The capstone principle for Human Relations

“Happiness…consists in giving, and in serving others.” (Henry Drummond)

We are near the end of a long journey of discovery with these 30 Human Relations Principles. We have started out by eliminating criticism, condemnation and complaint. We have wended our way through the idea of avoiding arguments, and avoiding telling people they are wrong. In these last 9 principles we are are working our way through the process of learning How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment. Finally we are at principle number 30, and Dale Carnegie tells us to Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Some of the principles we have discussed can be executed all on their own. I can smile more, give more honest and sincere appreciation, an increase my interest in other people. Any of those can be individual endeavors. This last principle, though, is not one that I can just set out to do independently of all the others that proceed it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is impossible to execute this principle, unless we have walked this fine path.

When we, as leaders, focus our attention on the service of others, we take on a different mentality than if we were autocratic chess players, simply moving the pieces about the board. In these last 9 principles, which are subtitled “Be a Leader”, we have done our best to make the person we are leading or changing feel empowered. We are building them up by initiating the process with praise, we are humbling ourselves by showing that we have made our own set of mistakes along the way, and we have simplified the problem so that they can more easily address it. Now we are setting them out on their way, and we do so cheerfully.

The fact is that if we have executed these principles well, then this last one becomes a natural conclusion. Because we have respected the individual, and because we have patiently taken the time to help them achieve, they will most certainly be happy to do what we ask them to do.

In the closing paragraphs of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie offers these 6 guidelines that any effective leader should keep at the font of mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behaviors:

  1. Be Sincere. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver.
  2. Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
  3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what is it the other person really wants.
  4. Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
  5. Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
  6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he or she will personally benefit.

In order to effectively execute these 6 principles will take time and effort. We’ll need to call on the skills we learned in the first 9 principles in order to know the other person’s ideas and desires. Our genuine interest in them will pay off here. We will have to be diplomatic in asking, and we will have to set them up for success.

This 30th principle is really the capstone of the entire set. It is here, if we have done well with all that come before, that we can achieve the success as leaders, and as people who truly wish to both Win Friends and Influence People.

Work hard in your career to learn, master and apply the Human Relations Principles, and you will most definitely…

Principle 30 – Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

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