Be genuinely interested in other people. –Dale Carnegie
There is a common courtesy and virtue that is dying in our society—appreciation for people.
People are more interested in themselves and what they have to say than they are in other people, which is a shame. Always making a point, waiting to say something so you can include your two cents worth, or looking for fault in others will cause enemies. We should always have an appreciation for others.
Treat others the way we want to be treated is a golden rule that requires an intentional attitude.
Humans don’t like to be wrong, corrected, or told, we can’t do something or do not do something well.
Our defenses go up when others criticize, and very few can stand there and except a rejection or correction without remarking or insulting back.
Charles Schwab once said, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” and then continued by saying, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”
Do Not Criticize
“There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”
When we listen to others, we begin to appreciate others and can offer praise. Now, do not mistake praise for false flattery.
“King George V had a set of six maxims displayed on the walls of his study at Buckingham Palace. One of these maxims said: ‘Teach me neither to proffer nor receive cheap praise.’ That’s all flattery is–cheap praise. I once read a definition of flattery that may be worth repeating. “Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.”
‘Use what language you will,’ said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “you can never say anything but what you are.”
If all we had to do was flatter, everybody would catch on, and we should all be experts in human relations.
When we are not engaged in thinking about some definite problem, we usually spend about 95 percent of our time thinking about ourselves. Now, if we stop thinking about ourselves for a while and begin to think of the other person’s good points, we won’t have to resort to flattery so cheap and false that it can be spotted almost before it is out of the mouth.”
That is what Schwab did but the average person does the exact opposite. When someone makes a mistake we bawl them out, but yet when they do something correct, we say nothing. There is an old couplet which says: “Once I did bad and that I heard ever/ Twice I did good, but that I heard never.”
I have never met a person, young, old, rich, or poor, who didn’t like appreciation. In fact, there is not a single person who does not perform better under the life of appreciation versus the destructive spirit of criticism.
To further my point, there have been several studies done examining the reason for runaway wives. Do you know what the main reason was for them leaving? “Lack of appreciation.” However, it is not just women. A number one cause of Men leaving the marriage is a “lack of appreciation.”
How crazy is that? A compliment can go along way and not just in saving your marriage. How often do you praise your children? Do you criticize and rag on them all day or do you find something worth praising? Nothing pleases a child more than the approval and interest of their parent.
What Did Paul Harvey Say?
“Paul Harvey, in one of his radio broadcasts, “The Rest of the Story,” told how showing sincere appreciation can change a person’s life. He reported that years ago, a teacher in Detroit asked Stevie Morris to help her find a mouse that was lost in the classroom. You see, she appreciated the fact that nature had given Stevie a remarkable pair of ears to compensate for his blind eyes. But this was really the first time Stevie had been shown appreciation for those talented ears.
Now, years later, he says that this act of appreciation was the beginning of a new life. You see, from that time on, he developed his gift of hearing and went on to become, under the stage name of Stevie Wonder, one of the great pop singers and songwriters of the seventies.”
Never forget that all of our associations are with humans who hunger for appreciation; a legal tender that all souls enjoy.
When you criticize or hurt someone, it does not change them and is not called for.
There is a saying that goes like this: “I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kind that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way, in that , I learn of him.”
If that was true of Emerson, isn’t it likely to be a thousand times more true of you and me? Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points.
Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime–repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
“Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips. You will be surprised how they will set small flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit.”
-How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is where I gained a lot of my quotes. The book is timeless and one I would encourage everyone to read.