Abe Lincoln said, “If a man’s heart is rankling with discord and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom. Scolding parents and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging wives ought to realize that people don’t want to change their minds. They can’t be forced or driven to agree with you or me. But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so friendly.”
Human Relations Principle #13: Begin in a friendly way.
(“A drop of honey.”)
(This is the thirteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*
The use of gentleness and friendliness is demonstrated day after day by people who have learned the old maxim that a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.
So with men [and women], if you would win a person to your cause, first convince him/her that you are his/her sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his/her heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to his/her reason.
A Fable About the Sun and the Wind
The sun and the wind quarreled about which was the stronger, and the wind said, “I’ll prove I am. See the old man down there with a coat? I bet I can get his coat off him quicker than you can.”
So the sun went behind a cloud, and the wind blew until it was almost a tornado, but the harder it blew, the tighter the old man clutched his coat to him.
Finally, the wind calmed down and gave up, and then the sun came out from behind the clouds and smiled gently on the old man. Presently, he mopped his brow and pulled off his coat. The sun then told the wind that gentleness and friendliness were always stronger than fury and force.
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.
Much success and fulfillment with mastering human relations,
* The best guide on effective human relations that I have ever encountered is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. Prior to writing the book, Carnegie spent 20 years researching the habits of successful people. The book has sold over 30 million copies and is still listed on Amazon’s top 100 best selling books.
Other articles within this series you may enjoy:
3 Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Human Relations Principle #1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
- Human Relations Principle #2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Human Relations Principle #3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.
6 Ways to Make People Like You
- Human Relations Principle #4: Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Human Relations Principle #5: Smile.
- Human Relations Principle #6: Remember that a person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Human Relations Principle #7: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Human Relations Principle #8: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Human Relations Principle #9: Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.
12 Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- Human Relations Principle #10: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Human Relations Principle #11: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
- Human Relations Principle #12: If your are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.