Do you receive as much appreciation as you deserve?

Do you give as much appreciation to others as they deserve?

Could there be a correlation?


Human Relations Principle #2: Give honest and sincere appreciation (or “The big secret of dealing with people.”)

(This is the second 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.))*

William James said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

Appreciation is one of the most powerful tools in the world. People will rarely work at their maximum potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best.

There is an old adage, “What goes around, comes around.” In scientific vernacular it is called The Law of Cause and Effect: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, if you want more appreciation, give more appreciation.

Appreciation expressed well, is not empty flattery. It must be conveyed with sincerity, meaning and with love. Meaningful praise is backed up with evidence that is based on performance.

How Charles Schwab Received the Best from People

Charles Schwab, President, United States Steel and Bethlehem Steel Company, led using this philosophy:

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 is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.

Wisdom that Dale Carnegie Kept Front and Center

Dale Carnegie displayed these words of wisdom on his desk, “I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that 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 us accept this challenge from Dale Carnegie, “Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips. You will be surprised how they will set small flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit.”

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:

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