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Human Relations Principle #21 to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

“I have never found that pay alone would either bring together or hold good people.

I think it was the game itself.”

~Harvey Firestone



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

6 Ways to Make People Like You

12 Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

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