, W. Shakespeare
Make the fault seem easy to correct
Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest
“… he created the impression that by accepting this great honour I would be doing him a favour…”
Dale Carnegie suggest that the leader should:
- 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 the other person really wants.
- Consider the benefits to the other person’s wants.
- When you make your request, put it in a way that would convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit