“A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.”
Human Relations Principle #19: Appeal to the nobler motives.
(“An appeal that everybody likes.”)
(This is the nineteenth 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.))*
Dale Carnegie was reared on the edge of Jesse James country out in Missouri, and visited the James farm at Kearney, Missouri, where the son of Jesse James was then living. His wife told Dale stories of how Jesse robbed trains and held up banks and then gave money to the neighboring farmers to pay off their mortgages.
Jesse James probably regarded himself as an idealist at heart, just as Dutch Schultz, Al Capone and many other organized crime “godfathers” did generations later. The fact is that all people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation.
J.P. Morgan observed in one of his analytical interludes, that a person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one. The person will think of the real reason. You don’t need to emphasize that. But all of us, being idealists at heart, like to think of motives that sound good. So, in order to change a person’s decision or behavior, appeal to the nobler motives.
Here are some nobler motives that people hold dear . . .
- Being an honorable person of your word
- Being honest/truthful
- Being loving
- Being respectful
- Being charitable
- Being reasonable
- Being fair
- Being a good mother or father and protector of our children
So, if you want to influence someone’s decision or behavior today, appeal to their nobler motives.
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.
- Human Relations Principle #13: Begin in a friendly way.
- Human Relations Principle #14: Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
- Human Relations Principle #15: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Human Relations Principle #16: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
- Human Relations Principle #17: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Human Relations Principle #18: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.