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It's Time To Eat Your Peas

Martin Yan
“So when I do Chinese cooking, I mix everything together, then the kids have to eat their vegetables. They won’t have the patience to pick them out.”

What method do you use when someone really needs to do something for their own good, but need convincing of the importance of it?

Most egotistical persons immediately go right to the nuclear option, the direct order. If you move in hard and fast, they will so shocked they will obey out of habit and fear. Sometimes this will get the job done at this moment, but does little to foster a good relationship and does absolutely nothing to change the habits of those you are lording over. They will just wait for the next order before they move again, since you have taken the place of their conscience and have taken from them the responsibility of correct behavior.

There is another way, a better way I think. What if you can make them WANT to do this? It is much more simple than you think. If you pay a little bit of attention to human behavior and adapt your tactics, you can have large scale success that will help those you are in charge of learn and repeat good habits. That way you can be confident they are behaving correctly when your back is turned.

Dale Carnegie published a book in 1936 called ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’. It has sold 15 million copies worldwide, and is still in print. From Wikipedia, here are the main points that pertain to our current discussion:

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re Wrong.”
If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Begin in a friendly way.
Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
Appeal to the nobler motives.
Dramatize your ideas.
Throw down a challenge.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
Let the other person save face.
Praise every improvement.
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.

Links to the Wikipedia article and the book in Amazon.com with be included in the podcast show notes at daggersofthemind.com

If you order an action, you may force them to do it right now, but you create a dependence on your authority for action of any kind. If you can create the desire to perform, you change their habits for a lifetime.

Yan Can Cook Website

How to Win Friends and Influence People on Wikipedia

How Win Friends Influence People on Amazon