Last week we looked at some simple advice from Dale Carnegie; avoid criticism, condemnation and complaining. That could be shortened to “Bite your lip” or “Shut your mouth.” This week we move on to Carnegie’s next fundamental technique for handling people — give honest, sincere appreciation. This is one simple way to tap into the principle of influence known as liking.
So the call is to express appreciation, a grateful recognition for something, with two caveats – the expression needs to be true and it should be genuine. While flattery does endear people to the flatterer…even when they know it is flattery…because this blog is about ethical influence being honest and sincere in your praise is a must. Flattery is disingenuous, whereas appreciation is real.
Who doesn’t like to be recognized in a positive way? I know I like to hear, “Well done,” and I bet you do too. I think we all want that. I’m of the opinion that the person who gruffly says, “I don’t need a pat on the back to know I’m doing a good job,” needs it more than anyone! I make that assertion because they probably never get praise and their reaction is a self-defense mechanism. It would stink to acknowledge you want praise but never get it.
So remember to give honest, sincere appreciation when appropriate. This benefits you too, because if you look for something genuine to compliment someone about, you tend to change your own thinking about that person. If you don’t particularly like someone but consistently make the effort to look for, and point out, good qualities they have, eventually you’ll find yourself thinking, “They’re not so bad after all.”
Here’s the really cool thing — if you keep it up long enough you might actually start to like them! That’s right; you will actually come to like them. After all, how can you not like someone you consistently find praiseworthy?
What naturally follows is they start to like you in return because they can tell you genuinely like them. Believe me, it’s much easier to persuade people to your way of thinking when you like them and they like you.
Wouldn’t it be great if every person you interact with tomorrow you actually like? Sure it would. While that might not happen 100% of the time it can occur a lot more than it’s happening right now but it’s up to you. If you take this advice and nothing else happens other than you come to like people more, even those who seem unlikable, then you’ll have better days.
Since this post is about honest, sincere appreciation I’ll put that advice into practice by taking time to express gratitude to people who’ve influenced me when it comes to this blog.
First let me start with those of you who read this each week. It amazes me that people in nearly 50 countries have taken time to read what I write each week. That excites me!If it were not for a coworker, James Seay, I never would have ventured into the online world. I took a personal branding class from James and he talked about the need for an online presence. He got me going on Facebook and LinkedIn. He’s also given me really good blogging advice. Click here to learn more about James.
Next is a man named George Black. I probably never would have started this blog had it not been for a conversation I was having with George about social media. Give him a follow on Twitter @GeorgeBlack because he’s a good man.
Mike Figliuolo, founder of thoughtLEADERS, gives me great ideas every time we have lunch together. Mike’s a smart, funny, insightful guy. We’ll be swapping blog posts so you’ll see more of him in the months to come. In fact, he will be the feature article next week. You can also follow him on Twitter @Figliuolo.
Thanks to my high school buddy Michael Franzese who’s given me some very cool drawings for this blog, like the one above. Take a look at his blog, Franzeseinklings, to see more cool pictures as well as his funny, interesting insights on life.
Debbie Conkel is a lady I’ve worked work with for many years. Debbie has proofread my work for more than 15 years and graciously proofreads every one of these posts on her own time. If you like my writing style Debbie has a lot to do with it. If you don’t like my style then it’s probably the parts where I didn’t take her advice.
Last but not least, I have to thank my wife, Jane, and daughter, Abigail, because they give me so much great content to write about and just roll with it. When I published the article on Reverse Psychology and the Vacation Bathing Suit Jane wasn’t thrilled. In fact, she emailed me to say, “You MIGHT want to ask my permission before writing a story about me. No girl wants her picture in a bathing suit on the Internet.” My response, “I’m just glad you’re a reader!” Really, I was just happy she was reading. Now she reads my posts every week…just in case.
As for Abigail, she hasn’t read many yet, too boring for a 13 year-old, so I can pretty much write what I want about her. You’ll learn all about raising a teenager in the years to come as I test all these psychological principles in the real world!
With all sincerity to any and all reading this week, thank you! I would only ask one thing before I leave you – would share this blog with a few other people? I’d love to write an article someday telling you people in 100 countries are readers.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”