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Human Relations Principle #25: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

(“No one likes to take orders.”)

 

(This is the twenty-fifth 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.))*

To be an effective leader, ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

When we ask questions, instead of giving orders, we give people the opportunity to do things themselves instead of taking away their accountability by telling them to do things; let them do them, let them learn from their mistakes. Give suggestions, not orders by asking questions like: Read more

Human Relations Principle #24: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

(“Talk about your own mistakes first.”)

 

(This is the twenty-fourth 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.))*

It isn’t nearly so difficult to listen to a recital of your faults if the person criticizing begins humbly admitting that he or she, too, is far from impeccable.

Before starting to criticize another person . . .

Before starting to criticize another person we might want to, stop, and reflect on our own experience compared to the other person. Doing so may trigger our thoughts to go something like this, Read more

Human Relations Principle #23: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

(“How to criticize—and not be hated for it.”)

 

(This is the twenty-third 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.))*

Calling attention to one’s mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.

Simply changing one three-letter word can often spell the difference between failure and success in changing people without giving offense or arousing resentment. Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but”  and ending with a critical statement. The word “but” has the psychological effect of negating what was said before it. When we hear the word “but” our mind and body go into defensive mode preparing for the hurtful criticism that is to come. It is much more effective to change the word “but” to “and.”

How to help your children improve their grades and their self-confidence

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Human Relations Principle #22: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

(“If you must find fault, this is the way to begin.”)

 

(This is the twenty-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.))*

Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins his or her work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain-killing.

It is always easier to listen to unpleasant things after we have heard some praise of our good points.

How Lincoln used tact and diplomacy to correct a General’s grave faults

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“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.

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Human Relations Principle #20: Dramatize your ideas.

Movies do it. TV does it.

Why don’t you do it?

 

(This is the twentieth 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.))*

This is the day of dramatization. Merely stating the truth isn’t enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting, dramatic. You have to use showmanship. The movies do it. Television does it. And you will have to do it if you want attention.

Choose a fresh approach—something new, something different—to get the other person intensely interested. Convey facts more vividly, more interestingly, more impressively, than pages of figures and mere talk.

You can dramatize your ideas in business or in any other aspect of your life. Dramatization even works with children as well.

How to get your children to pick up their toys . . .

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“A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.”

~J.P. Morgan

 

 

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 . . . Read more

Business Energizers Logo, copyright Business Energizers, a division of Lynray Inc.

Branding and marketing matters for how your customers view you and your business. How long has it been since you took a fresh look at your business presence?

I was meeting with a marketing friend, named Bill, the end of last year. He looked at some of my branding and marketing materials and asked when they were created. “Some of it is over 10 years old,” I said. “They look it,” he said. Ouch!

That began our refreshment adventure. Nine months later (about the same time to birth a baby) we have created a new branding look, updated copy, website, and marketing materials. It was an enlightening, clarifying process that helped me to better understand the value we offer to our customers. Well worth the investment of time and money.

Here’s the process Bill guided me through:

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Disneyland Splash Mountain

Are you planning a family vacation to Disneyland this summer? If so, notice how they attend to the details of what makes you happy.

Disney understands what you, the customer, wants before you do.

Several years ago I attended a Disney seminar for leaders and was amazed at their organization’s attention to their customer’s needs and desires.

Disney employees exemplify what I call “The Diamond Rule: Strive honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”

 

Here are some ways they understand you, their customer, intimately:

  • They minimize distractions and expedite check in at their hotels because they know your family’s nerves are frazzled from the long, exhausting trip to get there. They know the last thing you need is more stimulation at that moment.
  • You won’t find an outside newspaper for sale anywhere on their property because they know you have come there to escape the real world.
  • Every employee knows where the nearest restroom is because they know you have pushed your bladder to its limits and will need to make a mad dash to get there in time.
  • Trash receptacles are placed no more than 30 steps apart because they know just how long you are willing to hold onto your trash before dropping it.
  • Lines at each attraction twist and turn with their own suspenseful entertainment as you wait with anticipation so that you don’t mind very much how long it’s taking.
  • Disney employees are called “Cast Members” to remind them that when they enter the property “It’s show time!” and your family is their most important audience.

Disney’s philosophy in their own words (excerpts from the Disney Institute website)… Read more

Circle of Growth

Spring is a time of releasing old burdens and planting something new and exciting that make your Spirit soar—both personally and as an organization. What could you plant now that will lead to a bountiful harvest this Fall?

Consider growing your company as you would grow a plentiful garden on fertile ground. During our strategic planning and training sessions with Native American communities and their enterprises, a good Hopi friend and business associate of mine, Perci Ami, often shares about the circle of growth and how it relates to the four directions of the medicine wheel. This cycle has proven valuable for understanding the natural order and balance necessary to yield a successful harvest in life as well as in organizations.

1. Cultivate Your Garden

Every organization is unique like each seed of every plant. What works for one may not work for another. Does your organization have a strategic plan that clearly identifies your unique seeds to success? The strategic planning process naturally reveals and cultivates what to focus your precious resources upon so that your organization is aligned with your desired vision for the future. This alignment will result in an organization that will stand the test of time.

The process also helps to differentiate the uniqueness of your organization compared to that of your competition. It is a great way to determine or reconfirm the core purpose, core values, vision, goals and action plans for an organization.

Successful companies that stand the test of time even during tough times are built upon a solid foundation of core purpose and core values while adjusting their vision, goals and action plans to adjust to the ever-changing external economic and political environment. In other words, their core values and purpose are etched in stone; their vision, goals and action plans are molded of clay.

The process, done right, draws from the collective wisdom of the leaders and employees throughout the different levels of the organization. The result is widespread involvement, buy-in and accountability for the success of the organization. The strategic planning process will illuminate your path toward a bright, prosperous future.

2. Plant Your Seeds

Once your strategic plan is established and you have decided which seeds to plant, it is time for a reality check to assure that the seeds you plant will grow. Ask yourself, “What in our present situation aligns with our strategic plan? What does not?” Similar to weeding a garden, continue doing what aligns with your plan. Stop doing what does not.

Having the right people doing the right things in the right way will assure success. All policies, procedures, systems and processes should assist your employees to achieve what you have defined in the strategic plan. If there are employees who do not support your organization’s direction, they are like weeds that choke the life out of what you desire to grow. These people are probably your unhappy employees. Chances are they are also your least productive employees who demand a lot of your time and energy.

Great leaders do not manage people, they manage agreements with people. Consider having the leaders in your organization create with each employee they supervise a Declaration of Understanding that clearly spells out mutual desires and expectations. Employees will choose to live their agreements or not. As a result, leaders can simply manage the agreement without a clash of personalities. Employees who choose not to live by their agreements, even after extensive coaching, will probably be happier someplace else where they feel better alignment with their values.

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