“I have never found that pay alone would either bring together or hold good people.
I think it was the game itself.”
Human Relations Principle #21: Throw down a challenge.
(“When nothing else works, try this.“)
(This is the twenty-first 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.))*
When nothing else seems to work to motivate an individual or team, try throwing down a challenge. Here’s why:
- Frederic Herzberg, one of the great behavioral scientists of the twentieth century, studied in depth the work attitudes of thousands of people ranging from factory workers to senior executives. The one major factor that motivated people was the work itself. If the work was exciting and interesting, the worker looked forward to doing it and was motivated to do a good job.
- Charles Schwab discovered that, “The way to get things done is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid, money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.” The desire to excel! The challenge! Throwing down the gauntlet! An infallible way of appealing to people of spirit.
- The motto of the King’s Guard in ancient Greece was, “All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory.”
Every successful person loves the game. The chance for self-expression. The chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win. The desire for a feeling of importance.
Today, throw down a challenge that inspires an individual or team to greatness.
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.
- Human Relations Principle #19: Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Human Relations Principle #20: Dramatize your ideas.