Skip to main content

Full text of "Books of Arslan "How to win friends and influence people""

See other formats


1 . Get out of a mental rut, think new thoughts, acquire 
new visions, discover new ambitions. 

2. IVIai^e friends quici^ly and easily. 

3. Increase your popularity. 

4. Win people to your way of thinking. 

5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability 
to get things done. 

6. Handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your 
human contacts smooth and pleasant. 

7. Become a better speaker, a more entertaining 

8. Arouse enthusiasm among your associates. 

This book has done all these things for more than ten 
million readers in thirty-six languages. 

This Book Is Dedicated to a Man 

Who Doesn't Need to Read It:- 

My Cherished Friend 



Win Friends 




Dale Carnegie 

Editorial Consultant: Dorothy Carnegie 
Editorial Assistance: Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D. 



Copyright 1936 by Dale Carnegie, copyright renewed © 1964 

by Donna Dale Carnegie and Dorothy Carnegie 

Revised Edition copyright © 1981 by Donna Dale Carnegie and 

Dorothy Carnegie 

All rights reserved 

including the right of reproduction 

in whole or in part in any form 

Published by Simon and Schuster 

A Division of Gulf & Western Corporation 

Simon & Schuster Building 

Rockefeller Center 

1230 Avenue of the Americas 

New York, New York 10020 

SIMON AND SCHUSTER and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster 

Designed by Stanley S. Drate 

Manufactured in the United States of America 

17 19 20 18 

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

Carnegie, Dale, 1888-1955. 

How to win friends and influence people. 

Includes index. 

1 . Success. I. Titie. 

BF637.S8C37 1981 158'. 1 80-28759 


to Revised Edition 

How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published 
in 1937 in an edition of only five thousand copies. 
Neither Dale Carnegie nor the publishers, Simon and 
Schuster, anticipated more than this modest sale. To 
their amazement, the book became an overnight sensation, 
and edition after edition rolled off the presses to 
keep up with the increasing public demand. Now to Win 
Friends and InfEuence People took its place in publishing 
history as one of the all-time international best-sellers. 
It touched a nerve and filled a human need that was 
more than a faddish phenomenon of post-Depression 
days, as evidenced by its continued and uninterrupted 
sales into the eighties, almost half a century later. 

Dale Carnegie used to say that it was easier to make a 
million dollars than to put a phrase into the English language. 
How to Win Friends and Influence People became 
such a phrase, quoted, paraphrased, parodied, 
used in innumerable contexts from political cartoon to 
novels. The book itself was translated into almost every 
known written language. Each generation has discovered 
it anew and has found it relevant. 

Which brings us to the logical question: Why revise a 
book that has proven and continues to prove its vigorous 
and universal appeal? Why tamper with success? 

To answer that, we must realize that Dale Carnegie 
himself was a tireless reviser of his own work during his 
lifetime. How to Win Friends and Influence People was 
written to be used as a textbook for his courses in Effective 
Speaking and Human Relations and is still used in 

those courses today. Until his death in 1955 he constantly 
improved and revised the course itself to make it 
applicable to the evolving needs of an every-growing 
public. No one was more sensitive to the changing currents 
of present-day life than Dale Carnegie. He constantly 
improved and refined his methods of teaching; 
he updated his book on Effective Speaking several 
times. Had he lived longer, he himself would have revised 
How to Win Friends and Influence People to better 
refiect the changes that have taken place in the world 
since the thirties. 

Many of the names of prominent people in the book, 
well known at the time of first publication, are no longer 
recognized by many of today's readers. Certain examples 
and phrases seem as quaint and dated in our social 
climate as those in a Victorian novel. The important message 
and overall impact of the book is weakened to that 

Our purpose, therefore, in this revision is to clarify 
and strengthen the book for a modern reader without 
tampering with the content. We have not "changed" 
How to Win Friends and Influence People except to 
make a few excisions and add a few more contemporary 
examples. The brash, breezy Carnegie style is intact-even 
the thirties slang is still there. Dale Carnegie wrote 
as he spoke, in an intensively exuberant, colloquial, 
conversational manner. 

So his voice still speaks as forcefully as ever, in the 
book and in his work. Thousands of people all over the 
world are being trained in Carnegie courses in increasing 
numbers each year. And other thousands are reading 
and studying How to Win Friends and Influence People 
and being inspired to use its principles to better their 
lives. To all of them, we offer this revision in the spirit 
of the honing and polishing of a finely made tool. 

Dorothy Carnegie 
(Mrs. Dale Carnegie) 

How This Book Was 

Written-And Why 

by Dale Carnegie 

During the first thirty- five years of the twentieth century, 
the pubhshing houses of America printed more 
than a fifth of a million different books. Most of them 
were deadly dull, and many were financial failures. 
"Many," did I say? The president of one of the largest 
publishing houses in the world confessed to me that his 
company, after seventy- five years of publishing experience, 
still lost money on seven out of every eight books 
it published. 

Why, then, did I have the temerity to write another 
book? And, after I had written it, why should you bother 
to read it? 

Fair questions, both; and I'll try to answer them. 

I have, since 1912, been conducting educational 
courses for business and professional men and women 
in New York. At first, I conducted courses in public 
speaking only - courses designed to train adults, by actual 
experience, to think on their feet and express their 
ideas with more clarity, more effectiveness and more 
poise, both in business interviews and before groups. 

But gradually, as the seasons passed, I realized that as 

sorely as these adults needed training in effective speaking, 

they needed still more training in the fine art of 

getting along with people in everyday business and social 


I also gradually realized that I was sorely in need of 
such training myself As I look back across the years, I 
am appalled at my own frequent lack of finesse and 
understanding. How I wish a book such as this had been 
placed in my hands twenty years ago! What a priceless 
boon it would have been. 

Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem 
you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that 
is also true if you are a housewife, architect or engineer. 

Research done a few years ago under the auspices of the 
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 
uncovered a most important and significant fact - a fact 
later confirmed by additional studies made at the Carnegie 
Institute of Technology. These investigations revealed 
that even in such technical lines as engineering, 
about 15 percent of one's financial success is due to 
one's technical knowledge and about 85 percent is due 
to skill in human engineering-to personality and the 
ability to lead people. 

For many years, I conducted courses each season at 

the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia, and also courses 

for the New York Chapter of the American Institute of 

Electrical Engineers. A total of probably more than fifteen 

hundred engineers have passed through my 

classes. They came to me because they had finally realized, 

after years of observation and experience, that the 

highest-paid personnel in engineering are frequently 

not those who know the most about engineering. One 

can for example, hire mere technical ability in engineering, 

accountancy, architecture or any other profession 

at nominal salaries. But the person who has 

technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to 

assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among 

people-that person is headed for higher earning power. 

In the heyday of his activity, John D. Rockefeller said 
that "the ability to deal with people is as purchasable a 
commodity as sugar or coffee." "And I will pay more for 
that ability," said John D., "than for any other under the 

Wouldn't you suppose that every college in the land 
would conduct courses to develop the highest-priced 
ability under the sun? But if there is just one practical, 
common-sense course of that kind given for adults in 
even one college in the land, it has escaped my attention 
up to the present writing. 

The University of Chicago and the United Y.M.C.A. 
Schools conducted a survey to determine what adults 
want to study. 

That survey cost $25,000 and took two years. The last 
part of the survey was made in Meriden, Connecticut. It 

had been chosen as a typical American town. Every 

adult in Meriden was interviewed and requested to answer 

156 questions-questions such as "What is your 

business or profession? Your education? How do you 

spend your spare time? What is your income? Your hobbies? 

Your ambitions? Your problems? What subjects are 

you most interested in studying?" And so on. That survey 

revealed that health is the prime interest of adults 

and that their second interest is people; how to understand 

and get along with people; how to make people 

like you; and how to win others to your way of thinking. 

So the committee conducting this survey resolved to 
conduct such a course for adults in Meriden. They 
searched diligently for a practical textbook on the subject 
and found-not one. Finally they approached one of 
the world's outstanding authorities on adult education 
and asked him if he knew of any book that met the needs 
of this group. "No," he replied, "I know what those 
adults want. But the book they need has never been 

I knew from experience that this statement was true, 
for I myself had been searching for years to discover a 
practical, working handbook on human relations. 

Since no such book existed, I have tried to write one 
for use in my own courses. And here it is. I hope you 
like it. 

In preparation for this book, I read everything that I 
could find on the subject- everything from newspaper 
columns, magazine articles, records of the family courts, 
the writings of the old philosophers and the new 
psychologists. In addition, I hired a trained researcher to 
spend one and a half years in various libraries reading 
everything I had missed, plowing through erudite tomes 
on psychology, poring over hundreds of magazine articles, 
searching through countless biographies, trying to 
ascertain how the great leaders of all ages had dealt with 
people. We read their biographies. We read the life stories 
of all great leaders from Julius Caesar to Thomas Edison. 
I recall that we read over one hundred biographies 
of Theodore Roosevelt alone. We were determined 
to spare no time, no expense, to discover every 
practical idea that anyone had ever used throughout the 

ages for winning friends and influencing people. 

I personally interviewed scores of successful people, 
some of them world-famous-inventors like Marconi 
and Edison; political leaders like Franklin D. Roosevelt 
and James Farley; business leaders like Owen D. 
Young; movie stars like Clark Gable and Mary Pickford; 
and explorers like Martin Johnson-and tried to discover 
the techniques they used in human relations. 

From all this material, I prepared a short talk. I called 
it "How to Win Friends and Influence People." I say 
"short." It was short in the beginning, but it soon 
expanded to a lecture that consumed one hour and thirty 
minutes. For years, I gave this talk each season to the 
adults in the Carnegie Institute courses in New York. 

I gave the talk and urged the listeners to go out and 
test it in their business and social contacts, and then 
come back to class and speak about their experiences 
and the results they had achieved. What an interesting 
assignment! These men and women, hungry for self- 
improvement, were fascinated by the idea of working in a 
new kind of laboratory - the first and only laboratory of 
human relationships for adults that had ever existed. 

This book wasn't written in the usual sense of the 
word. It grew as a child grows. It grew and developed 
out of that laboratory, out of the experiences of thousands 
of adults. 

Years ago, we started with a set of rules printed on a 
card no larger than a postcard. The next season we 
printed a larger card, then a leaflet, then a series of booklets, 
each one expanding in size and scope. After fifteen 
years of experiment and research came this book. 

The rules we have set down here are not mere theories 
or guesswork. They work like magic. Incredible as 
it sounds, I have seen the application of these principles 
literally revolutionize the lives of many people. 

To illustrate: A man with 314 employees joined one of 
these courses. For years, he had driven and criticized 
and condemned his employees without stint or discretion. 
Kindness, words of appreciation and encouragement 

were alien to his lips. After studying the principles 
discussed in this book, this employer sharply altered his 
philosophy of life. His organization is now inspired with 
a new loyalty, a new enthusiasm, a new spirit of team- 
work. Three hundred and fourteen enemies have been 
turned into 314 friends. As he proudly said in a speech 
before the class: "When I used to walk through my establishment, 
no one greeted me. My employees actually 
looked the other way when they saw me approaching. 
But now they are all my friends and even the janitor 
calls me by my first name." 

This employer gained more profit, more leisure and 
-what is infinitely more important-he found far more 
happiness in his business and in his home. 

Countless numbers of salespeople have sharply increased 
their sales by the use of these principles. Many 
have opened up new accounts - accounts that they had 
formerly solicited in vain. Executives have been given 
increased authority, increased pay. One executive reported 
a large increase in salary because he applied 
these truths. Another, an executive in the Philadelphia 
Gas Works Company, was slated for demotion when he 
was sixty- five because of his belligerence, because of his 
inability to lead people skillfully. This training not only 
saved him from the demotion but brought him a promotion 
with increased pay. 

On innumerable occasions, spouses attending the banquet 
given at the end of the course have told me that 
their homes have been much happier since their husbands 
or wives started this training. 

People are frequently astonished at the new results 
they achieve. It all seems like magic. In some cases, in 
their enthusiasm, they have telephoned me at my home 
on Sundays because they couldn't wait forty-eight hours 
to report their achievements at the regular session of the 

One man was so stirred by a talk on these principles 
that he sat far into the night discussing them with other 
members of the class. At three o'clock in the morning, 
the others went home. But he was so shaken by a realization 
of his own mistakes, so inspired by the vista of a 

new and richer world opening before him, that he was 
unable to sleep. He didn't sleep that night or the next 
day or the next night. 

Who was he? A naive, untrained individual ready to 
gush over any new theory that came along? No, Far from 
it. He was a sophisticated, blase dealer in art, very much 
the man about town, who spoke three languages fluently 
and was a graduate of two European universities. 

While writing this chapter, I received a letter from a 
German of the old school, an aristocrat whose forebears 
had served for generations as professional army officers 
under the Hohenzollerns. His letter, written from a 
transatlantic steamer, telling about the application of 
these principles, rose almost to a religious fervor. 

Another man, an old New Yorker, a Harvard graduate, 
a wealthy man, the owner of a large carpet factory, declared 
he had learned more in fourteen weeks through 
this system of training about the fine art of infiuencing 
people than he had learned about the same subject during 
his four years in college. Absurd? Laughable? Fantastic? 
Of course, you are privileged to dismiss this 
statement with whatever adjective you wish. I am 
merely reporting, without comment, a declaration made 
by a conservative and eminently successful Harvard 
graduate in a public address to approximately six 
hundred people at the Yale Club in New York on the 
evening of Thursday, February 23, 1933. 

"Compared to what we ought to be," said the famous 
Professor William James of Harvard, "compared to what 
we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making 
use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. 
Stating the thing broadly, the human individual 
thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of 
various sorts which he habitually fails to use," 

Those powers which you "habitually fail to use"! The 
sole purpose of this book is to help you discover, develop 
and profit by those dormant and unused assets, 

"Education," said Dr. John G. Hibben, former president 
of Princeton University, "is the ability to meet life's 

If by the time you have finished reading the first three 
chapters of this book- if you aren't then a httle better 
equipped to meet hfe's situations, then I shall consider 
this book to be a total failure so far as you are concerned. 
For "the great aim of education," said Herbert Spencer, 
"is not knowledge but action." 

And this is an action book. 



Nine Suggestions 

on How to Get the Most 

Out of This Book 

1. If you wish to get the most out of this book, there is 
one indispensable requirement, one essential infinitely 
more important than any rule or technique. Unless you 
have this one fundamental requisite, a thousand rules on 
how to study will avail little. And if you do have this 
cardinal endowment, then you can achieve wonders 
without reading any suggestions for getting the most out 
of a book. 

What is this magic requirement? Just this: a deep, 

driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase 

your ability to deal with people. 

How can you develop such an urge? By constantly 
reminding yourself how important these principles are 
to you. Picture to yourself how their mastery will aid you 
in leading a richer, fuller, happier and more fulfilling 
life. Say to yourself over and over: "My popularity, my 
happiness and sense of worth depend to no small extent 
upon my skill in dealing with people." 

2. Read each chapter rapidly at first to get a bird's-eye 

view of it. You will probably be tempted then to rush on 
to the next one. But don't - unless you are reading 
merely for entertainment. But if you are reading because 
you want to increase your skill in human relations, then 
go back and reread each chapter thoroughly. In the long 
run, this will mean saving time and getting results. 

3. Stop frequently in your reading to think over what 
you are reading. Ask yourself just how and when you can 
apply each suggestion. 

4. Read with a crayon, pencil, pen, magic marker or 
highlighter in your hand. When you come across a suggestion 
that you feel you can use, draw a line beside it. 

If it is a four-star suggestion, then underscore every sentence 
or highlight it, or mark it with "****" Marking and 
underscoring a book makes it more interesting, and far 
easier to review rapidly. 

5. 1 knew a woman who had been office manager for 
a large insurance concern for fifteen years. Every month, 
she read all the insurance contracts her company had 
issued that month. Yes, she read many of the same contracts 
over month after month, year after year. Why? Because 
experience had taught her that that was the only 
way she could keep their provisions clearly in mind. 
I once spent almost two years writing a book on public 
speaking and yet I found I had to keep going back over 
it from time to time in order to remember what I had 
written in my own book. The rapidity with which we 
forget is astonishing. 

So, if you want to get a real, lasting benefit out of this 
book, don't imagine that skimming through it once will 
suffice. After reading it thoroughly, you ought to spend 
a few hours reviewing it every month. Keep it on your 
desk in front of you every day. Glance through it often. 
Keep constantly impressing yourself with the rich possibilities 
for improvement that still lie in the offing. Remember 
that the use of these principles can be made 
habitual only by a constant and vigorous campaign of 
review and application. There is no other way. 

6. Bernard Shaw once remarked: "If you teach a man 
anything, he will never learn." Shaw was right. Learning 
is an active process. We learn by doing. So, if you desire 

to master the principles you are studying in this 
book, do something about them. Apply these rules at 
every opportunity. If you don't you will forget them 
quickly. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your 

You will probably find it difficult to apply these suggestions 
all the time. I know because I wrote the book, 
and yet frequently I found it difficult to apply everything 
I advocated. For example, when you are displeased, it is 
much easier to criticize and condemn than it is to try to 
understand the other person's viewpoint. It is frequently 
easier to find fault than to find praise. It is more natural 
to talk about what vou want than to talk about what the 
other person wants. And so on. So, as you read this book, 
remember that you are not merely trying to acquire information. 
You are attempting to form new habits. Ah 
yes, you are attempting a new way of life. That will require 
time and persistence and daily application. 

So refer to these pages often. Regard this as a working 
handbook on human relations; and whenever you are 
confronted with some specific problem - such as handling 
a child, winning your spouse to your way of thinking, 
or satisfying an irritated customer - hesitate about 
doing the natural thing, the impulsive thing. This is usually 
wrong. Instead, turn to these pages and review the 
paragraphs you have underscored. Then try these new 
ways and watch them achieve magic for you. 

7. Offer your spouse, your child or some business 
associate a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches 
you violating a certain principle. Make a lively game out 
of mastering these rules. 

8. The president of an important Wall Street bank 
once described, in a talk before one of my classes, a 
highly efficient system he used for self-improvement. 
This man had little formal schooling; yet he had become 
one of the most important financiers in America, and he 
confessed that he owed most of his success to the constant 
application of his homemade system. This is what 

he does, I'll put it in his own words as accurately as I 
can remember. 

"For years I have kept an engagement book showing 

all the appointments I had during the day. My family 
never made any plans for me on Saturday night, for the 
family knew that I devoted a part of each Saturday evening 
to the illuminating process of self-examination and 
review and appraisal. After dinner I went off by myself, 
opened my engagement book, and thought over all the 
interviews, discussions and meetings that had taken 
place during the week. I asked myself 

'What mistakes did I make that time?' 
'What did I do that was right-and in what way 
could I have improved my performance?' 
'What lessons can I learn from that experience?' 

"I often found that this weekly review made me very 
unhappy. I was frequently astonished at my own blunders. 
Of course, as the years passed, these blunders became 
less frequent. Sometimes I was inclined to pat 
myself on the back a little after one of these sessions. 
This system of self-analysis, self-education, continued 
year after year, did more for me than any other one thing 
I have ever attempted. 

"It helped me improve my ability to make decisions 
- and it aided me enormously in all my contacts with 
people. I cannot recommend it too highly." 

Why not use a similar system to check up on your 
application of the principles discussed in this book? If 
you do, two things will result. 

First, you will find yourself engaged in an educational 
process that is both intriguing and priceless. 

Second, you will find that your ability to meet and 
deal with people will grow enormously. 

9. You will find at the end of this book several blank 
pages on which you should record your triumphs in the 
application of these principles. Be specific. Give names, 
dates, results. Keeping such a record will inspire you to 
greater efforts; and how fascinating these entries will be 
when you chance upon them some evening years from 

In order to get the most out of this book: 

a. Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles 
of human relations, 

b. Read each chapter twice before going on to the next 

c. As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how 
you can apply each suggestion. 

d. Underscore each important idea. 

e. Review this book each month. 

f . Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use 
this volume as a working handbook to help you 
solve your daily problems. 

g. Make a lively game out of your learning by offering 
some friend a dime or a dollar every time he or she 
catches you violating one of these principles. 

h. Check up each week on the progress you are mak-ing. 
Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, 
what improvement, what lessons you have learned 
for the future. 

i. Keep notes in the back of this book showing how 
and when you have applied these principles. 

Fundamental Techniques 

Handling People 




On May 7, 193 1, the most sensational manhunt New 
York City had ever known had come to its climax. After 
weeks of search, "Two Gun" Crowley - the killer, the 
gunman who didn't smoke or drink - was at bay, trapped 
in his sweetheart's apartment on West End Avenue. 

One hundred and fifty policemen and detectives laid 
siege to his top-fioor hideway. They chopped holes in 
the roof; they tried to smoke out Crowley, the "cop 
killer," with teargas. Then they mounted their machine 
guns on surrounding buildings, and for more than an 
hour one of New York's fine residential areas reverberated 
with the crack of pistol fire and the rut-tat-tat of 
machine guns. Crowley, crouching behind an over- 
stuffed chair, fired incessantly at the police. Ten thousand 
excited people watched the battle. Nothing like it 
ever been seen before on the sidewalks of New 

When Crowley was captured. Police Commissioner 
E. P. Mulrooney declared that the two-gun desperado 
was one of the most dangerous criminals ever encountered 
in the history of New York. "He will kill," said the 
Commissioner, "at the drop of a feather." 

But how did "Two Gun" Crowley regard himself? We 
know, because while the police were firing into his 
apartment, he wrote a letter addressed "To whom it may 
concern, " And, as he wrote, the blood fiowing from his 
wounds left a crimson trail on the paper. In this letter 
Crowley said: "Under my coat is a weary heart, but a 
kind one - one that would do nobody any harm." 

A short time before this, Crowley had been having a 
necking party with his girl friend on a country road out 
on Long Island. Suddenly a policeman walked up to the 
car and said: "Let me see your license." 

Without saying a word, Crowley drew his gun and cut 
the policeman down with a shower of lead. As the dying 

officer fell, Crowley leaped out of the car, grabbed the 
officer's revolver, and fired another bullet into the prostrate 
body. And that was the killer who said: "Under my 
coat is a weary heart, but a kind one - one that would do 
nobody any harm. ' 

Crowley was sentenced to the electric chair. When he 
arrived at the death house in Sing Sing, did he say, "This 
is what I get for killing people"? No, he said: "This is 
what I get for defending myself" 

The point of the story is this: "Two Gun" Crowley 
didn't blame himself for anything. 

Is that an unusual attitude among criminals? If you 
think so, listen to this: 

"I have spent the best years of my life giving people 
the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, 
and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man." 

That's Al Capone speaking. Yes, America's most notorious 
Public Enemy- the most sinister gang leader who 
ever shot up Chicago. Capone didn't condemn himself 
He actually regarded himself as a public benefactor - an 
unappreciated and misunderstood public benefactor. 

And so did Dutch Schultz before he crumpled up 
under gangster bullets in Newark. Dutch Schultz, one of 
New York's most notorious rats, said in a newspaper interview 
that he was a public benefactor. And he believed 

I have had some interesting correspondence with 
Lewis Lawes, who was warden of New York's infamous 
Sing Sing prison for many years, on this subject, and he 
declared that "few of the criminals in Sing Sing regard 
themselves as bad men. They are just as human as you 
and I. So they rationalize, they explain. They can tell 
you why they had to crack a safe or be quick on the 
trigger finger. Most of them attempt by a form of reasoning, 
fallacious or logical, to justify their antisocial acts 
even to themselves, consequently stoutly maintaining 
that they should never have been imprisoned at all." 

If Al Capone, "Two Gun" Crowley, Dutch Schultz, 

and the desperate men and women behind prison walls 
don't blame themselves for anything - what about the 
people with whom you and I come in contact? 

John Wanamaker, founder of the stores that bear his 
name, once confessed: "I learned thirty years ago that it 
is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my 
own limitations without fretting over the fact that God 
has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence." 

Wanamaker learned this lesson early, but I personally 
had to blunder through this old world for a third of a 
century before it even began to dawn upon me that 
ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don't criticize 
themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it 
may be. 

Criticism is ftitile because it puts a person on the defensive 
and usually makes him strive to justify himself 
Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person's 
precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and 
arouses resentment. 

B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved 
through his experiments that an animal rewarded for 
good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain 
what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished 
for bad behavior. Later studies have shown that 
the same applies to humans. By criticizing, we do not 
make lasting changes and often incur resentment. 

Hans Selye, another great psychologist, said, "As 

much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation," 

The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize 
employees, family members and friends, and still 
not correct the situation that has been condemned. 

George B. Johnston of Enid, Oklahoma, is the safety 

coordinator for an engineering company. One of his re-sponsibilities 

is to see that employees wear their hard 

hats whenever they are on the job in the field. He reported 

that whenever he came across workers who were 

not wearing hard hats, he would tell them with a lot of 

authority of the regulation and that they must comply. 

As a result he would get sullen acceptance, and often 

after he left, the workers would remove the hats. 

He decided to try a different approach. The next time 
he found some of the workers not wearing their hard hat, 
he asked if the hats were uncomfortable or did not fit 
properly. Then he reminded the men in a pleasant tone 
of voice that the hat was designed to protect them from 
injury and suggested that it always be worn on the job. 
The result was increased compliance with the regulation 
with no resentment or emotional upset. 

You will find examples of the futility of criticism bristling 

on a thousand pages of history. Take, for example, 

the famous quarrel between Theodore Roosevelt and 

President Taft - a quarrel that split the Republican 

party, put Woodrow Wilson in the White House, and 

wrote bold, luminous lines across the First World War 

and altered the fiow of history. Let's review the facts 

quickly. When Theodore Roosevelt stepped out of the 

White House in 1908, he supported Taft, who was 

elected President. Then Theodore Roosevelt went off to 

Africa to shoot lions. When he returned, he exploded. 

He denounced Taft for his conservatism, tried to secure 

the nomination for a third term himself, formed the Bull 

Moose party, and all but demolished the G.O.P. In the 

election that followed, William Howard Taft and the Republican 

party carried only two states - Vermont and 

Utah. The most disastrous defeat the party had ever 


Theodore Roosevelt blamed Taft, but did President 
Taft blame himself? Of course not. With tears in his 
eyes, Taft said: "I don't see how I could have done any 
differently from what I have." 

Who was to blame? Roosevelt or Taft? Frankly, I don't 
know, and I don't care. The point I am trying to make is 
that all of Theodore Roosevelt's criticism didn't persuade 
Taft that he was wrong. It merely made Taft strive 
to justify himself and to reiterate with tears in his eyes: 
"I don't see how I could have done any differently from 
what I have." 

Or, take the Teapot Dome oil scandal. It kept the 
newspapers ringing with indignation in the early 1920s. 
It rocked the nation! Within the memory of living men. 

nothing like it had ever happened before in American 
public life. Here are the bare facts of the scandal: Albert 
B. Fall, secretary of the interior in Harding's cabinet, 
was entrusted with the leasing of government oil reserves 
at Elk Hill and Teapot Dome - oil reserves that 
had been set aside for the future use of the Navy. Did 
secretary Fall permit competitive bidding? No sir. He 
handed the fat, juicy contract outright to his friend Edward 
L. Doheny. And what did Doheny do? He gave 
Secretary Fall what he was pleased to call a "loan" of 
one hundred thousand dollars. Then, in a high-handed 
manner. Secretary Fall ordered United States Marines 
into the district to drive off competitors whose adjacent 
wells were sapping oil out of the Elk Hill reserves. 
These competitors, driven off their ground at the ends of 
guns and bayonets, rushed into court - and blew the lid 
off the Teapot Dome scandal. A stench arose so vile that 
it ruined the Harding Administration, nauseated an entire 
nation, threatened to wreck the Republican party, 
and put Albert B. Fall behind prison bars. 

Fall was condemned viciously - condemned as few 
men in public life have ever been. Did he repent? 
Never! Years later Herbert Hoover intimated in a public 
speech that President Harding's death had been due to 
mental anxiety and worry because a friend had betrayed 
him. When Mrs. Fall heard that, she sprang from her 
chair, she wept, she shook her fists at fate and screamed: 
"What! Harding betrayed by Fall? No! My husband 
never betrayed anyone. This whole house full of gold 
would not tempt my husband to do wrong. He is the one 
who has been betrayed and led to the slaughter and crucified." 

There you are; human nature in action, wrongdoers, 
blaming everybody but themselves. We are all like that. 
So when you and I are tempted to criticize someone 
tomorrow, let's remember Al Capone, "Two Gun" 
Crowley and Albert Fall. Let's realize that criticisms are 
like homing pigeons. They always return home. Let's 
realize that the person we are going to correct and condemn 
will probably justify himself or herself, and condemn 
us in return; or, like the gentle Taft, will say: "I 
don't see how I could have done any differently from 
what I have." 

On the morning of April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln 

lay dying in a hall bedroom of a cheap lodging house 
directly across the street from Ford's Theater, where 
John Wilkes Booth had shot him. Lincoln's long body 
lay stretched diagonally across a sagging bed that was 
too short for him. A cheap reproduction of Rosa Bonheur's 
famous painting The Horse Fair hung above the 
bed, and a dismal gas jet flickered yellow light. 

As Lincoln lay dying. Secretary of War Stanton said, 
"There lies the most perfect ruler of men that the world 
has ever seen." 

What was the secret of Lincoln's success in dealing 
with people? I studied the life of Abraham Lincoln for 
ten years and devoted all of three years to writing and 
rewriting a book entitled Lincoln the Unknown. I believe 
I have made as detailed and exhaustive a study of 
Lincoln's personality and home life as it is possible for 
any being to make. I made a special study of Lincoln's 
method of dealing with people. Did he indulge in criticism? 
Oh, yes. As a young man in the Pigeon Creek 
Valley of Indiana, he not only criticized but he wrote 
letters and poems ridiculing people and dropped these 
letters on the country roads where they were sure to be 
found. One of these letters aroused resentments that 
burned for a lifetime. 

Even after Lincoln had become a practicing lawyer in 
Springfield, Illinois, he attacked his opponents openly 
in letters published in the newspapers. But he did this 
just once too often. 

In the autumn of 1842 he ridiculed a vain, pugnacious 
politician by the name of James Shields. Lincoln lamned 
him through an anonymous letter published in 
Springfield Journal. The town roared with laughter. 
Shields, sensitive and proud, boiled with indignation. 
He found out who wrote the letter, leaped on his horse, 
started after Lincoln, and challenged him to fight a duel. 
Lincoln didn't want to fight. He was opposed to dueling, 
but he couldn't get out of it and save his honor. He was 
given the choice of weapons. Since he had very long 
arms, he chose cavalry broadswords and took lessons in 
sword fighting from a West Point graduate; and, on the 
appointed day, he and Shields met on a sandbar in the 
Mississippi River, prepared to fight to the death; but, at 

the last minute, their seconds interrupted and stopped 
the duel. 

That was the most lurid personal incident in Lincoln's 
life. It taught him an invaluable lesson in the art of dealing 
with people. Never again did he write an insulting 
letter. Never again did he ridicule anyone. And from that 
time on, he almost never criticized anybody for anything. 

Time after time, during the Civil War, Lincoln put a 
new general at the head of the Army of the Potomac, and 
each one in turn - McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, 
Meade - blundered tragically and drove Lincoln to pacing 
the floor in despair. Half the nation savagely condemned 
these incompetent generals, but Lincoln, "with 
malice toward none, with charity for all," held his peace. 
One of his favorite quotations was "Judge not, that ye be 
not judged." 

And when Mrs. Lincoln and others spoke harshly of 
the southern people, Lincoln replied: "Don't criticize 
them; they are just what we would be under similar 

Yet if any man ever had occasion to criticize, surely it 
was Lincoln. Let's take just one illustration: 

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the first 

three days of July 1863. During the night of July 4, Lee 

began to retreat southward while storm clouds deluged 

the country with rain. When Lee reached the Potomac 

with his defeated army, he found a swollen, impassable 

river in front of him, and a victorious Union Army behind 

him. Lee was in a trap. He couldn't escape. Lincoln 

saw that. Here was a golden, heaven-sent opportunity- 

the opportunity to capture Lee's army and end the war 

immediately. So, with a surge of high hope, Lincoln ordered 

Meade not to call a council of war but to attack 

Lee immediately. Lincoln telegraphed his orders and 

then sent a special messenger to Meade demanding immediate 


And what did General Meade do? He did the very 
opposite of what he was told to do. He called a council 
of war in direct violation of Lincoln's orders. He hesitated. 
He procrastinated. He telegraphed all manner of 

excuses. He refused point-blank to attack Lee. Finally 
the waters receded and Lee escaped over the Potomac 
with his forces. 

Lincoln was furious, " What does this mean?" Lincoln 
cried to his son Robert. "Great God! What does this 
mean? We had them within our grasp, and had only to 
stretch forth our hands and they were ours; yet nothing 
that I could say or do could make the army move. Under 
the circumstances, almost any general could have defeated 
Lee. If I had gone up there, I could have whipped 
him myself" 

In bitter disappointment, Lincoln sat down and wrote 
Meade this letter. And remember, at this period of his 
life Lincoln was extremely conservative and restrained 
in his phraseology. So this letter coming from Lincoln in 
1863 was tantamount to the severest rebuke. 

My dear General, 

I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune 
involved in Lee's escape. He was within our easy 
grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection 
With our other late successes, have ended the war. As it is, 
the war will be prolonged indefinitely. If you could not 
safely attack Lee last Monday, how can you possibly do so 
south of the river, when you can take with you very few- 
no more than two-thirds of the force you then had in hand? 
It would be unreasonable to expect and I do not expect that 
you can now effect much. Your golden opportunity is gone, 
and I am distressed immeasurably because of it. 

What do you suppose Meade did when he read the 

Meade never saw that letter. Lincoln never mailed it. 
It was found among his papers after his death. 

My guess is - and this is only a guess - that after writing 
that letter, Lincoln looked out of the window and 
said to himself, "Just a minute. Maybe I ought not to be 
so hasty. It is easy enough for me to sit here in the quiet 
of the White House and order Meade to attack; but if I 
had been up at Gettysburg, and if I had seen as much 
blood as Meade has seen during the last week, and if my 

ears had been pierced with the screams and shrieks of 
the wounded and dying, maybe I wouldn't be so anxious 
to attack either. If I had Meade's timid temperament, 
perhaps I would have done just what he had done. Anyhow, 
it is water under the bridge now. If I send this 
letter, it will relieve my feelings, but it will make Meade 
try to justify himself It will make him condemn me. It 
will arouse hard feelings, impair all his further usefulness 
as a commander, and perhaps force him to resign 
from the army." 

So, as I have already said, Lincoln put the letter aside, 

for he had learned by bitter experience that sharp criticisms 

and rebukes almost invariably end in futility. 

Theodore Roosevelt said that when he, as President, 
was confronted with a perplexing problem, he used to 
lean back and look up at a large painting of Lincoln 
which hung above his desk in the White House and ask 
himself, "What would Lincoln do if he were in my 
shoes? How would he solve this problem?" 

The next time we are tempted to admonish somebody, 
let's pull a five-dollar bill out of our pocket, look at Lincoln's 
picture on the bill, and ask. "How would Lincoln 
handle this problem if he had it?" 

Mark Twain lost his temper occasionally and wrote 
letters that turned the Paper brown. For example, he 
once wrote to a man who had aroused his ire: "The thing 
for you is a burial permit. You have only to speak and I 
will see that you get it." On another occasion he wrote 
to an editor about a proofreader' s attempts to "improve 
my spelling and punctuation." He ordered: "Set the 
matter according to my copy hereafter and see that the 
proofreader retains his suggestions in the mush of his 
decayed brain." 

The writing of these stinging letters made Mark Twain 
feel better. They allowed him to blow off steam, and the 
letters didn't do any real harm, because Mark's wife 
secretly lifted them out of the mail. They were never 

Do you know someone you would like to change and 
regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in 

favor of it, But why not begin on yourself? From a purely 
selfish standpoint, that is a lot more profitable than 
trying to improve others - yes, and a lot less dangerous. 
"Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's 
roof," said Confucius, "when your own doorstep is unclean." 

When I was still young and trying hard to impress 
people, I wrote a foolish letter to Richard Harding 
Davis, an author who once loomed large on the literary 
horizon of America. I was preparing a magazine article 
about authors, and I asked Davis to tell me about his 
method of work. A few weeks earlier, I had received a 
letter from someone with this notation at the bottom: 
"Dictated but not read." I was quite impressed. I felt 
that the writer must be very big and busy and important. 
I wasn't the slightest bit busy, but I was eager to make 
an impression on Richard Harding Davis, so I ended my 
short note with the words: "Dictated but not read." 

He never troubled to answer the letter. He simply 
returned it to me with this scribbled across the bottom: 
"Your bad manners are exceeded only by your bad manners." 
True, I had blundered, and perhaps I deserved 
this rebuke. But, being human, I resented it. I resented 
it so sharply that when I read of the death of Richard 
Harding Davis ten years later, the one thought that still 
persisted in my mind - 1 am ashamed to admit - was the 
hurt he had given me. 

If you and I want to stir up a resentment tomorrow 
that may rankle across the decades and endure until 
death, just let us indulge in a little stinging criticism- 
no matter how certain we are that it is justified. 

When dealing with people, let us remember we are 
not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with 
creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices 
and motivated by pride and vanity. 

Bitter criticism caused the sensitive Thomas Hardy, 
one of the finest novelists ever to enrich English literature, 
to give up forever the writing of fiction. Criticism 
drove Thomas Chatterton, the English poet, to suicide. 

Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so 
diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was 

made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his 
success? "I will speak ill of no man," he said, " . . and 
speak all the good I know of everybody." 

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and 
most fools do. 

But it takes character and self-control to be under- standing 
and forgiving. 

"A great man shows his greatness," said Carlyle, "by 
the way he treats little men." 

Bob Hoover, a famous test pilot and frequent per-former 

at air shows, was returning to his home in Los 

Angeles from an air show in San Diego. As described in 

the magazine Flight Operations, at three hundred feet 

in the air, both engines suddenly stopped. By deft maneuvering 

he managed to land the plane, but it was 

badly damaged although nobody was hurt. 

Hoover's first act after the emergency landing was to 
inspect the airplane's fuel. Just as he suspected, the 
World War II propeller plane he had been flying had 
been fueled with jet fuel rather than gasoline. 

Upon returning to the airport, he asked to see the mechanic 
who had serviced his airplane. The young man 
was sick with the agony of his mistake. Tears streamed 
down his face as Hoover approached. He had just caused 
the loss of a very expensive plane and could have caused 
the loss of three lives as well. 

You can imagine Hoover's anger. One could anticipate 
the tongue-lashing that this proud and precise pilot 
would unleash for that carelessness. But Hoover didn't 
scold the mechanic; he didn't even criticize him. Instead, 
he put his big arm around the man's shoulder and 
said, "To show you I'm sure that you'll never do this 
again, I want you to service my F-51 tomorrow." 

Often parents are tempted to criticize their children. 

You would expect me to say "don't." But I will not, I am 

merely going to say, "Before you criticize them, read 

one of the classics of American journalism, 'Father Forgets.' " 

It originally appeared as an editorial in the People's 

Home Journnl. We are reprinting it here with the 
author's permission, as condensed in the Reader 's Digest: 

"Father Forgets" is one of those httle pieces which- 
dashed of in a moment of sincere feeling - strikes an 
echoing chord in so many readers as to become a perenial 
reprint favorite. Since its first appearance, "Father 
Forgets" has been reproduced, writes the author, 
W, Livingston Larned, "in hundreds of magazines and 
house organs, and in newspapers the country over. It has 
been reprinted almost as extensively in many foreign 
languages. I have given personal permission to thousands 
who wished to read it from school, church, and 
lecture platforms. It has been 'on the air' on countless 
occasions and programs. Oddly enough, college periodicals 
have used it, and high-school magazines. Sometimes 
a little piece seems mysteriously to 'click.' This 
one certainly did." 


W. Livingston Larned 

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little 
paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily 
wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room 
alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper 
in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. 
Guiltily I came to your bedside. 

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross 
to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because 
you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took 
you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily 
when you threw some of your things on the floor. 

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You 
gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. 
You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you 
started off to play and I made for my train, you turned 
and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye, Daddy!" and 
I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders 

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I 
came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing 
marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated 

you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to 
the house. Stockings were expensive - and if you had to 

buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, 
from a father! 

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, 
how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in 
your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at 
the interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What is it you 
want?" I snapped. 

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous 
plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed 
me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that 
God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect 
could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the 

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped 
from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. 
What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, 
of reprimanding - this was my reward to you for being a 
boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected 
too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of 
my own years. 

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in 
your character. The little heart of you was as big as the 
dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your 
spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. 
Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bed-side 
in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! 

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand 
these things if I told them to you during your waking 
hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum 
with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you 
laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I 
will keep saying as if it were a ritual: "He is nothing but a 
boy - a little boy!" 

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see 
you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that 
you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's 
arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much. 

too much. 

Instead of condemning people, let's try to understand 
them. Let's try to figure out why they do what they do. 
That's a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; 
and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. "To 
know all is to forgive all." 

As Dr. Johnson said: "God himself, sir, does not propose 
to judge man until the end of his days." 

Why should you and I? 

Don't criticize, condemn or complain. 



There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody 

to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, 

just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it. 

Remember, there is no other way. 

Of course, you can make someone want to give you his 
watch by sticking a revolver in his ribs. YOU can make 
your employees give you cooperation - until your back 
is turned - by threatening to fire them. You can make a 
child do what you want it to do by a whip or a threat. But 
these crude methods have sharply undesirable repercussions. 

The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving 
you what you want. 

What do you want? 

Sigmund Freud said that everything you and I do 

springs from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to 
be great. 

John Dewey, one of America's most profound philosophers, 
phrased it a bit differently. Dr. Dewey said that 
the deepest urge in human nature is "the desire to be 
important." Remember that phrase: "the desire to be 
important." It is significant. You are going to hear a lot 
about it in this book. 

What do you want? Not many things, but the few 
that you do wish, you crave with an insistence 
that will not be denied. Some of the things most 
want include: 

1. Health and the preservation of life. 

2. Food. 

3. Sleep. 

4. Money and the things money will buy. 

5. Life in the hereafter. 

6. Sexual gratification. 

7. The well-being of our children. 

8. A feeling of importance. 

Almost all these wants are usually gratified-all except 
one. But there is one longing - almost as deep, almost 
as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep - which 
is seldom gratified. It is what Freud calls "the 
desire to be great." It is what Dewey calls the "desire to 
be important." 

Lincoln once began a letter saying: "Everybody likes 

a compliment." William James said: "The deepest principle 

in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." 

He didn't speak, mind you, of the "wish" or the "desire" 

or the "longing" to be appreciated. He said the "craving" 

to be appreciated. 

Here is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and 
the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger 
will hold people in the palm of his or her hand and 
"even the undertaker will be sorry when he dies." 

The desire for a feeling of importance is one of the 
chief distinguishing differences between mankind and 

the animals. To illustrate: When I was a farm boy out in 
Missouri, my father bred fine Duroc- Jersey hogs and . 
pedigreed white - faced cattle. We used to exhibit our 
hogs and white-faced cattle at the country fairs and live-stock 
shows throughout the Middle West. We won first 
prizes by the score. My father pinned his blue ribbons 
on a sheet of white muslin, and when friends or visitors 
came to the house, he would get out the long sheet of 
muslin. He would hold one end and I would hold the 
other while he exhibited the blue ribbons. 

The hogs didn't care about the ribbons they had won. 

But Father did. These prizes gave him a feeling of importance. 

If our ancestors hadn't had this fiaming urge for a feeling 
of importance, civilization would have been impossible. 
Without it, we should have been just about like 

It was this desire for a feeling of importance that led 
an uneducated, poverty-stricken grocery clerk to study 
some law books he found in the bottom of a barrel of 
household plunder that he had bought for fifty cents. 
You have probably heard of this grocery clerk. His name 
was Lincoln. 

It was this desire for a feeling of importance that inspired 
Dickens to write his immortal novels. This desire 
inspired Sir Christoper Wren to design his symphonies 
in stone. This desire made Rockefeller amass millions 
that he never spent! And this same desire made the richest 
family in your town build a house far too large for its 

This desire makes you want to wear the latest styles, 
drive the latest cars, and talk about your brilliant children. 

It is this desire that lures many boys and girls into 
joining gangs and engaging in criminal activities. The 
average young criminal, according to E. P. Mulrooney, 
onetime police commissioner of New York, is filled with 
ego, and his first request after arrest is for those lurid 
newspapers that make him out a hero. The disagreeable 
prospect of serving time seems remote so long as he can 
gloat over his likeness sharing space with pictures of 
sports figures, movie and TV stars and politicians. 

If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, 
I'll tell you what you are. That determines your character. 
That is the most significant thing about you. For 
example, John D. Rockefeller got his feeling of importance 
by giving money to erect a modern hospital in 
Peking, China, to care for millions of poor people whom 
he had never seen and never would see. Dillinger, on 
the other hand, got his feeling of importance by being a 
bandit, a bank robber and killer. When the FBI agents 
were hunting him, he dashed into a farmhouse up in 
Minnesota and said, "I'm Dillinger!" He was proud of 
the fact that he was Public Enemy Number One. "I'm 
not going to hurt you, but I'm Dillinger!" he said. 

Yes, the one significant difference between Dillinger 

and Rockefeller is how they got their feeling of importance. 

History sparkles with amusing examples of famous 
people struggling for a feeling of importance. Even 
George Washington wanted to be called "His Mightiness, 
the President of the United States"; and Columbus 
pleaded for the title "Admiral of the Ocean and Viceroy 
of India." Catherine the Great refused to open letters 
that were not addressed to "Her Imperial Majesty"; and 
Mrs. Lincoln, in the White House, turned upon Mrs. 
Grant like a tigress and shouted, "How dare you be 
seated in my presence until I invite you!" 

Our millionaires helped finance Admiral Byrd's expedition 
to the Antarctic in 1928 with the understanding 
that ranges of icy mountains would be named after them; 
and Victor Hugo aspired to have nothing less than the 
city of Paris renamed in his honor. Even Shakespeare, 
mightiest of the mighty, tried to add luster to his name 
by procuring a coat of arms for his family. 

People sometimes became invalids in order to win 
sympathy and attention, and get a feeling of importance. 
For example, take Mrs. McKinley. She got a feeling of 
importance by forcing her husband, the President of the 
United States, to neglect important affairs of state while 
he reclined on the bed beside her for hours at a time, his 
arm about her, soothing her to sleep. She fed her gnawing 
desire for attention by insisting that he remain with 
her while she was having her teeth fixed, and once created 

a stormy scene when he had to leave her alone with 
the dentist while he kept an appointment with John 
Hay, his secretary of state. 

The writer Mary Roberts Rinehart once told me of a 
bright, vigorous young woman who became an invalid 
in order to get a feeling of importance. "One day," said 
Mrs. Rinehart, "this woman had been obliged to face 
something, her age perhaps. The lonely years were 
stretching ahead and there was little left for her to anticipate. 

"She took to her bed; and for ten years her old mother 
traveled to the third floor and back, carrying trays, nursing 
her. Then one day the old mother, weary with service, 
lay down and died. For some weeks, the invalid 
languished; then she got up, put on her clothing, and 
resumed living again." 

Some authorities declare that people may actually go 
insane in order to find, in the dreamland of insanity, the 
feeling of importance that has been denied them in the 
harsh world of reality. There are more patients suffering 
from mental diseases in the United States than from all 
other diseases combined. 

What is the cause of insanity? 

Nobody can answer such a sweeping question, but we 
know that certain diseases, such as syphilis, break down 
and destroy the brain cells and result in insanity. In fact, 
about one-half of all mental diseases can be attributed to 
such physical causes as brain lesions, alcohol, toxins and 
injuries. But the other half - and this is the appalling 
part of the story - the other half of the people who go 
insane apparently have nothing organically wrong with 
their brain cells. In post-mortem examinations, when 
their brain tissues are studied under the highest-powered 
microscopes, these tissues are found to be apparently 
just as healthy as yours and mine. 

Why do these people go insane? 

I put that question to the head physician of one of our 
most important psychiatric hospitals. This doctor, who 
has received the highest honors and the most coveted 
awards for his knowledge of this subject, told me frankly 

that he didn't know why people went insane. Nobody 
knows for sure But he did say that many people who go 
insane find in insanity a feeling of importance that they 
were unable to achieve in the world of reality. Then he 
told me this story: 

"I have a patient right now whose marriage proved to 
be a tragedy. She wanted love, sexual gratification, children 
and social prestige, but life blasted all her hopes. 
Her husband didn't love her. He refused even to eat 
with her and forced her to serve his meals in his room 
upstairs. She had no children, no social standing. She 
went insane; and, in her imagination, she divorced her 
husband and resumed her maiden name. She now believes 
she has married into English aristocracy, and she 
insists on being called Lady Smith. 

"And as for children, she imagines now that she has 
had a new child every night. Each time I call on her she 
says: 'Doctor, I had a baby last night.' " 

Life once wrecked all her dream ships on the sharp 
rocks of reality; but in the sunny, fantasy isles of insanity, 
all her barkentines race into port with canvas billowing 
and winds singing through the masts. 

" Tragic? Oh, I don't know. Her physician said to me: 
If I could stretch out my hand and restore her sanity, I 
wouldn't do it. She's much happier as she is." 

If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance 
that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what 
miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest 
appreciation this side of insanity. 

One of the first people in American business to be 
paid a salary of over a million dollars a year (when there 
was no income tax and a person earning fifty dollars a 
week was considered well off) was Charles Schwab, He 
had been picked by Andrew Carnegie to become the 
first president of the newly formed United States Steel 
Company in 1921, when Schwab was only thirty-eight 
years old. (Schwab later left U.S. Steel to take over the 
then-troubled Bethlehem Steel Company, and he rebuilt 
it into one of the most profitable companies in America.) 

Why did Andrew Carnegie pay a million dollars a 
year, or more than three thousand dollars a day, to 
Charles Schwab? Why? Because Schwab was a genius? 
No. Because he knew more about the manufacture of 
steel than other people? Nonsense. Charles Schwab told 
me himself that he had many men working for him who 
knew more about the manufacture of steel than he did. 

Schwab says that he was paid this salary largely because 
of his ability to deal with people. I asked him how 
he did it. Here is his secret set down in his own words 
- words that ought to be cast in eternal bronze and hung 
in every home and school, every shop and office in the 
land - words that children ought to memorize instead of 
wasting their time memorizing the conjugation of Latin 
verbs or the amount of the annual rainfall in Brazil - words 
that will all but transform your life and mine if we 
will only live them: 

"I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my 
people," said Schwab, "the greatest asset I possess, and 
the way to develop the best that is in a person is by 
appreciation and encouragement. 

"There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a 
person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize any- 
one. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I 
am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, 
/ am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my 
praise. " 

That is what Schwab did. But what do average people 
do? The exact opposite. If they don't like a thing, they 
bawl out their subordinates; if they do like it, they say 
nothing. As the old couplet says: "Once I did bad and 
that I heard ever/Twice I did good, but that I heard 

"In my wide association in life, meeting with many 
and great people in various parts of the world," Schwab 
declared, "I have yet to find the person, however great 
or exalted his station, who did not do better work and 
put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he 
would ever do under a spirit of criticism." 

That he said, frankly, was one of the outstanding reasons 

for the phenomenal success of Andrew Carnegie. 
Carnegie praised his associates pubhcly as well as pr-vately. 

Carnegie wanted to praise his assistants even on his 
tombstone. He wrote an epitaph for himself which read: 
"Here lies one who knew how to get around him men 
who were cleverer than himself" 

Sincere appreciation was one of the secrets of the first 

John D. Rockefeller's success in handling men. For example, 

when one of his partners, Edward T. Bedford, 

lost a million dollars for the firm by a bad buy in South 

America, John D. might have criticized; but he knew 

Bedford had done his best - and the incident was 

closed. So Rockefeller found something to praise; he 

congratulated Bedford because he had been able to save 

60 percent of the money he had invested. "That's splendid," 

said Rockefeller. "We don't always do as well as 

that upstairs." 

I have among my clippings a story that I know never 
happened, but it illustrates a truth, so I'll repeat it: 

According to this silly story, a farm woman, at the end 
of a heavy day's work, set before her menfolks a heaping 
pile of hay. And when they indignantly demanded 
whether she had gone crazy, she replied: "Why, how 
did I know you'd notice? I've been cooking for you men 
for the last twenty years and in all that time I ain't heard 
no word to let me know you wasn't just eating hay." 

When a study was made a few years ago on runaway 
wives, what do you think was discovered to be the main 
reason wives ran away? It was "lack of appreciation." 
And I'd bet that a similar study made of runaway husbands 
would come out the same way. We often take our 
spouses so much for granted that we never let them 
know we appreciate them. 

A member of one of our classes told of a request made 
by his wife. She and a group of other women in her 
church were involved in a self-improvement program. 
She asked her husband to help her by listing six things 
he believed she could do to help her become a better 
wife. He reported to the class: "I was surprised by such 
a request. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to list 

six things I would like to change about her - my heavens, 
she could have listed a thousand things she would 
like to change about me - but I didn't. I said to her, 'Let 
me think about it and give you an answer in the morning.' 

"The next morning I got up very early and called the 
florist and had them send six red roses to my wife with a 
note saying: 'I can't think of six things I would like to 
change about you. I love you the way you are.' 

"When I arrived at home that evening, who do you 
think greeted me at the door: That's right. My wife! She 
was almost in tears. Needless to say, I was extremely 
glad I had not criticized her as she had requested. 

"The following Sunday at church, after she had reported 
the results of her assignment, several women 
with whom she had been studying came up to me and 
said, 'That was the most considerate thing I have ever 
heard.' It was then I realized the power of appreciation." 

Florenz Ziegfeld, the most spectacular producer who 
ever dazzled Broadway, gained his reputation by his 
subtle ability to "glorify the American girl." Time after 
time, he took drab little creatures that no one ever 
looked at twice and transformed them on the stage into 
glamorous visions of mystery and seduction. Knowing 
the value of appreciation and confidence, he made 
women feel beautiful by the sheer power of his gallantry 
and consideration. He was practical: he raised the salary 
of chorus girls from thirty dollars a week to as high as 
one hundred and seventy-five. And he was also chivalrous; 
on opening night at the Follies, he sent telegrams 
to the stars in the cast, and he deluged every chorus girl 
in the show with American Beauty roses. 

I once succumbed to the fad of fasting and went for six 
days and nights without eating. It wasn't difficult. I was 
less hungry at the end of the sixth day than I was at the 
end of the second. Yet I know, as you know, people who 
would think they had committed a crime if they let their 
families or employees go for six days without food; but 
they will let them go for six days, and six weeks, and 
sometimes sixty years without giving them the hearty 
appreciation that they crave almost as much as they 
crave food. 

When Alfred Lunt, one of the great actors of his time, 
played the leading role in Reunion in Vienna, he said, 
"There is nothing I need so much as nourishment for my 

We nourish the bodies of our children and friends and 
employees, but how seldom do we nourish their selfesteem? 
We provide them with roast beef and potatoes 
to build energy, but we neglect to give them kind words 
of appreciation that would sing in their memories for 
years like the music of the morning stars. 

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 something 
no one else in the room had. 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 
and songwriters of the seventies.* 

* Paul Aurandt, PoillHorvey's The Rest of the Story (NeiV York: Doubleday, 
1977). Edited and compiled by Lynne Harvey. Copyright © by 
Paulynne, Inc. 

Some readers are saying right now as they read these 
lines: "Oh, phooey! Flattery! Bear oil! I've tried that 
stuff It doesn't work - not with intelligent people." 

Of course flattery seldom works with discerning people. 
It is shallow, selfish and insincere. It ought to fail 
and it usually does. True, some people are so hungry, so 
thirsty, for appreciation that they will swallow anything, 
just as a starving man will eat grass and fishworms. 

Even Queen Victoria was susceptible to flattery. 
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli confessed that he put 
it on thick in dealing with the Queen. To use his exact 
words, he said he "spread it on with a trowel." But Disraeli 

was one of the most polished, deft and adroit men 
who ever ruled the far-flung British Empire. He was a 
genius in his line. What would work for him wouldn't 
necessarily work for you and me. In the long run, flattery 
will do you more harm than good. Flattery is counterfeit, 
and like counterfeit money, it will eventually get you 
into trouble if you pass it to someone else. 

The difference between appreciation and flattery? 
That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. 
One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth 
out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally 
admired; the other universally condemned. 

I recently saw a bust of Mexican hero General Alvaro 
Obregon in the Chapultepec palace in Mexico City. 
Below the bust are carved these wise words from General 
Obregon' s philosophy: "Don't be afraid of enemies 
who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who fiatter you." 

No! No! No! I am not suggesting fiattery! Far from it. 
I'm talking about a new way of life. Let me repeat. I am 
talking about a new way of life. 

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 fiattery is - cheap praise. 
I once read a definition of fiattery 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 fiatter, 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 
fiattery so cheap and false that it can be spotted almost 
before it is out of the mouth. 

One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence 
is appreciation, Somehow, we neglect to praise 
our son or daughter when he or she brings home a good 
report card, and we fail to encourage our children when 
they first succeed in baking a cake or building a birdhouse. 

Nothing pleases children more than this kind of 
parental interest and approval. 

The next time you enjoy filet mignon at the club, send 
word to the chef that it was excellently prepared, and 
when a tired salesperson shows you unusual courtesy, 
please mention it. 

Every minister, lecturer and public speaker knows the 
discouragement of pouring himself or herself out to an 
audience and not receiving a single ripple of appreciative 
comment. What applies to professionals applies 
doubly to workers in offices, shops and factories and our 
families and friends. In our interpersonal relations we 
should never forget that all our associates are human 
beings and hunger for appreciation. It is the legal tender 
that all souls enjoy. 

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. 

Pamela Dunham of New Fairfield, Connecticut, had 

among her responsibilities on her job the supervision of 

a janitor who was doing a very poor job. The other employees 

would jeer at him and litter the hallways to show 

him what a bad job he was doing. It was so bad, productive 

time was being lost in the shop. 

Without success, Pam tried various ways to motivate 

this person. She noticed that occasionally he did a particularly 

good piece of work. She made a point to praise 

him for it in front of the other people. Each day the job 

he did all around got better, and pretty soon he started 

doing all his work efficiently. Now he does an excellent 

job and other people give him appreciation and recognition. 

Honest appreciation got results where criticism 

and ridicule failed. 

Hurting people not only does not change them, it is 
never called for. There is an old saying that I have cut 
out and pasted on my mirror where I cannot help but 
see it every day: 

I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I 
can do or any kindness 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 

Give honest and sincere appreciation. 





I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. 
Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but 
I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer 
worms. So when I went fishing, I didn't think about what 
I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't 
bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled 
a worm or a grasshopper in front of the fish and 

said: "Wouldn't you like to have that?" 

Why not use the same common sense when fishing for 

That is what Lloyd George, Great Britain's Prime Minister 
during World War I, did. When someone asked him 
how he managed to stay in power after the other wartime 
leaders - Wilson, Orlando and Clemenceau - had been 
forgotten, he replied that if his staying on top might be 
attributed to any one thing, it would be to his having 
learned that it was necessary to bait the hook to suit the 

Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. 

Of course, you are interested in what you want. 

You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The 

rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we 


So the only way cm earth to influence other people is 
to talk about what they want and show them how to get 

Remember that tomorrow when you are trying to get 
somebody to do something. If, for example, you don't 
want your children to smoke, don't preach at them, and 
don't talk about what you want; but show them that cigarettes 
may keep them from making the basketball team 
or winning the hundred-yard dash. 

This is a good thing to remember regardless of 

whether you are dealing with children or calves or chimpanzees. 

For example: one day Ralph Waldo Emerson 

and his son tried to get a calf into the barn. But they 

made the common mistake of thinking only of what they 

wanted: Emerson pushed and his son pulled. But the 

calf was doing just what they were doing; he was thinking 

only of what he wanted; so he stiffened his legs and 

stubbornly refused to leave the pasture. The Irish housemaid 

saw their predicament. She couldn't write essays 

and books; but, on this occasion at least, she had more 

horse sense, or calf sense, than Emerson had. She 

thought of what the calf wanted; so she put her maternal 

finger in the calf s mouth and let the calf suck her finger 

as she gently led him into the barn. 

Every act you have ever performed since the day you 
were born was performed because you wanted something. 
How about the time you gave a large contribution 
to the Red Cross? Yes, that is no exception to the rule. 
You gave the Red Cross the donation because you 
wanted to lend a helping hand; you wanted to do a beautiful, 
unselfish, divine act. " Inasmuch as ye have done it 
unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done 
it unto me." 

If you hadn't wanted that feeling more than you 

wanted your money, you would not have made the contribution. 

Of course, you might have made the contribution 

because you were ashamed to refuse or because a 

customer asked you to do it. But one thing is certain. You 

made the contribution because you wanted something. 

Harry A, Overstreet in his illuminating book Influencing 

Human Behavior said; "Action springs out of what 

we fundamentally desire . . . and the best piece of advice 

which can be given to would-be persuaders, 

whether in business, in the home, in the school, in politics, 

is: First, arouse in the other person an eager want. 

He who can do this has the whole world with him. He 

who cannot walks a lonely way." 

Andrew Carnegie, the poverty-stricken Scotch lad 
who started to work at two cents an hour and finally gave 
away $365 million, learned early in life that the only 
way to infiuence people is to talk in terms of what the 
other person wants. He attended school only four years; 
yet he learned how to handle people. 

To illustrate: His sister-in-law was worried sick over 
her two boys. They were at Yale, and they were so busy 
with their own affairs that they neglected to write home 
and paid no attention whatever to their mother's frantic 

Then Carnegie offered to wager a hundred dollars that 
he could get an answer by return mail, without even 
asking for it. Someone called his bet; so he wrote his 
nephews a chatty letter, mentioning casually in a post-script 
that he was sending each one a five-dollar bill. 

He neglected, however, to enclose the money. 

Back came replies by return mail thanking "Dear 
Uncle Andrew" for his kind note and-you can finish 
the sentence yourself. 

Another example of persuading comes from Stan 
Novak of Cleveland, Ohio, a participant in our course. 
Stan came home from work one evening to find his 
youngest son, Tim, kicking and screaming on the living 
room fioor. He was to start kindergarten the next day and 
was protesting that he would not go. Stan's normal reaction 
would have been to banish the child to his room 
and tell him he'd just better make up his mind to go. He 
had no choice. But tonight, recognizing that this would 
not really help Tim start kindergarten in the best frame 
of mind, Stan sat down and thought, "If I were Tim, why 
would I be excited about going to kindergarten?" He 
and his wife made a list of all the fun things Tim would 
do such as finger painting, singing songs, making new 
friends. Then they put them into action. "We all started 
finger-painting on the kitchen table-my wife, Lil, my 
other son Bob, and myself, all having fun. Soon Tim was 
peeping around the corner. Next he was begging to participate. 
'Oh, no! You have to go to kindergarten first to 
learn how to finger-paint.' With all the enthusiasm I 
could muster I went through the list talking in terms he 
could understand-telling him all the fun he would 
have in kindergarten. The next morning, I thought I was 
the first one up. I went downstairs and found Tim sitting 
sound asleep in the living room chair. 'What are you 
doing here?' I asked. 'I'm waiting to go to kindergarten. 
I don't want to be late.' The enthusiasm of our entire 
family had aroused in Tim an eager want that no amount 
of discussion or threat could have possibly accomplished." 

Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do 
something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself 
"How can I make this person want to do it?" 

That question will stop us from rushing into a situation 
heedlessly, with futile chatter about our desires. 

At one time I rented the grand ballroom of a certain 
New York hotel for twenty nights in each season in order 
to hold a series of lectures. 

At the beginning of one season, I was suddenly informed 
that I should have to pay almost three times as 
much rent as formerly. This news reached me after the 
tickets had been printed and distributed and all announcements 
had been made. 

Naturally, I didn't want to pay the increase, but what 
was the use of talking to the hotel about what I wanted? 
They were interested only in what they wanted. So a 
couple of days later I went to see the manager. 

"I was a bit shocked when I got your letter," I said, 
"but I don't blame you at all. If I had been in your position, 
I should probably have written a similar letter myself 
Your duty as the manager of the hotel is to make all 
the profit possible. If you don't do that, you will be fired 
and you ought to be fired. Now, let's take a piece of 
paper and write down the advantages and the disadvantages 
that will accrue to you, if you insist on this increase 
in rent." 

Then I took a letterhead and ran a line through the 
center and headed one column "Advantages" and the 
other column "Disadvantages." 

I wrote down under the head "Advantages" these 
words: "Ballroom free." Then I went on to say: "You 
will have the advantage of having the ballroom free to 
rent for dances and conventions. That is a big advantage, 
for affairs like that will pay you much more than you can 
get for a series of lectures. If I tie your ballroom up 
for twenty nights during the course of the season, it is 
sure to mean a loss of some very profitable business to 

"Now, let's 'consider the disadvantages. First, instead 
of increasing your income from me, you are going to 
decrease it. In fact, you are going to wipe it out because 
I cannot pay the rent you are asking. I shall be forced to 
hold these lectures at some other place. 

"There's another disadvantage to you also. These lectures 
attract crowds of educated and cultured people to 
your hotel. That is good advertising for you, isn't it? In 
fact, if you spent five thousand dollars advertising in the 

newspapers, you couldn't bring as many people to look 
at your hotel as I can bring by these lectures. That is 
worth a lot to a hotel, isn't it?" 

As I talked, I wrote these two "disadvantages" under 

the proper heading, and handed the sheet of paper to 

the manager, saying: "I wish you would carefully consider 

both the advantages and disadvantages that are 

going to accrue to you and then give me your final decision." 

I received a letter the next day, informing me that my 
rent would be increased only 50 percent instead of 300 

Mind you, I got this reduction without saying a word 
about what I wanted. I talked all the time about what 
the other person wanted and how he could get it. 

Suppose I had done the human, natural thing; suppose 

I had stormed into his office and said, "What do you 

mean by raising my rent three hundred percent when 

you know the tickets have been printed and the announcements 

made? Three hundred percent! Ridiculous! 

Absurd! I won't pay it!" 

What would have happened then? An argument would 
have begun to steam and boil and sputter - and you 
know how arguments end. Even if I had convinced him 
that he was wrong, his pride would have made it difficult 
for him to back down and give in. 

Here is one of the best bits of advice ever given about 
the fine art of human relationships. "If there is any one 
secret of success," said Henry Ford, "it lies in the ability 
to get the other person's point of view and see things 
from that person's angle as well as from your own." 

That is so good, I want to repeat it: "If there is any one 
secret of success, it lies in the abiUty to get the other 
person's point of view and see things from that person 's 
angle as well as from your own. " 

That is so simple, so obvious, that anyone ought to see 
the truth of it at a glance; yet 90 percent of the people 
on this earth ignore it 90 percent of the time. 

An example? Look at the letters that come across your 
desk tomorrow morning, and you will find that most of 
them violate this important canon of common sense. 
Take this one, a letter written by the head of the radio 
department of an advertising agency with offices scattered 
across the continent. This letter was sent to the 
managers of local radio stations throughout the country. 
(I have set down, in brackets, my reactions to each paragraph.) 

Mr. John Blank, 



Dear Mr. Blank: 

The company desires to retain its position in advertising 

agency leadership in the radio field. 

[Who cares what your company desires? I am worried 
about my own problems. The bank is foreclosing the 
mortage on my house, the bugs are destroying the hollyhocks, 
the stock market tumbled yesterday. I missed 
the eight-fifteen this morning, I wasn't invited to the 
Jones's dance last night, the doctor tells me I have high 
blood pressure and neuritis and dandruff And then what 
happens? I come down to the office this morning worried, 
open my mail and here is some little whippersnapper 
off in New York yapping about what his company 
wants. Bah! If he only realized what sort of impression 
his letter makes, he would get out of the advertising 
business and start manufacturing sheep dip.] 

This agency 's national advertising accounts were the 
bulwark of the network. Our subsequent clearances of 
station time have kept us at the top of agencies year after 

[You are big and rich and right at the top, are you? So 
what? I don't give two whoops in Hades if you are as big 
as General Motors and General Electric and the General 
Staff of the U.S. Army all combined. If you had as much 
sense as a half-witted hummingbird, you would realize 
that I am interested in how big I am - not how big you 
are. All this talk about your enormous success makes me 
feel small and unimportant.] 

We desire to service our accounts with the last word on 

radio station information. 

[You desire! You desire. You unmitigated ass. I'm not 
interested in what you desire or what the President of 
the United States desires. Let me tell you once and for 
all that I am interested in what I desire - and you 
haven't said a word about that yet in this absurd letter of 
yours .] 

Willy oil, therefore, put the company on your 

preferred list for weekly station information - every single 
detail that will he useful to an agency in intelligently hooking 

["Preferred list." You have your nerve! You make me 
feel insignificant by your big talk about your company 
- nd then you ask me to put you on a "preferred" list, 
and you don't even say "please" when you ask it.] 

Kprompt acknowledgment of this letter, giving us your 
latest "doings, " will he mutually helpful. 

[You fool! You mail me a cheap form letter - a letter 
scattered far and wide like the autumn leaves - and you 
have the gall to ask me, when I am worried about the 
mortgage and the hollyhocks and my blood pressure, to 
sit down and dictate a personal note acknowledging your 
form letter - and you ask me to do it "promptly." What 
do you mean, "promptly".? Don't you know I am just as 
busy as you are - or, at least, I like to think I am. And 
while we are on the subject, who gave you the lordly 
right to order me around? . . . You say it will be "mutually 
helpful." At last, at last, you have begun to see my 
viewpoint. But you are vague about how it will be to my 

Very truly yours, 

John Doe 

Manager Radio Department 

P.S. The enclosed reprint from the Blankville Journal will 
he of interest to you, and you may want to hroadcast it over 
your station. 

[Finally, down here in the postscript, you mention 
something that may help me solve one of my problems. 
Why didn't you begin your letter with - but what's the 

use? Any advertising man who is guilty of perpetrating 
such drivel as you have sent me has something wrong 
with his medulla oblongata. You don't need a letter giving 
our latest doings. What you need is a quart of iodine 
in your thyroid gland.] 

Now, if people who devote their lives to advertising 
and who pose as experts in the art of influencing people 
to buy - if they write a letter like that, what can we expect 
from the butcher and baker or the auto mechanic? 

Here is another letter, written by the superintendent 
of a large freight terminal to a student of this course, 
Edward Vermylen. What effect did this letter have on 
the man to whom it was addressed? Read it and then I'll 
tell you. 

A. Zerega's Sons, Inc. 
28 Front St. 
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 
Attention: Mr. Edward Vermylen 

The operations at our outbound-rail-receiving station are 
handicapped because a material percentage of the total 
business is delivered us in the late afternoon. This condition 
results in congestion, overtime on the part of our forces, 
delays to trucks, and in some cases delays to freight. On 
November 10, we received from your company a lot of 510 
pieces, which reached here at 4:20 P.M. 

We solicit your cooperation toward overcoming the undesirable 
effects arising from late receipt of freight. May we 
ask that, on days on which you ship the volume which was 
received on the above date, effort be made either to get the 
truck here earlier or to deliver us part of the freight during 
the morning? 

The advantage that would accrue to you under such an 
arrangement would be that of more expeditious discharge 
of your trucks and the assurance that your business would 
go forward on the date of its receipt. 

Very truly yours, 
J B — - Supt. 

After reading this letter, Mr. Vermylen, sales manager 
for A. Zerega's Sons, Inc., sent it to me with the following 

This letter had the reverse effect from that which was 
intended. The letter begins by describing the Terminal's 
difficulties, in which we are not interested, generally speaking. 
Our cooperation is then requested without any thought 
as to whether it would inconvenience us, and then, finally, 
in the last paragraph, the fact is mentioned that if we do 
cooperate it will mean more expeditious discharge of our 
trucks with the assurance that our freight will go forward on 
the date of its receipt. 

In other words, that in which we are most interested is 
mentioned last and the whole effect is one of raising a spirit 
of antagonism rather than of cooperation. 

Let's see if we can't rewrite and improve this letter. 
Let's not waste any time talking about our problems. As 
Henry Ford admonishes, let's "get the other person's 
point of view and see things from his or her angle, as 
well as from our own." 

Here is one way of revising the letter. It may not be 
the best way, but isn't it an improvement? 

Mr. Edward Vermylen 
% A. Zerega's Sons, Inc. 
28 Front St. 
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 

Dear Mr. Vermylen: 

Your company has been one of our good customers for 
fourteen years. Naturally, we are very grateful for your patronage 
and are eager to give you the speedy, efficient service 
you deserve. However, we regret to say that it isn't 
possible for us to do that when your trucks bring us a large 
shipment late in the afternoon, as they did on November 
10. Why? Because many other customers make late afternoon 
deliveries also. Naturally, that causes congestion. That 
means your trucks are held up unavoidably at the pier and 
sometimes even your freight is delayed. 

That's bad, but it can be avoided. If you make your deliveries 

at the pier in the morning when possible, your trucks 
will be able to keep moving, your freight will get immediate 
attention, and our workers will get home early at night to 
enjoy a dinner of the delicious macaroni and noodles that 
you manufacture. 

Regardless of when your shipments arrive, we shall always 
cheerfully do all in our power to serve you promptly. 
You are busy. Please don't trouble to answer this note. 

Yours truly, 
J B , supt. 

Barbara Anderson, who worked in a bank in New 
York, desired to move to Phoenix, Arizona, because of 
the health of her son. Using the principles she had 
learned in our course, she wrote the following letter to 
twelve banks in Phoenix: 

Dear Sir: 

My ten years of bank experience should be of interest to 
a rapidly growing bank like yours. 

In various capacities in bank operations with the Bankers 
Trust Company in New York, leading to my present assignment 
as Branch Manager, I have acquired skills in all 
phases of banking including depositor relations, credits, 
loans and administration. 

I will be relocating to Phoenix in May and I am sure I can 
contribute to your growth and profit. I will be in Phoenix 
the week of April 3 and would appreciate the opportunity 
to show you how I can help your bank meet its goals. 

Barbara L. Anderson 

Do you think Mrs. Anderson received any response 
from that letter? Eleven of the twelve banks invited her 
to be interviewed, and she had a choice of which bank's 
offer to accept. Why? Mrs. Anderson did not state what 
she wanted, but wrote in the letter how she could help 
them, and focused on their wants, not her own. 

Thousands of salespeople are pounding the pavements 
today, tired, discouraged and underpaid. Why? 
Because they are always thinking only of what they 
want. They don't realize that neither you nor I want to 
buy anything. If we did, we would go out and buy it. But 
both of us are eternally interested in solving our problems. 
And if salespeople can show us how their services 
or merchandise will help us solve our problems, they 
won't need to sell us. We'll buy. And customers like to 
feel that they are buying - not being sold. 

Yet many salespeople spend a lifetime in selling without 
seeing things from the customer's angle. For example, 
for many years I lived in Forest Hills, a little 
community of private homes in the center of Greater 
New York. One day as I was rushing to the station, I 
chanced to meet a real-estate operator who had bought 
and sold property in that area for many years. He knew 
Forest Hills well, so I hurriedly asked him whether or 
not my stucco house was built with metal lath or hollow 
tile. He said he didn't know and told me what I already 
knew - that I could find out by calling the Forest Hills 
Garden Association. The following morning, I received 
a letter from him. Did he give me the information I 
wanted? He could have gotten it in sixty seconds by a 
telephone call. But he didn't. He told me again that I 
could get it by telephoning, and then asked me to let 
him handle my insurance. 

He was not interested in helping me. He was interested 
only in helping himself 

J. Howard Lucas of Birmingham, Alabama, tells how 
two salespeople from the same company handled the 
same type of situation. He reported: 

"Several years ago I was on the management team of 
a small company. Headquartered near us was the district 
office of a large insurance company. Their agents were 
assigned territories, and our company was assigned to 
two agents, whom I shall refer to as Carl and John. 

"One morning, Carl dropped by our office and casually 
mentioned that his company had just introduced a 
new life insurance policy for executives and thought we 

might be interested later on and he would get back to us 
when he had more information on it. 

"The same day, John saw us on the sidewalk while 
returning from a coffee break, and he shouted: 'Hey 
Luke, hold up, I have some great news for you fellows.' 
He hurried over and very excitedly told us about an executive 
life insurance policy his company had introduced 
that very day. (It was the same policy that Carl 
had casually mentioned.) He wanted us to have one of 
the first issued. He gave us a few important facts about 
the coverage and ended saying, 'The policy is so new, 
I'm going to have someone from the home office come 
out tomorrow and explain it. Now, in the meantime, let's 
get the applications signed and on the way so he can 
have more information to work with.' His enthusiasm 
aroused in us an eager want for this policy even though 
we still did not have details. When they were made 
available to us, they confirmed John' s initial understanding 
of the policy, and he not only sold each of us a policy, 
but later doubled our coverage. 

"Carl could have had those sales, but he made no effort 
to arouse in us any desire for the policies." 

The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. 

So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to 

serve others has an enormous advantage. He has little 

competition. Owen D. Young, a noted lawyer and one of 

America's great business leaders, once said: "People 

who can put themselves in the place of other people 

who can understand the workings of their minds, need 

never worry about what the future has in store for 


If out of reading this book you get just one thing - an 
increased tendency to think always in terms of other 
people's point of view, and see things from their angle 
- if you get that one thing out of this book, it may 
easily prove to be one of the building blocks of your 

Looking at the other person's point of view and arousing 
in him an eager want for something is not to be 
construed as manipulating that person so that he will do 
something that is only for your benefit and his detriment. 

Each party should gain from the negotiation. In the letters 
to Mr. Vermylen, both the sender and the receiver 
of the correspondence gained by implementing what 
was suggested. Both the bank and Mrs. Anderson won 
by her letter in that the bank obtained a valuable employee 
and Mrs. Anderson a suitable job. And in the 
example of John's sale of insurance to Mr. Lucas, both 
gained through this transaction. 

Another example in which everybody gains through 
this principle of arousing an eager want comes from Michael 
E. Whidden of Warwick, Rhode Island, who is a 
territory salesman for the Shell Oil Company. Mike 
wanted to become the Number One salesperson in his 
district, but one service station was holding him back. It 
was run by an older man who could not be motivated to 
clean up his station. It was in such poor shape that sales 
were declining significantly. 

This manager would not listen to any of Mike's pleas 
to upgrade the station. After many exhortations and 
heart-to-heart talks - all of which had no impact - Mike 
decided to invite the manager to visit the newest Shell 
station in his territory. 

The manager was so impressed by the facilities at the 
new station that when Mike visited him the next time, 
his station was cleaned up and had recorded a sales increase. 
This enabled Mike to reach the Number One 
spot in his district. All his talking and discussion hadn't 
helped, but by arousing an eager want in the manager, 
by showing him the modern station, he had accomplished 
his goal, and both the manager and Mike benefited. 

Most people go through college and learn to read Virgil 
and master the mysteries of calculus without ever 
discovering how their own minds function. For instance: 
I once gave a course in Effective Speaking for the young 
college graduates who were entering the employ of the 
Carrier Corporation, the large air-conditioner manufacturer. 
One of the participants wanted to persuade the 
others to play basketball in their free time, and this is 
about what he said: "I want you to come out and play 
basketball. I like to play basketball, but the last few 
times I've been to the gymnasium there haven't been 
enough people to get up a game. Two or three of us got 

to throwing the ball around the other night - and I got a 
black eye. I wish all of you would come down tomorrow 
night. I want to play basketball." 

Did he talk about anything you want? You don't want 
to go to a gymnasium that no one else goes to, do you? 
You don't care about what he wants. You don't want to 
get a black eye. 

Could he have shown you how to get the things you 
want by using the gymnasium? Surely. More pep. 
Keener edge to the appetite. Clearer brain. Fun. Games. 

To repeat Professor Overstreet's wise advice: First, 
arouse in the other person an eager want He who can 
do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot 
walks a lonely way. 

One of the students in the author's training course was 
worried about his little boy. The child was underweight 
and refused to eat properly. His parents used the usual 
method. They scolded and nagged. "Mother wants you 
to eat this and that." "Father wants you to grow up to be 
a big man." 

Did the boy pay any attention to these pleas? Just 

about as much as you pay to one fleck of sand on a sandy 


No one with a trace of horse sense would expect a 
child three years old to react to the viewpoint of a father 
thirty years old. Yet that was precisely what that father 
had expected. It was absurd. He finally saw that. So he 
said to himself "What does that boy want? How can I 
tie up what I want to what he wants?" 

It was easy for the father when he starting thinking 
about it. His boy had a tricycle that he loved to ride up 
and down the sidewalk in front of the house in Brooklyn. 
A few doors down the street lived a bully - a bigger boy 
who would pull the little boy off his tricycle and ride it 

Naturally, the little boy would run screaming to his 
mother, and she would have to come out and take the 

bully off the tricycle and put her little boy on again, This 
happened almost every day. 

What did the little boy want? It didn't take a Sherlock 
Holmes to answer that one. His pride, his anger, his 
desire for a feeling of importance - all the strongest 
emotions in his makeup - goaded him to get revenge, to 
smash the bully in the nose. And when his father explained 
that the boy would be able to wallop the daylights 
out of the bigger kid someday if he would only eat 
the things his mother wanted him to eat - when his father 
promised him that - there was no longer any problem 
of dietetics. That boy would have eaten spinach, 
sauerkraut, salt mackerel - anything in order to be big 
enough to whip the bully who had humiliated him so 

After solving that problem, the parents tackled another: 
the little boy had the unholy habit of wetting his bed. 

He slept with his grandmother. In the morning, his 
grandmother would wake up and feel the sheet and say: 
"Look, Johnny, what you did again last night." 

He would say: "No, I didn't do it. You did it." 

Scolding, spanking, shaming him, reiterating that the 
parents didn't want him to do it - none of these things 
kept the bed dry. So the parents asked: "How can we 
make this boy want to stop wetting his bed?" 

What were his wants? First, he wanted to wear pajamas 
like Daddy instead of wearing a nightgown like 
Grandmother. Grandmother was getting fed up with his 
nocturnal iniquities, so she gladly offered to buy him a 
pair of pajamas if he would reform. Second, he wanted a 
bed of his own. Grandma didn't object. 

His mother took him to a department store in Brooklyn, 
winked at the salesgirl, and said: "Here is a little 
gentleman who would like to do some shopping." 

The salesgirl made him feel important by saying: 
"Young man, what can I show you?" 

He stood a couple of inches taller and said: "I want to 

buy a bed for myself." 

When he was shown the one his mother wanted him 

to buy, she winked at the salesgirl and the boy was persuaded 

to buy it. 

The bed was delivered the next day; and that night, 
when Father came home, the little boy ran to the door 
shouting: "Daddy! Daddy! Come upstairs and see my 
bed that I bought!" 

The father, looking at the bed, obeyed Charles 
Schwab's injunction: he was "hearty in his approbation 
and lavish in his praise." 

"You are not going to wet this bed, are you?" the father 
said. " Oh, no, no! I am not going to wet this bed." The boy 
kept his promise, for his pride was involved. That was 
his bed. He and he alone had bought it. And he was 
wearing pajamas now like a little man. He wanted to act 
like a man. And he did. 

Another father, K. T. Dutschmann, a telephone engineer, 
a student of this course, couldn't get his three-year 
old daughter to eat breakfast food. The usual scolding, 
pleading, coaxing methods had all ended in futility. So 
the parents asked themselves: "How can we make her 
want to do it?" 

The little girl loved to imitate her mother, to feel big 

and grown up; so one morning they put her on a chair 

and let her make the breakfast food. At just the psychological 

moment. Father drifted into the kitchen while 

she was stirring the cereal and she said: "Oh, look. 

Daddy, I am making the cereal this morning." 

She ate two helpings of the cereal without any coaxing, 
because she was interested in it. She had achieved 
a feeling of importance; she had found in making the 
cereal an avenue of self-expression. 

William Winter once remarked that "self-expression is 
the dominant necessity of human nature." Why can't we 
adapt this same psychology to business dealings? When 
we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think 
it is ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea themselves. 

They will then regard it as their own; they will 
like it and maybe eat a couple of helpings of it. 

Remember: "First, arouse in the other person an eager 
want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. 
He who cannot walks a lonely way. " 

Arouse in the other person an eager want. 

In a Nutshell 



Don't criticize, condemn or complain. 


Give honest and sincere appreciation. 


Arouse in the other person an eager want. 

Ways to Make People 
Like You 





Why read this book to find out how to win fi-iends? Why 
not study the technique of the greatest winner of fi'iends 
the world has ever known? Who is he? You may meet 
him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get 
within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If 
you stop and pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin 
to show you how much he likes you. And you know that 
behind this show of affection on his part, there are no 
ulterior motives: he doesn't want to sell you any real 
estate, and he doesn't want to marry you. 

Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal 
that doesn't have to work for a living? A hen has to lay 
eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. 
But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but 

When I was five years old, my father bought a little 
yellow-haired pup for fifty cents. He was the light and 
joy of my childhood. Every afternoon about four-thirty, 
he would sit in the front yard with his beautiful eyes 
staring steadfastly at the path, and as soon as he heard 
my voice or saw me swinging my dinner pail through 
the buck brush, he was off like a shot, racing breathlessly 
up the hill to greet me with leaps of joy and barks of 
sheer ecstasy. 

Tippy was my constant companion for five years. Then 
one tragic night - 1 shall never forget it - he was killed 
within ten feet of my head, killed by lightning. Tippy's 
death was the tragedy of my boyhood. 

You never read a book on psychology, Tippy. You 
didn't need to. You knew by some divine instinct that 
you can make more friends in two months by becoming 
genuinely interested in other people than you can in two 
years by trying to get other people interested in you. Let 
me repeat that. You can make more friends in two 
months by becoming interested in other people than you 
can in two years by trying to get other people interested 
in you. 

Yet I know and you know people who blunder through 
life trying to wigwag other people into becoming interested 
in them. 

Of course, it doesn't work. People are not interested 

in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested 

in themselves - morning, noon and after dinner. 

The New York Telephone Company made a detailed 
study of telephone conversations to find out which word 
is the most frequently used. You have guessed it: it is 
the personal pronoun "L" "L" L" It was used 3,900 
times in 500 telephone conversations. "L" "L" "L" "L" 
When you see a group photograph that you are in, 
whose picture do you look for first? 

If we merely try to impress people and get people 
interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere 
friends. Friends, real friends, are not made that way. 

Napoleon tried it, and in his last meeting with Josephine 

he said: "Josephine, I have been as fortunate as 

any man ever was on this earth; and yet, at this hour, you 

are the only person in the world on whom I can rely." 

And historians doubt whether he could rely even on 


Alfred Adler, the famous Viennese psychologist, wrote 
a book entitled What Life Should Mean to You. In that 
book he says: "It is the individual who is not interested 
in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life 
and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from 
among such individuals that all human failures spring." 

You may read scores of erudite tomes on psychology 
without coming across a statement more significant for 
you and for me. Adler' s statement is so rich with meaning 
that I am going to repeat it in italics: 

It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow 
men who has the greatest difjculties in life and provides 
the greutest injury to others. It is from umong such individuals 
that all humun failures spring. 

I once took a course in short- story writing at New York 
University, and during that course the editor of a leading 
magazine talked to our class. He said he could pick up 
any one of the dozens of stories that drifted across his 
desk every day and after reading a few paragraphs he 

could feel whether or not the author liked people. "If 
the author doesn't like people," he said, "people won't 
like his or her stories." 

This hard-boiled editor stopped twice in the course of 
his talk on fiction writing and apologized for preaching 
a sermon. "I am telling you," he said, "the same things 
your preacher would tell you, but remember, you have 
to be interested in people if you want to be a successful 
writer of stories." 

If that is true of writing fiction, you can be sure it is 
true of dealing with people face-to-face. 

I spent an evening in the dressing room of 


Thurston the last time he appeared on 

Broadway - 

Thurston was the acknowledged dean of magicians. For forty 

years he had traveled all over the world, time and again, 

creating illusions, mystifying audiences, and making 

people gasp with astonishment. More than 60 million 

people had paid admission to his show, and he had made 

almost $2 million in profit. 

I asked Mr. Thurston to tell me the secret of his success. 
His schooling certainly had nothing to do with it, 
for he ran away from home as a small boy, became a 
hobo, rode in boxcars, slept in haystacks, begged his 
food from door to door, and learned to read by looking 
out of boxcars at signs along the railway. 

Did he have a superior knowledge of magic? No, he 

told me hundreds of books had been written about legerdemain 

and scores of people knew as much about it as 

he did. But he had two things that the others didn't have. 

First, he had the ability to put his personality across the 

footlights. He was a master showman. He knew human 

nature. Everj^thing he did, every gesture, every intonation 

of his voice, every lifting of an eyebrow had been 

carefully rehearsed in advance, and his actions were 

timed to split seconds. But, in addition to that, Thurston 

had a genuine interest in people. He told me that many 

magicians would look at the audience and say to themselves, 

"Well, there is a bunch of suckers out there, a 

bunch of hicks; I'll fool them all right." But Thurston's 

method was totally different. He told me that every time 
he went on stage he said to himself "I am gratefUl because 
these people come to see me, They make it possible 
for me to make my living in a very agreeable way. 
I'm going to give them the very best I possibly can." 

He declared he never stepped in front of the footlights 

without first saying to himself over and over: "I love my 

audience. I love my audience." Ridiculous? Absurd? 

You are privileged to think anything you like. I 


merely passing it on to you without comment as a recipe 

used by one of the most famous magicians of all time. 

George Dyke of North Warren, Pennsylvania, was 
forced to retire from his service station business after 
thirty years when a new highway was constructed over 
the site of his station. It wasn't long before the idle days 
of retirement began to bore him, so he started filling in 
his time trying to play music on his old fiddle. Soon he 
was traveling the area to listen to music and talk with 
many of the accomplished fiddlers. In his humble and 
friendly way he became generally interested in learning 
the background and interests of every musician he met. 
Although he was not a great fiddler himself, he made 
many friends in this pursuit. He attended competitions 
and soon became known to the country music fans in the 
eastern part of the United States as "Uncle George, the 
Fiddle Scraper from Kinzua County." When we heard 
Uncle George, he was seventy-two and enjoying every 
minute of his life. By having a sustained interest in other 
people, he created a new life for himself at a time when 
most people consider their productive years over. 

That, too, was one of the secrets of Theodore Roosevelt's 
astonishing popularity. Even his servants loved 
him. His valet, James E. Amos, wrote a book about him 
entitled Theodore Roosevelt, Hero to His Valet. In that 
book Amos relates this illuminating incident: 

My wife one time asked the President about a bobwhite. 
She had never seen one and he described it to her fully. 
Sometime later, the telephone at our cottage rang. [Amos 
and his wife lived in a little cottage on the Roosevelt estate 
at Oyster Bay.] My wife answered it and it was Mr. Roosevelt 
himself He had called her, he said, to tell her that there 

was a bobwhite outside her window and that if she would 
look out she might see it. Little things like that were so 
characteristic of him. Whenever he went by our cottage, 
even though we were out of sight, we would hear him call 
out: "Oo-oo-oo, Annie?" or "Oo-oo-oo, James!" It was just a 
friendly greeting as he went by. 

How could employees keep from liking a man like 
that? How could anyone keep from liking him? 
Roosevelt called at the White House one day when 
the President and Mrs. Taft were away. His honest liking 
for humble people was shown by the fact that he 
greeted all the old White House servants by name, even 
the scullery maids. 

"When he saw Alice, the kitchen maid," writes Archie 
Butt, "he asked her if she still made corn bread. Alice 
told him that she sometimes made it for the servants, but 
no one ate it upstairs. 

'"They show bad taste,' Roosevelt boomed, 'and I'll 
tell the President so when I see him. ' 

"Alice brought a piece to him on a plate, and he went 

over to the office eating it as he went and greeting gardeners 

and laborers as he passed. . . 

"He addressed each person just as he had addressed 

them in the past. Ike Hoover, who had been head usher 

at the White House for forty years, said with tears in his 

eyes: 'It is the only happy day we had in nearly two 

years, and not one of us would exchange it for a hundred-dollar 


The same concern for the seemingly unimportant people 
helped sales representative Edward M. Sykes, Jr., of 
Chatham, New Jersey, retain an account. "Many years 
ago," he reported, "I called on customers for Johnson 
and Johnson in the Massachusetts area. One account was 
a drug store in Hingham. Whenever I went into this 
store I would always talk to the soda clerk and sales 
clerk for a few minutes before talking to the owner to 
obtain his order. One day I went up to the owner of the 
store, and he told me to leave as he was not interested in 
buying J&J products anymore because he felt they were 
concentrating their activities on food and discount stores 

to the detriment of the small drugstore. I left with my 
tail between my legs and drove around the town ft)r several 
hours. Finally, I decided to go back and try at least 
to explain our position to the owner of the store. 

"When I returned I walked in and as usual said hello 
to the soda clerk and sales clerk. When I walked up to 
the owner, he smiled at me and welcomed me back. He 
then gave me double the usual order, I looked at him 
with surprise and asked him what had happened since 
my visit only a few hours earlier. He pointed to the 
young man at the soda fountain and said that after I had 
left, the boy had come over and said that I was one of the 
few salespeople that called on the store that even bothered 
to say hello to him and to the others in the store. He 
told the owner that if any salesperson deserved his business, 
it was I. The owner agreed and remained a loyal 
customer. I never forgot that to be genuinely interested 
in other people is a most important quality for a sales-person 
to possess - for any person, for that matter." 

I have discovered from personal experience that one 

can win the attention and time and cooperation of even 

the most sought-after people by becoming genuinely interested 

in them. Let me illustrate. 

Years ago I conducted a course in fiction writing at the 
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, and we wanted 
such distinguished and busy authors as Kathleen Norris, 
Fannie Hurst, Ida Tarbell, Albert Payson Terhune and 
Rupert Hughes to come to Brooklyn and give us the 
benefit of their experiences. So we wrote them, saying 
we admired their work and were deeply interested in 
getting their advice and learning the secrets of their success. 

Each of these letters was signed by about a hundred 
and fifty students. We said we realized that these authors 
were busy - too busy to prepare a lecture. So we enclosed 
a list of questions for them to answer about themselves 
and their methods of work. They liked that. Who 
wouldn't like it? So they left their homes and traveled to 
Brooklyn to give us a helping hand. 

By using the same method, I persuaded Leslie M. 
Shaw, secretary of the treasury in Theodore Roosevelt's 
cabinet; George W. Wickersham, attorney general in 

Taft's cabinet; William Jennings Bryan; Franklin D. 
Roosevelt and many other prominent men to come to 
talk to the students of my courses in public speaking. 

All of us, be we workers in a factory, clerks in an office 
or even a king upon his throne - all of us like people 
who admire us. Take the German Kaiser, for example. At 
the close of World War I he was probably the most savagely 
and universally despised man on this earth. Even 
his own nation turned against him when he fled over 
into Holland to save his neck. The hatred against him 
was so intense that millions of people would have loved 
to tear him limb from limb or burn him at the stake. In 
the midst of all this forest fire of fury, one little boy wrote 
the Kaiser a simple, sincere letter glowing with kindliness 
and admiration. This little boy said that no matter 
what the others thought, he would always love Wilhelm 
as his Emperor. The Kaiser was deeply touched by his 
letter and invited the little boy to come to see him. The 
boy came, so did his mother - and the Kaiser married 
her. That little boy didn't need to read a book on how to 
win friends and influence people. He knew how instinctively. 

If we want to make friends, let's put ourselves out to 
do things for other people - things that require time, energy, 
unselfishness and thoughtflilness. When the Duke 
of Windsor was Prince of Wales, he was scheduled to 
tour South America, and before he started out on that 
tour he spent months studying Spanish so that he could 
make public talks in the language of the country; and 
the South Americans loved him for it. 

For years I made it a point to find out the birthdays of 
my friends. How? Although I haven't the foggiest bit of 
faith in astrology, I began by asking the other party 
whether he believed the date of one's birth has anything 
to do with character and disposition. I then asked him or 
her to tell me the month and day of birth. If he or she 
said November 24, for example, I kept repeating to myself, 
"November 24, November 24." The minute my 
friend's back was turned, I wrote down the name and 
birthday and later would transfer it to a birthday book. 
At the beginning of each year, I had these birthday dates 
scheduled in my calendar pad so that they came to my 
attention automatically. When the natal day arrived, 
there was my letter or telegram. What a hit it made! I 

was frequently the only person on earth who remembered. 

If we want to make friends, let's greet people with 
animation and enthusiasm. When somebody calls you on 
the telephone use the same psychology. Say "Hello" in 
tones that bespeak how pleased YOU are to have the person 
call. Many companies train their telephone operatars 
to greet all callers in a tone of voice that radiates 
interest and enthusiasm. The caller feels the company is 
concerned about them. Let's remember that when we 
answer the telephone tomorrow. 

Showing a genuine interest in others not only wins 
friends for you, but may develop in its customers a loyalty 
to your company. In an issue of the publication of 
the National Bank of North America of New York, the 
following letter from Madeline Rosedale, a depositor, 
was published: * 

* Eagle, publication of the Natinnal Bank of North America, h-ew York, 

March 31, 1978. 

"I would like you to know how much I appreciate 
your staff Everyone is so courteous, polite and helpful. 
What a pleasure it is, after waiting on a long line, to have 
the teller greet you pleasantly. 

"Last year my mother was hospitalized for five 
months. Frequently I went to Marie Petrucello, a teller. 
She was concerned about my mother and inquired about 
her progress." 

Is there any doubt that Mrs. Rosedale will continue to 
use this bank? 

Charles R. Walters, of one of the large banks in New 
York City, was assigned to prepare a confidential report 
on a certain corporation. He knew of only one person 
who possessed the facts he needed so urgently. As Mr. 
Walters was ushered into the president's office, a young 
woman stuck her head through a door and told the president 
that she didn't have any stamps for him that day. 

"I am collecting stamps for my twelve-year-old son," 
the president explained to Mr. Walters. 

Mr. Walters stated his mission and began asking questions. 

The president was vague, general, nebulous. He 

didn't want to talk, and apparently nothing could persuade 

him to talk. The interview was brief and barren. 

"Frankly, I didn't know what to do," Mr. Walters said 
as he related the story to the class. "Then I remembered 
what his secretary had said to him - stamps, twelve-year- 
old son. . . And I also recalled that the foreign department 
of our bank collected stamps - stamps taken 
from letters pouring in from every continent washed by 
the seven seas. 

"The next afternoon I called on this man and sent in 
word that I had some stamps for his boy. Was I ushered 
in with enthusiasm? Yes sir. He couldn't have shaken 
my hand with more enthusiasm if he had been running 
for Congress. He radiated smiles and good will. 'My 
George will love this one,' he kept saying as he fondled 
the stamps. 'And look at this! This is a treasure.' 

"We spent half an hour talking stamps and looking at 
a picture of his boy, and he then devoted more than an 
hour of his time to giving me every bit of information I 
wanted - without my even suggesting that he do it. He 
told me all he knew, and then called in his subordinates 
and questioned them. He telephoned some of his associates. 
He loaded me down with facts, figures, reports 
and correspondence. In the parlance of newspaper reporters, 
I had a scoop." 

Here is another illustration: 

C. M. Knap hie, Jr., of Philadelphia had tried for years 
to sell fuel to a large chain-store organization. But the 
chain-store company continued to purchase its fiael from 
an out-of-town dealer and haul it right past the door of 
Knaphle's office. Mr, Knaphle made a speech one night 
before one of my classes, pouring out his hot wrath 
upon chain stores, branding them as a curse to the 

And still he wondered why he couldn't sell them. 

I suggested that he try different tactics. To put it 

briefly, this is what happened. We staged a debate between 

members of the course on whether the spread of 

the chain store is doing the country more harm than 

Knaphle, at my suggestion, took the negative side; he 
agreed to defend the chain stores, and then went straight 
to an executive of the chain-store organization that he 
despised and said: "I am not here to try to sell fuel. I 
have come to ask you to do me a favor." He then told 
about his debate and said, "I have come to you for help 
because I can't think of anyone else who would be more 
capable of giving me the facts I want. I'm anxious to win 
this debate, and I'll deeply appreciate whatever help 
you can give me." 

Here is the rest of the story in Mr. Knaphle' s own 

I had asked this man for precisely one minute of his time. 
It was with that understanding that he consented to see me. 
After I had stated my case, he motioned me to a chair and 
talked to me for exactly one hour and forty-seven minutes. 
He called in another executive who had written a book on 
chain stores. He wrote to the National Chain Store Association 
and secured for me a copy of a debate on the subject. 
He feels that the chain store is rendering a real service to 
humanity. He is proud of what he is doing for hundreds of 
communities. His eyes fairly glowed as he talked, and I 
must confess that he opened my eyes to things I had never 
even dreamed of He changed my whole mental attitude. 
As I was leaving, he walked with me to the door, put his 
arm around my shoulder, wished me well in my debate, and 
asked me to stop in and see him again and let him know 
how I made out. The last words he said to me were: "Please 
see me again later in the spring. I should like to place an 
order with you for fuel." 

To me that was almost a miracle. Here he was offering to 
buy fuel without my even suggesting it. I had made more 
headway in two hours by becoming genuinely interested in 
him and his problems than I could have made in ten years 
trying to get him interested in me and my product. 

You didn't discover a new truth, Mr. Knaphle, for a 
long time ago, a hundred years before Christ was born 
a famous old Roman poet, Publilius Syrus, remarked; 
"We are interested in others when they are interested in us." 

A show of interest, as with every other principle of 
human relations, must be sincere. It must pay off not 
only for the person showing the interest, but for the person 
receiving the attention. It is a two-way street-both 
parties benefit. 

Martin Ginsberg, who took our Course in Long Island 
New York, reported how the special interest a nurse took 
in him profoundly affected his life: 

"It was Thanksgiving Day and I was ten years old. I 

was in a welfare ward of a city hospital and was scheduled 

to undergo major orthopedic surgery the next day. 

I knew that I could only look forward to months of confinement, 

convalescence and pain. My father was dead; 

my mother and I lived alone in a small apartment and 

we were on welfare. My mother was unable to visit me 

that day. 

"As the day went on, I became overwhelmed with the 
feeling of loneliness, despair and fear. I knew my 
mother was home alone worrying about me, not having 
anyone to be with, not having anyone to eat with and not 
even having enough money to afford a Thanksgiving 
Day dinner. 

"The tears welled up in my eyes, and I stuck my head 
under the pillow and pulled the covers over it, I cried 
silently, but oh so bitterly, so much that my body racked 
with pain. 

"A young student nurse heard my sobbing and came 
over to me. She took the covers off my face and started 
wiping my tears. She told me how lonely she was, having 
to work that day and not being able to be with her 
family. She asked me whether I would have dinner with 
her. She brought two trays of food: sliced turkey, mashed 
a potatoes, cranberry sauce and ice cream for dessert. She 
talked to me and tried to calm my fears. Even though 
she was scheduled to go off duty at 4 P.M., she stayed on 
her own time until almost 1 1 P.M. She played games 
with me, talked to me and stayed with me until I finally 
fell asleep. 

"Many Thanksgivings have come and gone since I 

was ten, but one never passes without me remembering 
that particular one and my feelings of frustration, fear, 
loneliness and the warmth and tenderness of the 
stranger that somehow made it all bearable." 

If you want others to like you, if you want to develop 
real friendships, if you want to help others at the 
same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in 


Become genuinely interested in other 






At a dinner party in New York, one of the guests, a 
woman who had inherited money, was eager to make 
a pleasing impression on everyone. She had squandered 
a modest fortune on sables, diamonds and pearls. But 
she hadn't done anything whatever about her face. It 
radiated sourness and selfishness. She didn't realize 
what everyone knows: namely, that the expression one 
wears on one's face is far more important than the 
clothes one wears on one's back. 

Charles Schwab told me his smile had been worth a 

million dollars. And he was probably understating the 

truth. For Schwab's personality, his charm, his ability to 

make people like him, were almost wholly responsible 

for his extraordinary success; and one of the most delightful 

factors in his personality was his captivating 


Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, "I 
like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you." 
That is why dogs make such a hit. They are so glad to 

see us that they almost jump out of their skins. So, naturally, 
we are glad to see them. 

A baby's smile has the same effect. 

Have you ever been in a doctor's waiting room and 
looked around at all the glum faces waiting impatiently 
to be seen? Dr, Stephen K. Sproul, a veterinarian in Raytown, 
Missouri, told of a typical spring day when his 
waiting room was full of clients waiting to have their 
pets inoculated. No one was talking to anyone else, and 
all were probably thinking of a dozen other things they 
would rather be doing than "wasting time" sitting in that 
office. He told one of our classes: "There were six or 
seven clients waiting when a young woman came in 
with a nine-month-old baby and a kitten. As luck would 
have it, she sat down next to a gentleman who was more 
than a little distraught about the long wait for service. 
The next thing he knew, the baby just looked up at him 
with that great big smile that is so characteristic of babies. 
What did that gentleman do? Just what you and I 
would do, of course; he-smiled back at the baby. Soon 
he struck up a conversation with the woman about her 
baby and his grandchildren, and soon the entire reception 
room joined in, and the boredom and tension were 
converted into a pleasant and enjoyable experience." 

An insincere grin? No. That doesn't fool anybody. We 
know it is mechanical and we resent it. I am talking 
about a real smile, a heartwarming smile, a smile that 
comes from within, the kind of smile that will bring a 
good price in the marketplace. 

Professor James V. McConnell, a psychologist at the 
University of Michigan, expressed his feelings about a 
smile. "People who smile," he said, "tend to manage 
teach and sell more effectively, and to raise happier 
children. There's far more information in a smile than a 
frown. That's why encouragement is a much more effective 
teaching device than punishment." 

The employment manager of a large New York department 
store told me she would rather hire a sales clerk 
who hadn't finished grade school, if he or she has a 
pleasant smile, than to hire a doctor of philosophy with 
a somber face. 

The effect of a smile is powerful - even when it is 
unseen. Telephone companies throughout the United 
States have a program called "phone power" which is 
offered to employees who use the telephone for selling 
their services or products. In this program they suggest 
that you smile when talking on the phone. Your "smile" 
comes through in your voice. 

Robert Cryer, manager of a computer department for a 
Cincinnati, Ohio, company, told how he had successfully 
found the right applicant for a hard-to-fill position: 

"I was desperately trying to recruit a Ph.D. in computer 

science for my department. I finally located a 

young man with ideal qualifications who was about to 

be graduated from Purdue University. After several 

phone conversations I learned that he had several offers 

from other companies, many of them larger and better 

known than mine. I was delighted when he accepted my 

offer. After he started on the job, I asked him why he 

had chosen us over the others. He paused for a moment 

and then he said: 'I think it was because managers in the 

other companies spoke on the phone in a cold, business-like 

manner, which made me feel like just another business 

transaction. Your voice sounded as if you were glad 

to hear from me . . . that you really wanted me to be part 

of your organization. ' You can be assured, I am still answering 

my phone with a smile." 

The chairman of the board of directors of one of the 
largest rubber companies 'in the United States told me 
that, according to his observations, people rarely succeed 
at anything unless they have fun doing it. This 
industrial leader doesn't put much faith in the old adage 
that hard work alone is the magic key that will unlock 
the door to our desires, "I have known people," he said, 
"who succeeded because they had a rip-roaring good 
time conducting their business. Later, I saw those people 
change as the flm became work. The business had 
grown dull. They lost all joy in it, and they failed." 

You must have a good time meeting people if you expect 
them to have a good time meeting you. 

I have asked thousands of business people to smile at 

someone every hour of the day for a week and then come 
to class and talk about the results. How did it work? 
Let's see. . . Here is a letter from William B. Steinhardt, 
a New York stockbroker. His case isn't isolated. In fact, 
it is typical of hundreds of cases. 

"1 have been married for over eighteen years," wrote 
Mr. Steinhardt, "and in all that time I seldom smiled at 
my wife or spoke two dozen words to her from the time 
I got up until I was ready to leave for business. I was 
one of the worst grouches who ever walked down Broadway. 

"When you asked me to make a talk about my experience 
with smiles, I thought I would try it for a week. So 
the next morning, while combing my hair, I looked at 
my glum mug in the mirror and said to myself, 'Bill, you 
are going to wipe the scowl off that sour puss of yours 
today. You are going to smile. And you are going to begin 
right now. ' As I sat down to breakfast, I greeted my wife 
with a 'Good morning, my dear,' and smiled as I said 

"You warned me that she might be surprised. Well, 
you underestimated her reaction. She was bewildered. 
She was shocked. I told her that in the future she could 
expect this as a regular occurrence, and I kept it up every 

"This changed attitude of mine brought more happiness 
into our home in the two months since I started 
than there was during the last year. 

"As I leave for my office, I greet the elevator operator 
in the apartment house with a 'Good morning' and a 
smile, I greet the doorman with a smile. I smile at the 
cashier in the subway booth when I ask for change. As I 
stand on the floor of the Stock Exchange, I smile at people 
who until recently never saw me smile. 

"I soon found that everybody was smiling back at me, 

I treat those who come to me with complaints or grievances 

in a cheerful manner, I smile as I listen to them 

and I find that adjustments are accomplished much easier. 

I find that smiles are bringing me dollars, many dollars 

every day. 

"I share my office with another broker. One of his 
clerks is a hkable young chap, and I was so elated about 
the results I was getting that I told him recently about 
my new philosophy of human relations. He then confessed 
that when I first came to share my office with his 
firm he thought me a terrible grouch - and only recently 
changed his mind. He said I was really human when I 

"I have also eliminated criticism from my system. I 
give appreciation and praise now instead of condemnation. 
I have stopped talking about what I want. I am now 
trying to see the other person's viewpoint. And these 
things have literally revolutionized my life. I am a totally 
different man, a happier man, a richer man, richer in 
friendships and happiness - the only things that matter 
much after all." 

You don't feel like smiling? Then what? Two things. 
First, force yourself to smile. If you are alone, force yourself 
to whistle or hum a tune or sing. Act as if you were 
already happy, and that will tend to make you happy. 
Here is the way the psychologist and philosopher William 
James put it: 

"Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and 
feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which 
is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly 
regulate the feeling, which is not. 

"Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerftilness, if 
our cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act 
and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. . . ." 

Every body in the world is seeking happiness - and 
there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling 
your thoughts. Happiness doesn't depend on outward 
conditions. It depends on inner conditions. 

It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are 
or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. 
It is what you think about it. For example, two people 
may be in the same place, doing the same thing; both 
may have about an equal amount of money and prestige 
- and yet one may be miserable and the other happy. 
Why? Because of a different mental attitude. I have seen 

just as many happy faces among the poor peasants toiling 
with their primitive tools in the devastating heat of the 
tropics as I have seen in air-conditioned offices in New 
York, Chicago or Los Angeles. 

"There is nothing either good or bad," said Shakespeare, 
"but thinking makes it so." 

Abe Lincoln once remarked that "most folks are about 
as happy as they make up their minds to be." He was 
right. I saw a vivid illustration of that truth as I was 
walking up the stairs of the Long Island Railroad station 
in New York. Directly in front of me thirty or forty crippled 
boys on canes and crutches were struggling up the 
stairs. One boy had to be carried up. I was astonished at 
their laughter and gaiety. I spoke about it to one of the 
men in charge of the boys. "Oh, yes," he said, "when a 
boy realizes that he is going to be a cripple for life, he is 
shocked at first; but after he gets over the shock, he usually 
resigns himself to his fate and then becomes as 
happy as normal boys." 

I felt like taking my hat off to those boys. They taught 
me a lesson I hope I shall never forget. 

Working all by oneself in a closed-off room in an office 
not only is lonely, but it denies one the opportunity of 
making friends with other employees in the company. 
Senora Maria Gonzalez of Guadalajara, Mexico, had 
such a job. She envied the shared comradeship of other 
people in the company as she heard their chatter and 
laughter. As she passed them in the hall during the first 
weeks of her employment, she shyly looked the other 

After a few weeks, she said to herself, "Maria, you 
can't expect those women to come to you. You have to 
go out and meet them. " The next time she walked to the 
water cooler, she put on her brightest smile and said, 
"Hi, how are you today" to each of the people she met. 
The effect was immediate. Smiles and hellos were returned, 
the hallway seemed brighter, the job friendlier. 

Acquaintanceships developed and some ripened into 
friendships. Her job and her life became more pleasant 
and interesting. 

Peruse this bit of sage advice from the essayist and 
publisher Elbert Hubbard - but remember, perusing it 
won't do you any good unless you apply it: 

Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the 
crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; 
drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and 
put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood 
and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. 
Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to 
do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move 
straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid 
things you would like to do, and then, as the days go 
gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing 
upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment 
of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running 
tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, 
earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you 
hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual. 
. . . Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude - 
the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. 
To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire 
and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that 
on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the 
crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis. 

The ancient Chinese were a wise lot - wise in the 
ways of the world; and they had a proverb that you and 
I ought to cut out and paste inside our hats. It goes like 
this: "A man without a smiling face must not open a 

Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your 
smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone 
who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their 
faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through 
the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure 
from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents 
or children, a smile can help him realize that all is 
not hopeless - that there is joy in the world. 

Some years ago, a department store in New York City, 
in recognition of the pressures its sales clerks were 
under during the Christmas rush, presented the readers 
of its advertisements with the following homely philosophy: 


It costs nothing, but creates much. 

It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those 

who give. 
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts 

None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so 

poor but are richer for its benefits. 
It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a 

business, and is the countersign of friends. 
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine 

to the sad, and Nature's best antidote fee trouble. 
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it 

is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is 

given away. 
And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of 

our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, 

may we ask you to leave one of yours? 
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none 

left to give! 






Back in 1898, a tragic thing happened in Rockland 
County, New York. A child had died, and on this particular 
day the neighbors were preparing to go to the funeral. 

Jim Farley went out to the barn to hitch up his 

horse. The ground was covered with snow, the air was 

cold and snappy; the horse hadn't been exercised for 
days; and as he was led out to the watering trough, he 
wheeled playfully, kicked both his heels high in the air, 
and killed Jim Farley. So the little village of Stony Point 
had two funerals that week instead of one. 

Jim Farley left behind him a widow and three boys, 
and a few hundred dollars in insurance. 

His oldest boy, Jim, was ten, and he went to work in a 

brickyard, wheeling sand and pouring it into the molds 

and turning the brick on edge to be dried by the sun. 

This boy Jim never had a chance to get much education. 

But with his natural geniality, he had a flair for making 

people like him, so he went into politics, and as the 

years went by, he developed an uncanny ability for remembering 

people's names. 

He never saw the inside of a high school; but before 
he was forty-six years of age, four colleges had honored 
him with degrees and he had become chairman of the 
Democratic National Committee and Postmaster General 
of the United States. 

I once interviewed Jim Farley and asked him the secret 
of his success. He said, "Hard work," and I said, 
"Don't be fiinny." 

He then asked me what I thought was the reason for 
his success. I replied: "I understand you can call ten 
thousand people by their first names." 

"No. You are wrong, " he said. "I can call fifty thousand 
people by their first names." 

Make no mistake about it. That ability helped Mr. Farley 
put Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House when 
he managed Roosevelt's campaign in 1932. 

During the years that Jim Farley traveled as a salesman 
for a gypsum concern, and during the years that he 
held office as town clerk in Stony Point, he built up a 
system for remembering names. 

In the beginning, it was a very simple one. Whenever 

he met a new acquaintance, he found out his or her complete 

name and some facts about his or her family, business 
and pohtical opinions. He fixed all these facts well 
in mind as part of the picture, and the next time he met 
that person, even if it was a year later, he was able to 
shake hands, inquire after the family, and ask about the 
hollyhocks in the backyard. No wonder he developed a 

For months before Roosevelt's campaign for President 
began, Jim Farley wrote hundreds of letters a day to 
people all over the western and northwestern states. 
Then he hopped onto a train and in nineteen days covered 
twenty states and twelve thousand miles, traveling 
by buggy, train, automobile and boat. He would drop 
into town, meet his people at lunch or breakfast, tea or 
dinner, and give them a "heart-to-heart talk." Then he'd 
dash off again on another leg of his journey. 

As soon as he arrived back East, he wrote to one person 
in each town he had visited, asking for a list of all 
the guests to whom he had talked. The final list contained 
thousands and thousands of names; yet each person 
on that list was paid the subtle fiattery of getting a 
personal letter from James Farley. These letters began 
"Dear Bill" or "Dear Jane," and they were always 
signed "Jim. " 

Jim Farley discovered early in life that the average 
person is more interested in his or her own name than 
in all the other names on earth put together. Remember 
that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle 
and very effective compliment. But forget it or misspell 
it - and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage. 
For example, I once organized a public- speaking 
course in Paris and sent form letters to all the American 
residents in the city. French typists with apparently little 
knowledge of English filled in the names and naturally 
they made blunders. One man, the manager of a 
large American bank in Paris, wrote me a scathing rebuke 
because his name had been misspelled. 

Sometimes it is difficult to remember a name, particularly 
if it is hard to pronounce. Rather than even try to 
learn it, many people ignore it or call the person by an 
easy nickname. Sid Levy called on a customer for some 
time whose name was Nicodemus Papadoulos. Most 

people just called him "Nick." Levy told us: "I made a 
special effort to say his name over several times to myself 
before I made my call. When I greeted him by his 
full name: 'Good afternoon, Mr. Nicodemus Papadoulos,' 
he was shocked. For what seemed like several minutes 
there was no reply from him at all. Finally, he said 
with tears rolling down his cheeks, 'Mr. Levy, in all the 
fifteen years I have been in this country, nobody has 
ever made the effort to call me by my right name.' " 

What was the reason for Andrew Carnegie's success? 

He was called the Steel King; yet he himself knew 
little about the manufacture of steel. He had hundreds 
of people working for him who knew far more about 
steel than he did. 

But he knew how to handle people, and that is what 

made him rich. Early in life, he showed a flair for organization, 

a genius for leadership. By the time he was ten, 

he too had discovered the astounding importance people 

place on their own name. And he used that discovery to 

win cooperation. To illustrate: When he was a boy back 

in Scotland, he got hold of a rabbit, a mother rabbit. 

Presto! He soon had a whole nest of little rabbits - and 

nothing to feed them. But he had a brilliant idea. He told 

the boys and girls in the neighborhood that if they would 

go out and pull enough clover and dandelions to feed 

the rabbits, he would name the bunnies in their honor. 

The plan worked like magic, and Carnegie never forgot 

Years later, he made millions by using the same psychology 

in business. For example, he wanted to sell 

steel rails to the Pennsylvania Railroad. J. Edgar Thomson 

was the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad then. 

So Andrew Carnegie built a huge steel mill in Pittsburgh 

and called it the "Edgar Thomson Steel Works." 

Here is a riddle. See if you can guess it. When the 
Pennsylvania Railroad needed steel rails, where do you 
suppose J. Edgar Thomson bought them?. . , From 
Sears, Roebuck? No. No. You're wrong. Guess again. 
When Carnegie and George Pullman were battling 
each other for supremacy in the railroad sleeping-car 

business, the Steel King again remembered the lesson 
of the rabbits. 

The Central Transportation Company, which Andrew 
Carnegie controlled, was fighting with the company that 
Pullman owned. Both were struggling to get the sleeping- 
car business of the Union Pacific Railroad, bucking 
each other, slashing prices, and destroying all chance of 
profit. Both Carnegie and Pullman had gone to New 
York to see the board of directors of the Union Pacific. 
Meeting one evening in the St. Nicholas Hotel, Carnegie 
said: "Good evening, Mr. Pullman, aren't we making 
a couple of fools of ourselves?" 

"What do you mean.?" Pullman demanded. 

Then Carnegie expressed what he had on his mind - a 
merger of their two interests. He pictured in glowing 
terms the mutual advantages of working with, instead of 
against, each other. Pullman listened attentively, but he 
was not wholly convinced. Finally he asked, "What 
would you call the new company?" and Carnegie replied 
promptly: "Why, the Pullman Palace Car Company, 
of course." 

Pullman's face brightened. "Come into my room," he 
said. "Let's talk it over." That talk made industrial history. 

This policy of remembering and honoring the names 
of his friends and business associates was one of the 
secrets of Andrew Carnegie's leadership. He was proud 
of the fact that he could call many of his factory workers 
by their first names, and he boasted that while he was 
personally in charge, no strike ever disturbed his flaming 
steel mills. 

Benton Love, chairman of Texas Commerce Banc- 
shares, believes that the bigger a corporation gets, the 
colder it becomes. " One way to warm it up," he said, "is 
to remember people's names. The executive who tells 
me he can't remember names is at the same time telling 
me he can't remember a significant part of his business 
and is operating on quicksand." 

Karen Kirsech of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, a 
flight attendant for TWA, made it a practice to learn the 

names of as many passengers in her cabin as possible 
and use the name when serving them. This resulted in 
many compliments on her service expressed both to her 
directly and to the airline. One passenger wrote: "I 
haven't flown TWA for some time, but I'm going to start 
flying nothing but TWA from now on. You make me feel 
that your airline has become a very personalized airline 
and that is important to me." 

People are so proud of their names that they strive to 
perpetuate them at any cost. Even blustering, hard-boiled 
old P. T. Barnum, the greatest showman of his 
time, disappointed because he had no sons to carry on 
his name, offered his grandson, C. H. Seeley, $25,000 
dollars if he would call himself "Barnum" Seeley. 

For many centuries, nobles and magnates supported 
artists, musicians and authors so that their creative works 
would be dedicated to them. 

Libraries and museums owe their richest collections 
to people who cannot bear to think that their names 
might perish from the memory of the race. The New 
York Public Library has its Astor and Lenox collections. 
The Metropolitan Museum perpetuates the names of 
Benjamin Altman and J. P. Morgan. And nearly every 
church is beautified by stained-glass windows commemorating 
the names of their donors. Many of the buildings 
on the campus of most universities bear the names of 
donors who contributed large sums of money for this 

Most people don't remember names, for the simple 
reason that they don't take the time and energy necessary 
to concentrate and repeat and fix names indelibly in 
their minds. They make excuses for themselves; they are 
too busy. 

But they were probably no busier than Franklin D. 
Roosevelt, and he took time to remember and recall 
even the names of mechanics with whom he came into 

To illustrate: The Chrysler organization built a special 
car for Mr. Roosevelt, who could not use a standard car 
because his legs were paralyzed. W. F. Chamberlain and 

a mechanic delivered it to the White House. I have in 
front of me a letter from Mr. Chamberlain relating his 
experiences. "I taught President Roosevelt how to handle 
a car with a lot of unusual gadgets, but he taught me 
a lot about the fine art of handling people. 

"When I called at the White House," Mr. Chamberlain 
writes, "the President was extremely pleasant and 
cheerful. He called me by name, made me feel very 
comfortable, and particularly impressed me with the fact 
that he was vitally interested in things I had to show him 
and tell him. The car was so designed that it could be 
operated entirely by hand. A crowd gathered around to 
look at the car; and he remarked: 'I think it is marvelous. 
All you have to do is to touch a button and it moves away 
and you can drive it without effort. I think it is grand - 1 
don't know what makes it go. I'd love to have the time to 
tear it down and see how it works.' 

"When Roosevelt's friends and associates admired the 
machine, he said in their presence: 'Mr. Chamberlain, I 
certainly appreciate all the time and effort you have 
spent in developing this car. It is a mighty fine job.' He 
admired the radiator, the special rear-vision mirror and 
clock, the special spotlight, the kind of upholstery, the 
sitting position of the driver's seat, the special suitcases 
in the trunk with his monogram on each suitcase. In 
other words, he took notice of every detail to which he 
knew I had given considerable thought. He made a point 
of bringing these various pieces of equipment to the attention 
of Mrs. Roosevelt, Miss Perkins, the Secretary of 
Labor, and his secretary. He even brought the old White 
House porter into the picture by saying, 'George, you 
want to take particularly good care of the suitcases.' 

"When the driving lesson was finished, the President 
turned to me and said: 'Well, Mr. Chamberlain, I have 
been keeping the Federal Reserve Board waiting thirty 
minutes. I guess I had better get back to work.' 

"I took a mechanic with me to the White House. He 
was introduced to Roosevelt when he arrived. He didn't 
talk to the President, and Roosevelt heard his name only 
once. He was a shy chap, and he kept in the background. 
But before leaving us, the President looked for the mechanic, 
shook his hand, called him by name, and 

thanked him for coming to Washington. And there was 
nothing perflmctory about his thanks. He meant what he 
said. I could feel that. 

"A few days after returning to New York, I got an autographed 

photograph of President Roosevelt and a little 

note of thanks again expressing his appreciation for my 

assistance. How he found time to do it is a mystery to 

me ." 

Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that one of the simplest, 
most obvious and most important ways of gaining good 
will was by remembering names and making people feel 
important - yet how many of us do it? 

Half the time we are introduced to a stranger, we chat 
a few minutes and can't even remember his or her name 
by the time we say goodbye. 

One of the first lessons a politician learns is this: "To 
recall a voter's name is statesmanship. To forget it is 

And the ability to remember names is almost as important 
in business and social contacts as it is in politics. 

Napoleon the Third, Emperor of France and nephew 
of the great Napoleon, boasted that in spite of all his 
royal duties he could remember the name of every person 
he met. 

His technique? Simple. If he didn't hear the name 
distinctly, he said, "So sorry. I didn't get the name 
clearly." Then, if it was an unusual name, he would say, 
"How is it spelled?" 

During the conversation, he took the trouble to repeat 
the name several times, and tried to associate it in his 
mind with the person's features, expression and general 

If the person was someone of importance. Napoleon 
went to even further pains. As soon as His Royal Highness 
was alone, he wrote the name down on a piece of 
paper, looked at it, concentrated on it, fixed it securely 
in his mind, and then tore up the paper. In this way, he 

gained an eye impression of the name as well as an ear 

All this takes time, but "Good manners," said Emerson, 
"are made up of petty sacrifices." 

The importance of remembering and using names is 
not just the prerogative of kings and corporate executives. 
It works for all of us. Ken Nottingham, an employee 
of General Motors in Indiana, usually had lunch 
at the company cafeteria. He noticed that the woman 
who worked behind the counter always had a scowl on 
her face. "She had been making sandwiches for about 
two hours and I was just another sandwich to her. I told 
her what I wanted. She weighed out the ham on a little 
scale, then she gave me one leaf of lettuce, a few potato 
chips and handed them to me. 

"The next day I went through the same line. Same 
woman, same scowl. The only difference was I noticed 
her name tag. I smiled and said, 'Hello, Eunice,' and 
then told her what I wanted. Well, she forgot the scale, 
piled on the ham, gave me three leaves of lettuce and 
heaped on the potato chips until they fell off the plate." 

We should be aware of the magic contained in a name 

and realize that this single item is wholly and completely 

owned by the person with whom we are dealing 

and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; 

it makes him or her unique among all others. The information 

we are imparting or the request we are making 

takes on a special importance when we approach the 

situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress 

to the senior executive, the name will work magic 

as we deal with others. 


Remember that a person's name is to that 

person the sweetest and most important 

sound in any language. 






Some time ago, I attended a bridge party. I don't play 
bridge - and there was a woman there who didn't play 
bridge either. She had discovered that I had once been 
Lowell Thomas' manager before he went on the radio 
and that I had traveled in Europe a great deal while 
helping him prepare the illustrated travel talks he was 
then delivering. So she said: "Oh, Mr. Carnegie, I do 
want you to tell me about all the wonderful places you 
have visited and the sights you have seen." 

As we sat down on the sofa, she remarked that she and 
her husband had recently returned from a trip to Africa. 
"Africa!" I exclaimed. "How interesting! I've always 
wanted to see Africa, but I never got there except for a 
twenty-four-hour stay once in Algiers. Tell me, did you 
visit the big-game country? Yes? How fortunate. I envy 
you. Do tell me about Africa." 

That kept her talking for forty-five minutes. She never 
again asked me where I had been or what I had seen. 
She didn't want to hear me talk about my travels. All she 
wanted was an interested listener, so she could expand 
her ego and tell about where she had been. 

Was she unusual? No. Many people are like that. 

For example, I met a distinguished botanist at a dinner 
party given by a New York book publisher. I had never 
talked with a botanist before, and I found him fascinating. 
I literally sat on the edge of my chair and listened 
while he spoke of exotic plants and experiments in 
developing new forms of plant life and indoor gardens (and 
even told me astonishing facts about the humble potato). 
I had a small indoor garden of my own - and he was 
good enough to tell me how to solve some of my problems. 

As I said, we were at a dinner party. There must have 
been a dozen other guests, but I violated all the canons 
of courtesy, ignored everyone else, and talked for hours 
to the botanist. 

Midnight came, I said good night to everyone and 
departed. The botanist then turned to our host and 
paid me several flattering compliments. I was "most 
stimulating." I was this and I was that, and he ended by 
saying I was a "most interesting conversationalist." 

An interesting conversationalist? Why, I had said 
hardly anything at all. I couldn't have said anything if I 
had wanted to without changing the subject, for I didn't 
know any more about botany than I knew about the anatomy 
of a penguin. But I had done this: I had listened 
intently. I had listened because I was genuinely interested. 
And he felt it. Naturally that pleased him. That 
kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we 
can pay anyone. "Few human beings," wrote Jack 
Woodford in Strangers in Love, "few human beings are 
proof against the implied flattery of rapt attention." I 
went even further than giving him rapt attention. I was 
"hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise." 

I told him that I had been immensely entertained and 
instructed - and I had. I told him I wished I had his 
knoledge - and I did. I told him that I should love to 
wander the fields with him - and I have. I told him I 
must see him again - and I did. 

And so I had him thinking of me as a good conversationalist 
when, in reality, I had been merely a good listener 
and had encouraged him to talk. 

What is the secret, the mystery, of a successful business 
interview? Well, according to former Harvard president 
Charles W. Eliot, "There is no mystery about 
successful business intercourse. . . . Exclusive attention 
to the person who is speaking to you is very important. 
Nothing else is so flattering as that." 

Eliot himself was a past master of the art of listening, 

Henry James, one of America's first great novelists, recalled: 

"Dr. Eliot's listening was not mere silence, but a 

form of activity. Sitting very erect on the end of his spine 

with hands joined in his lap, making no movement except 

that he revolved his thumbs around each other 

faster or slower, he faced his interlocutor and seemed to 

be hearing with his eyes as well as his ears. He listened 

with his mind and attentively considered what you had 
to say while you said it. . . . At the end of an interview 
the person who had talked to him felt that he had had 
his say." 

Self-evident, isn't it? You don't have to study for four 
years in Harvard to discover that. Yet I know and you 
know department store owners who will rent expensive 
space, buy their goods economically, dress their windows 
appealingly, spend thousands of dollars in advertising 
and then hire clerks who haven't the sense to be 
good listeners - clerks who interrupt customers, contradict 
them, irritate them, and all but drive them from the 

A department store in Chicago almost lost a regular 
customer who spent several thousand dollars each year 
in that store because a sales clerk wouldn't listen. Mrs. 
Henrietta Douglas, who took our course in Chicago, had 
purchased a coat at a special sale. After she had brought 
it home she noticed that there was a tear in the lining. 
She came back the next day and asked the sales clerk to 
exchange it. The clerk reftised even to listen to her complaint. 
"You bought this at a special sale," she said. She 
pointed to a sign on the wall. "Read that," she exclaimed. 
" 'All sales are final. ' Once you bought it, you 
have to keep it. Sew up the lining yourself" 

"But this was damaged merchandise," Mrs. Douglas 

"Makes no difference," the clerk interrupted. "Final's 
final " 

Mrs. Douglas was about to walk out indignantly, 
swearing never to return to that store ever, when she 
was greeted by the department manager, who knew her 
from her many years of patronage. Mrs. Douglas told her 
what had happened. 

The manager listened attentively to the whole story, 
examined the coat and then said: "Special sales are 
'final' so we can dispose of merchandise at the end of 
the season. But this 'no return' policy does not apply to 
damaged goods. We will certainly repair or replace the 
lining, or if you prefer, give you your money back." 

What a difference in treatment! If that manager had 

not come along and hstened to the Customer, a long-term 

patron of that store could have been lost forever. 

Listening is just as important in one's home life as in 
the world of business. Millie Esposito of Croton-on-Hudson, 
New York, made it her business to listen carefully 
when one of her children wanted to speak with her. 
One evening she was sitting in the kitchen with her son, 
Robert, and after a brief discussion of something that 
was on his mind, Robert said: "Mom, I know that you 
love me very much." 

Mrs. Esposito was touched and said: "Of course I love 
you very much. Did you doubt it?" 

Robert responded: "No, but I really know you love me 
because whenever I want to talk to you about something 
you stop whatever you are doing and listen to me." 

The chronic kicker, even the most violent critic, will 
frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a 
patient, sympathetic listener - a listener who will he silent 
while the irate fault-finder dilates like a king cobra 
and spews the poison out of his system. To illustrate: 
The New York Telephone Company discovered a few 
years ago that it had to deal with one of the most vicious 
customers who ever cursed a customer service representative. 
And he did curse. He raved. He threatened to tear 
the phone out by its roots. He refused to pay certain 
charges that he declared were false. He wrote letters to 
the newspapers. He filed innumerable complaints with 
the Public Service Commission, and he started several 
suits against the telephone company. 

At last, one of the company's most skillful "trouble-shooters" 
was sent to interview this stormy petrel. This 
"troubleshooter" listened and let the cantankerous customer 
enjoy himself pouring out his tirade. The telephone 
representative listened and said "yes" and 
sympathized with his grievance. 

"He raved on and I listened for nearlv three hours," 
the "troubleshooter" said as he related his experiences 
before one of the author's classes. "Then I went back 

and listened some more. I interviewed him four times, 
and before the fourth visit was over I had become a 
charter member of an organization he was starting. He 
called it the 'Telephone Subscribers' Protective Association.' 
I am still a member of this organization, and, so 
far as I know, I'm the only member in the world today 
besides Mr. — . 

"I listened and sympathized with him on every point 
that he made during these interviews. He had never had 
a telephone representative talk with him that way before, 
and he became almost friendly. The point on which 
I went to see him was not even mentioned on the first 
visit, nor was it mentioned on the second or third, but 
upon the fourth interview, I closed the case completely, 
he paid all his bills in full, and for the first time in the 
history of his difficulties with the telephone company he 
voluntarily withdrew his complaints from the Public 
Service Commission." 

Doubtless Mr. had considered himself a holy 

crusader, defending the public rights against callous exploitation. 

But in reality, what he had really wanted was 

a feeling of importance. He got this feeling of importance 

at first by kicking and complaining. But as soon as 

he got his feeling of importance from a representative of 

the company, his imagined grievances vanished into 

thin air. 

One morning years ago, an angry customer stormed 
into the office of Julian F. Detmer, founder of the Detmer 
Woolen Company, which later became the world's 
largest distributor of woolens to the tailoring trade. 

"This man owed us a small sum of money," Mr. Detmer 
explained to me. "The customer denied it, but we 
knew he was wrong. So our credit department had insisted 
that he pay. After getting a number of letters from 
our credit department, he packed his grip, made a trip to 
Chicago, and hurried into my office to inform me not 
only that he was not going to pay that bill, but that he 
was never going to buy another dollar's worth of goods 
from the Detmer Woolen Company. 

"I listened patiently to all he had to say. I was tempted 
to interrupt, but I realized that would be bad policy. So 

I let him talk himself out. When he finally simmered 
down and got in a receptive mood, I said quietly: 'I want 
to thank vou for coming to Chicago to tell me about this. 
You have done me a great favor, for if our credit department 
has annoyed you, it may annoy other good customers, 
and that would be just too bad. Believe me, I am far 
more eager to hear this than you are to tell it.' 

"That was the last thing in the world he expected me 
to say. I think he was a trifle disappointed, because he 
had come to Chicago to tell me a thing or two, but here 
I was thanking him instead of scrapping with him. I assured 
him we would wipe the charge off the books and 
forget it, because he was a very careful man with only 
one account to look after, while our clerks had to look 
after thousands. Therefore, he was less likely to be 
wrong than we were. 

"I told him that I understood exactly how he felt and 
that, if I were in his shoes, I should undoubtedly feel 
precisely as he did. Since he wasn't going to buy from 
us anymore, I recommended some other woolen houses. 

"In the past, we had usually lunched together when 
he came to Chicago, so I invited him to have lunch with 
me this day. He accepted reluctantly, but when we came 
back to the office he placed a larger order than ever 
before. He returned home in a softened mood and, wanting 
to be just as fair with us as we had been with him, 
looked over his bills, found one that had been mislaid, 
and sent us a check with his apologies. 

"Later, when his wife presented him with a baby boy, 
he gave his son the middle name of Detmer, and he 
remained a friend and customer of the house until his 
death twenty-two years afterwards." 

Years ago, a poor Dutch immigrant boy washed the 
windows of a bakery shop after school to help support 
his family. His people were so poor that in addition he 
used to go out in the street with a basket every day and 
collect stray bits of coal that had fallen in the gutter 
where the coal wagons had delivered fuel. That boy, 
Edward Bok, never got more than six years of schooling 
in his life; yet eventually he made himself one of the 
most successful magazine editors in the history of American 

journalism. How did he do it? That is a long story, 
but how he got his start can be told briefly. He got his 
start by using the principles advocated in this chapter. 

He left school when he was thirteen and became an 
office boy for Western Union, but he didn't for one moment 
give up the idea of an education. Instead, he 
started to educate himself. He saved his carfares and 
went without lunch until he had enough money to buy 
an encyclopedia of American biography - and then he 
did an unheard-of thing. He read the lives of famous 
people and wrote them asking for additional information 
about their childhoods. He was a good listener. He 
asked famous people to tell him more about themselves. 
He wrote General James A. Garfield, who was then running 
for President, and asked if it was true that he was 
once a tow boy on a canal; and Garfield replied. He 
wrote General Grant asking about a certain battle, and 
Grant drew a map for him and invited this fourteen-year 
old boy to dinner and spent the evening talking to him. 

Soon our Western Union messenger boy was corresponding 
with many of the most famous people in the 
nation: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, 
Longfellow, Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, Louisa May Alcott, 
General Sherman and Jefferson Davis. Not only did he 
correspond with these distinguished people, but as soon 
as he got a vacation, he visited many of them as a welcome 
guest in their homes. This experience imbued him 
with a confidence that was invaluable. These men and 
women fired him with a vision and ambition that shaped 
his life. And all this, let me repeat, was made possible 
solely by the application of the principles we are discussing 

Isaac F. Marcosson, a journalist who interviewed 
hundreds of celebrities, declared that many people fail 
to make a favorable impression because they don't listen 
attentively. "They have been so much concerned with 
what they are going to say next that they do not keep 
their ears open. . . . Very important people have told me 
that they prefer good listeners to good talkers, but the 
ability to listen seems rarer than almost any other good 
trait ." 

And not only important personages crave a good listener. 

but ordinary folk do too. As the Reader's Digest 
once said: "Many persons call a doctor when all they 
want is an audience," 

During the darkest hours of the Civil War, Lincoln 
wrote to an old friend in Springfield, Illinois, asking him 
to come to Washington. Lincoln said he had some problems 
he wanted to discuss with him. The old neighbor 
called at the White House, and Lincoln talked to him for 
hours about the advisability of issuing a proclamation 
freeing the slaves. Lincoln went over all the arguments 
for and against such a move, and then read letters and 
newspaper articles, some denouncing him for not 
freeing the slaves and others denouncing him for fear he 
was going to free them. After talking for hours, Lincoln 
shook hands with his old neighbor, said good night, and 
sent him back to Illinois without even asking for his 
opinion. Lincoln had done all the talking himself That 
seemed to clarify his mind. "He seemed to feel easier 
after that talk," the old friend said. Lincoln hadn't 
wanted advice. He had wanted merely a friendly, sympathetic 
listener to whom he could unburden himself 
That's what we all want when we are in trouble. That is 
frequently all the irritated customer wants, and the dissatisfied 
employee or the hurt friend. 

One of the great listeners of modern times was Sigmund 
Freud. A man who met Freud described his manner 
of listening: "It struck me so forcibly that I shall 
never forget him. He had qualities which I had never 
seen in any other man. Never had I seen such concentrated 
attention. There was none of that piercing 'soul 
penetrating gaze' business. His eyes were mild and genial. 
His voice was low and kind. His gestures were few. 
But the attention he gave me, his appreciation of what I 
said, even when I said it badly, was extraordinary. 
You've no idea what it meant to be listened to like that. " 

If you want to know how to make people shun you and 
laugh at you behind your back and even despise you, 
here is the recipe: Never listen to anyone for long. Talk 
incessantly about yourself If you have an idea while the 
other person is talking, don't wait for him or her to finish: 
bust right in and interrupt in the middle of a sentence. 

Do you know people like that? I do, unfortunately; 

and the astonishing part of it is that some of them are 

Bores, that is all they are - bores intoxicated with their 
own egos, drunk with a sense of their own importance. 

People who talk only of themselves think only of 

themselves. And "those people who think only of themselves," 

Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, longtime president 

of Columbia University, said, "are hopelessly uneducated. 

They are not educated," said Dr. Butler, "no matter 

how instructed they may be." 

So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an 
attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask 
questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage 
them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. 

Remember that the people you are talking to are a 
hundred times more interested in themselves and their 
wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. 
A person's toothache means more to that person 
than a famine in China which kills a million people. A 
boil on one's neck interests one more than forty earthquakes 
in Africa. Think of that the next time you start a 


Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk 

about themselves. 



Everyone who was ever a guest of Theodore Roosevelt 
was astonished at the range and diversity of his knowledge. 
Whether his visitor was a cowboy or a Rough 
Rider, a New York politician or a diplomat, Roosevelt 
knew what to say. And how was it done? The answer 
was simple. Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he 
sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in 

which he knew his guest was particularly interested. 

For Roosevelt knew, as all leaders know, that the royal 
road to a person's heart is to talk about the things he or 
she treasures most. 

The genial William Lyon Phelps, essayist and professor 
of literature at Yale, learned this lesson early in life. 

"When I was eight years old and was spending a 
weekend visiting my Aunt Libby Linsley at her home in 
Stratford on the Housatonic," he wrote in his essay on 
Human Nature, "a middle-aged man called one evening, 
and after a polite skirmish with my aunt, he devoted his 
attention to me. At that time, I happened to be excited 
about boats, and the visitor discussed the subject in a 
way that seemed to me particularly interesting. After he 
left, I spoke of him with enthusiasm. What a man! My 
aunt informed me he was a New York lawyer, that he 
cared nothing whatever about boats - that he took not 
the slightest interest in the subject. 'But why then did 
he talk all the time about boats?' 

" 'Because he is a gentleman. He saw you were interested 

in boats, and he talked about the things he knew 

would interest and please you. He made himself agreeable.' 

And William Lyon Phelps added: "I never forgot my 
aunt's remark." 

As I write this chapter, I have before me a letter from 
Edward L. Chalif, who was active in Boy Scout work. 

"One day I found I needed a favor," wrote Mr. Chalif 
"A big Scout jamboree was coming off in Europe, and I 
wanted the president of one of the largest corporations 
in America to pay the expenses of one of my boys for the 

"Fortunately, just before I went to see this man, I 
heard that he had drawn a check for a million dollars, 
and that after it was canceled, he had had it framed. 

"So the first thing I did when I entered his office was 
to ask to see the check. A check for a million dollars! I 
told him I never knew that anybody had ever written 

such a check, and that I wanted to tell my boys that I had 
actually seen a check for a million dollars. He gladly 
showed it to me; I admired it and asked him to tell me 
all about how it happened to be drawn." 

You notice, don't you, that Mr. Chalif didn't begin by 
talking about the Boy Scouts, or the jamboree in Europe, 
or what it was he wanted? He talked in terms of what 
interested the other man. Here's the result: 

"Presently, the man I was interviewing said: 'Oh, by 
the way, what was it you wanted to see me about?' So I 
told him. 

"To my vast surprise," Mr. Chalif continues, "he not 
only granted immediately what I asked for, but much 
more. I had asked him to send only one boy to Europe, 
but he sent five boys and myself, gave me a letter of 
credit for a thousand dollars and told us to stay in Europe 
for seven weeks. He also gave me letters of introduction 
to his branch presidents, putting them at our service, 
and he himself met us in Paris and showed us the town. 

Since then, he has given jobs to some of the boys whose 
parents were in want, and he is still active in our group. 

"Yet I know if I hadn't found out what he was interested 
in, and got him warmed up first, I wouldn't have 
found him one-tenth as easy to approach." 

Is this a valuable technique to use in business? Is it? 
Let's see. Take Henry G. Duvernoy of Duvemoy and 
Sons, a wholesale baking firm in New York. 

Mr. Duvernoy had been trying to sell bread to a certain 
New York hotel. He had called on the manager 
every week for four years. He went to the same social 
affairs the manager attended. He even took rooms in the 
hotel and lived there in order to get the business. But he 

"Then," said Mr. Duvernoy, "after studying human 

relations, I resolved to change my tactics. I decided to 

find out what interested this man - what caught his enthusiasm. 

"I discovered he belonged to a society of hotel executives 

called the Hotel Greeters of America. He not only 
belonged, but his bubbling enthusiasm had made him 
president of the organization, and president of the International 
Greeters. No matter where its conventions were 
held, he would be there. 

"So when I saw him the next day, I began talking 

about the Greeters. What a response I got. What a response! 

He talked to me for half an hour about the 

Greeters, his tones vibrant with enthusiasm. I could 

plainly see that this society was not only his hobby, it 

was the passion of his life. Before I left his office, he had 

'sold' me a membership in his organization. 

"In the meantime, I had said nothing about bread. But 
a few days later, the steward of his hotel phoned me to 
come over with samples and prices. 

" 'I don't know what you did to the old boy,' the steward 
greeted me, 'but he sure is sold on you! ' 

"Think of it! I had been drumming at that man for four 

years - trying to get his business - and I'd still be drumming 

at him if I hadn't finally taken the trouble to find 

out what he was interested in, and what he enjoyed talking 


Edward E. Harriman of Hagerstown, Maryland, chose 
to live in the beautiful Cumberland Valley of Maryland 
after he completed his military service. Unfortunately, 
at that time there were few jobs available in the area. A 
little research uncovered the fact that a number of companies 
in the area were either owned or controlled by an 
unusual business maverick, R. J. Funkhouser, whose 
rise from poverty to riches intrigued Mr. Harriman. 
However, he was known for being inaccessible to job 
seekers. Mr. Harriman wrote: 

"I interviewed a number of people and found that his 
major interest was anchored in his drive for power and 
money. Since he protected himself from people like me 
by use of a dedicated and stern secretary, I studied her 
interests and goals and only then I paid an unannounced 
visit at her office. She had been Mr. Funkhouser' s orbiting 
satellite for about fifteen years. When I told her I 
had a proposition for him which might translate itself 

into financial and political success for him, she became 
enthused. I also conversed with her about her constructive 
participation in his success. After this conversation 
she arranged for me to meet Mr. Funkhouser. 

"I entered his huge and impressive office determined 
not to ask directly for a job. He was seated behind a large 
carved desk and thundered at me, 'How about it, young 
man?' I said, 'Mr. Funkhouser, I believe I can make 
money for you.' He immediately rose and invited me to 
sit in one of the large upholstered chairs. I enumerated 
my ideas and the qualifications I had to realize these 
ideas, as well as how they would contribute to his personal 
success and that of his businesses. 

" 'R. J.,' as he became known to me, hired me at once 
and for over twenty years I have grown in his enterprises 
and we both have prospered." 

Talking in terms of the other person's interests pays 
off for both parties. Howard Z. Herzig, a leader in the 
field of employee communications, has always followed 
this principle. When asked what reward he got from it, 
Mr. Herzig responded that he not only received a different 
reward from each person but that in general the reward 
had been an enlargement of his life each time he 
spoke to someone. 


Talk in terms of the other person's 





I was waiting in line to register a letter in the post office 
at Thirty- third Street and Eighth Avenue in New York. I 
noticed that the clerk appeared to be bored with the job 
-weighing envelopes, handing out stamps, making 

change, issuing receipts - the same monotonous grind 
year after year. So I said to myself: "I am going to try to 
make that clerk like me. Obviously, to make him like 
me, I must say something nice, not about myself, but 
about him. So I asked myself, 'What is there about him 
that I can honestly admire?' " That is sometimes a hard 
question to answer, especially with strangers; but, in 
this case, it happened to be easy. I instantly saw something 
I admired no end. 

So while he was weighing my envelope, I remarked 
with enthusiasm: "I certainly wish I had your head of 

He looked up, half- startled, his face beaming with 
smiles. "Well, it isn't as good as it used to be," he said 
modestly. I assured him that although it might have lost 
some of its pristine glory, nevertheless it was still magnificent. 
He was immensely pleased. We carried on a 
pleasant little conversation and the last thing he said to 
me was: "Many people have admired my hair." 

I'll bet that person went out to lunch that day walking 
on air. I'll bet he went home that night and told his wife 
about it. I'll bet he looked in the mirror and said: "It is a 
beautiful head of hair." 

I told this story once in public and a man asked me 
afterwards: "'What did you want to get out of him?" 

What was I trying to get out of him! ! ! What was I trying 
to get out of him!!! 

If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can't radiate 
a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation 
without trying to get something out of the other person 
in return - if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, 
we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve. 
Oh yes, I did want something out of that chap. I 
wanted something priceless. And I got it. I got the feeling 
that I had done something for him without his being 
able to do anything whatever in return for me. That is a 
feeling that flows and sings in your memory lung after 
the incident is past. 

There is one all-important law of human conduct. If 

we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. 
In fact, that law, if obeyed, will bring us countless 
friends and constant happiness. But the very instant we 
break the law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law 
is this: Always make the other person feel important 
John Dewey, as we have already noted, said that the 
desire to be important is the deepest urge in human 
nature; and William James said: "The deepest principle 
in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." As I 
have already pointed out, it is this urge that differentiates 
us from the animals. It is this urge that has been 
responsible for civilization itself 

Philosophers have been speculating on the rules of 
human relationships for thousands of years, and out of 
all that speculation, there has evolved only one important 
precept. It is not new. It is as old as history. Zoroaster 
taught it to his followers in Persia twenty-five 
hundred years ago. Confucius preached it in China 
twenty-four centuries ago. Lao-tse, the founder of 
Taoism, taught it to his disciples in the Valley of the 
Han. Buddha preached it on the bank of the Holy 
Ganges five hundred years before Christ. The sacred 
books of Hinduism taught it a thousand years before 
that. Jesus taught it among the stony hills of Judea nineteen 
centuries ago. Jesus summed it up in one thought 
-probably the most important rule in the world: "Do 
unto others as you would have others do unto you." 

You want the approval of those with whom you come 
in contact. You want recognition of your true worth. You 
want a feeling that you are important in your little world. 
You don't want to listen to cheap, insincere fiattery, but 
you do crave sincere appreciation. You want your friends 
and associates to be, as Charles Schwab put it, "hearty 
in their approbation and lavish in their praise." All of us 
want that. 

So let's obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others 

what we would have others give unto us. 

How? When? Where? The answer is: All the time, 


David G. Smith of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, told one of 
our classes how he handled a delicate situation when he 
was asked to take charge of the refreshment booth at a 

charity concert, 

"The night of the concert I arrived at the park and 
found two elderly ladies in a very bad humor standing 
next to the refreshment stand. Apparently each thought 
that she was in charge of this project. As I stood there 
pondering what to do, me of the members of the sponsoring 
committee appeared and handed me a cash 
box and thanked me for taking over the project. She 
introduced Rose and Jane as my helpers and then ran 

"A great silence ensued. Realizing that the cash box 
was a symbol of authority (of sorts), I gave the box to 
Rose and explained that I might not be able to keep the 
money straight and that if she took care of it I would feel 
better. I then suggested to Jane that she show two teenagers 
who had been assigned to refreshments how to 
operate the soda machine, and I asked her to be responsible 
for that part of the project. 

"The evening was very enjoyable with Rose happily 
counting the money, Jane supervising the teenagers, and 
me enjoying the concert." 

You don't have to wait until you are ambassador to 
France or chairman of the Clambake Committee of your 
lodge before you use this philosophy of appreciation. 
You can work magic with it almost every day. 

If, for example, the waitress brings us mashed potatoes 
when we have ordered French fried, let's say: "I'm sorry 
to trouble you, but I prefer French fried." She'll probably 
reply, "No trouble at all" and will be glad to change 
the potatoes, because we have shown respect for her. 

Little phrases such as "I'm sorry to trouble you," 
"Would you be so kind as to — ? " "Won't you 
please?" " Would you mind?" "Thank you" - little courtesies 
like these oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of 
everyday life- and, incidentally, they are the hallmark 
of good breeding. 

Let's take another illustration. Hall Caine's novels-TTze 

Christian, The Deemster, The Manxman, among 

them - were all best-sellers in the early part of this century. 

Millions of people read his novels, countless millions. 
He was the son of a blacksmith. He never had 
more than eight years' schooling in his life; yet when he 
died he was the richest literary man of his time. 

The story goes like this: Hall Caine loved sonnets and 
ballads; so he devoured all of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 
poetry. He even wrote a lecture chanting the praises of 
Rossetti's artistic achievement-and sent a copy to Rossetti 
himself Rossetti was delighted. "Any young man 
who has such an exalted opinion of my ability," Rossetti 
probably said to himself, "must be brilliant," So Rossetti 
invited this blacksmith's son to come to London and act 
as his secretary. That was the turning point in Hall 
Caine' s life; for, in his new position, he met the literary 
artists of the day. Profiting by their advice and inspired 
by their encouragement, he launched upon a career that 
emblazoned his name across the sky. 

His home, Greeba Castle, on the Isle of Man, became 
a Mecca for tourists from the far corners of the world, 
and he left a multimillion dollar estate. Yet - who knows 
- he might have died poor and unknown had he not 
written an essay expressing his admiration for a famous 

Such is the power, the stupendous power, of sincere, 
heartfelt appreciation. 

Rossetti considered himself important. That is not 
strange. Almost everyone considers himself important, 
very important. 

The life of many a person could probably be changed 
if only someone would make him feel important. Ronald 
J. Rowland, who is one of the instructors of our course 
in California, is also a teacher of arts and crafts. He wrote 
to us about a student named Chris in his beginning 
crafts class: 

Chris was a very quiet, shy boy lacking in self-confidence, 
the kind of student that often does not receive the 
attention he deserves. I also teach an advanced class that 
had grown to be somewhat of a status symbol and a privilege 
for a student to have earned the right to be in it. 
On Wednesday, Chris was diligently working at his desk. 

I really felt there was a hidden fire deep inside him. I asked 
Chris if he would like to be in the advanced class. How I 
wish I could express the look in Chris's face, the emotions 
in that shy fourteen-year-old boy, trying to hold back his 

"Who me, Mr. Rowland? Am I good enough?" 

"Yes, Chris, you are good enough." 

I had to leave at that point because tears were coming to 
my eyes. As Chris walked out of class that day, seemingly 
two inches taller, he looked at me with bright blue eyes and 
said in a positive voice, "Thank you, Mr. Rowland." 

Chris taught me a lesson I will never forget-our deep 
desire to feel important. To help me never forget this rule, 
I made a sign which reads "YOU ARE IMPORTANT." This 
sign hangs in the front of the classroom for all to see and to 
remind me that each student I face is equally important. 

The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people 
you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, 
and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in 
some subtle way that you recognize their importance, 
and recognize it sincerely. 

Remember what Emerson said: "Every man I meet is 
my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him." 

And the pathetic part of it is that frequently those who 
have the least justification for a feeling of achievement 
bolster up their egos by a show of tumult and conceit 
which is truly nauseating. As Shakespeare put it: "... 
man, proud man,/Drest in a little brief authority,/ . . . 
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make 
the angels weep." 

I am going to tell you how business people in my own 
courses have applied these principles with remarkable 
results. Let's take the case of a Connecticut attorney (because 
of his relatives he prefers not to have his name 

Shortly after joining the course, Mr. R drove to 

Long Island with his wife to visit some of her relatives. 

She left him to chat with an old aunt of hers and ther 
rushed off by herself to visit some of the younger relatives. 
Since he soon had to give a speech professionally 
on how he applied the principles of appreciation, he 
thought he would gain some worthwhile experience 
talking with the-elderly lady. So he looked around the 
house to see what he could honestly admire. 

"This house was built about 1890, wasn't it?" he inquired. 

"Yes," she replied, "that is precisely the year it was 

"It reminds me of the house I was born in," he said. 
"It's beautiful. Well built. Roomy. You know, they don't 
build houses like this anymore." 

"You're right," the old lady agreed. "The young folks 
nowadays don't care for beautiful homes. All they want 
is a small apartment, and then they go off gadding about 
in their automobiles. 

"This is a dream house," she said in a voice vibrating 
with tender memories. "This house was built with love. 
My husband and I dreamed about it for years before we 
built it. We didn't have an architect. We planned it all 

She showed Mr. R about the house, and he expressed 

his hearty admiration for the beautiful treasures 

she had picked up in her travels and cherished over a 

lifetime - paisley shawls, an old English tea set, Wedgwood 

china, French beds and chairs, Italian paintings, 

and silk draperies that had once hung in a French chateau. 

After showing Mr. R through the house, she took 

him out to the garage. There, jacked up on blocks, was a 
Packard car - in mint condition. 

"My husband bought that car for me shortly before he 
passed on," she said softly. "I have never ridden in it 
since his death. . . . You appreciate nice things, and I'm 
going to give this car to you." 

"Why, aunty," he said, "you overwhelm me. I appreciate 
your generosity, of course; but I couldn't possibly 

accept it. I'm not even a relative of yours. I have a new 
car, and you have many relatives that would like to have 
that Packard." 

"Relatives!" she exclaimed. "Yes, I have relatives who 
are just waiting till I die so they can get that car. But 
they are not going to get it." 

"If you don't want to give it to them, you can very 
easily sell it to a secondhand dealer," he told her. 

"Sell it!" she cried. "Do you think I would sell this 
car? Do you think I could stand to see strangers riding 
up and down the street in that car - that car that my 
husband bought for me? I wouldn't dream of selling it. 
I'm going to give it to you. You appreciate beautiful 

He tried to get out of accepting the car, but he couldn't 
without hurting her feelings. 

This lady, left all alone in a big house with her paisley 
shawls, her French antiques, and her memories, was 
starving for a little recognition. She had once been 
young and beautiful and sought after She had once built 
a house warm with love and had collected things from 
all over Europe to make it beautiful. Now, in the isolated 
loneliness of old age, she craved a little human warmth, 
a little genuine appreciation - and no one gave it to her. 
And when she found it, like a spring in the desert, her 
gratitude couldn't adequately express itself with anything 
less than the gift of her cherished Packard. 

Let's take another case: Donald M. McMahon, who 
was superintendent of Lewis and Valentine, nurserymen 
and landscape architects in Rye, New York, related 
this incident: 

"Shortly after I attended the talk on 'How to Win 
Friends and Influence People,' I was landscaping the 
estate of a famous attorney. The owner came out to give 
me a few instructions about where he wished to plant a 
mass of rhododendrons and azaleas. 

"I said, 'Judge, you have a lovely hobby. I've been 
admiring your beautiful dogs. I understand you win a lot 

of blue ribbons every year at the show in Madison 
Square Garden.' 

"The effect of this httle expression of appreciation was 

" 'Yes,' the judge rephed, 'I do have a lot of fun with 
my dogs. Would you like to see my kennel?' 

"He spent almost an hour showing me his dogs and 
the prizes they had won. He even brought out their 
pedigrees and explained about the bloodlines responsible 
for such beauty and intelligence. 

"Finally, turning to me, he asked: 'Do you have any 
small children?' 

" 'Yes, I do,' I rephed, 'I have a son.' 

" 'Well, wouldn't he like a puppy?' the judge inquired. 

" 'Oh, yes, he'd be tickled pink.' 

" 'All right, I'm going to give him one,' the . judge announced. 

He started to tell me how to feed the puppy. Then he 
paused. 'You'll forget it if I tell you. I'll write it out.' So 
the judge went in the house, typed out the pedigree and 
feeding instructions, and gave me a puppy worth several 
hundred dollars and one hour and fifteen minutes of his 
valuable time largely because I had expressed my honest 
admiration for his hobby and achievements." 

George Eastman, of Kodak fame, invented the transparent 
film that made motion pictures possible, amassed 
a fortune of a hundred million dollars, and made himself 
one of the most famous businessmen on earth. Yet in 
spite of all these tremendous accomplishments, he 
craved little recognitions even as you and I. 

To illustrate: When Eastman was building the Eastman 
School of Music and also Kilbourn Hall in Rochester, 
James Adamson, then president of the Superior 
Seating Company of New York, wanted to get the order 
to supply the theater chairs for these buildings. Phoning 
the architect, Mr. Adamson made an appointment to see 

Mr. Eastman in Rochester. 

When Adamson arrived, the architect said: "I know 
you want to get this order, but I can tell you right now 
that you won't stand a ghost of a show if you take more 
than five minutes of George Eastman's time. He is a 
strict disciplinarian. He is very busy. So tell your story 
quickly and get out." 

Adamson was prepared to do just that. 

When he was ushered into the room he saw Mr. Eastman 
bending over a pile of papers at his desk. Presently, 
Mr. Eastman looked up, removed his glasses, and 
walked toward the architect and Mr. Adamson, saying: 
"Good morning, gentlemen, what can I do for you?" 

The architect introduced them, and then Mr. Adamson 
said: "While we've been waiting for you, Mr. Eastman, 
I've been admiring your office. I wouldn't mind working 
in a room like this myself I'm in the interior- woodworking 
business, and I never saw a more beautiful office in 
all my life." 

George Eastman replied: "You remind me of something 
I had almost forgotten. It is beautiful, isn't it? I 
enjoyed it a great deal when it was first built. But I come 
down here now with a lot of other things on my mind 
and sometimes don't even see the room for weeks at a 
time ." 

Adamson walked over and rubbed his hand across a 
panel. "This is English oak, isn't it? A little different 
texture from Italian oak." 

"Yes," Eastman replied. "Imported English oak. It 
was selected for me by a friend who specializes in fine 
woods ." 

Then Eastman showed him about the room, commenting 
on the proportions, the coloring, the hand carving 
and other effects he had helped to plan and execute. 

While drifting about the room, admiring the wood-work, 
they paused before a window, and George Eastman, 
in his modest, soft-spoken way, pointed out some 

of the institutions through which he was trying to help 
humanity: the University of Rochester, the General Hospital, 
the Homeopathic Hospital, the Friendly Home, 
the Children's Hospital. Mr. Adamson congratulated 
him warmly on the idealistic way he was using his 
wealth to alleviate the sufferings of humanity. Presently, 
George Eastman unlocked a glass case and pulled out 
the first camera he had ever owned - an invention he 
had bought from an Englishman. 

Adamson questioned him at length about his early 
struggles to get started in business, and Mr. Eastman 
spoke with real feeling about the poverty of his childhood, 
telling how his widowed mother had kept a boardinghouse 
while he clerked in an insurance office. The 
terror of poverty haunted him day and night, and he 
resolved to make enough money so that his mother 
wouldn't have to work, Mr. Adamson drew him out with 
further questions and listened, absorbed, while he related 
the story of his experiments with dry photographic 
plates. He told how he had worked in an office all day, 
and sometimes experimented all night, taking only brief 
naps while the chemicals were working, sometimes 
working and sleeping in his clothes for seventy-two 
hours at a stretch. 

James Adamson had been ushered into Eastman's office 
at ten-fifteen and had been warned that he must not 
take more than five minutes; but an hour had passed, 
then two hours passed. And they were still talking. 
Finally, George Eastman turned to Adamson and said, 
"The last time I was in Japan I bought some chairs, 
brought them home, and put them in my sun porch. But 
the sun peeled the paint, so I went downtown the other 
day and bought some paint and painted the chairs myself 
Would you like to see what sort of a job I can do 
painting chairs? All right. Come up to my home and have 
lunch with me and I'll show you." 

After lunch, Mr. Eastman showed Adamson the chairs 

he had brought from Japan. They weren't worth more 

than a few dollars, but George Eastman, now a multimillionaire, 

was proud of them because he himself had 

painted them. 

The order for the seats amounted to $90,000. Who do 

you suppose got the order - James Adamson or one of 
his competitors? 

From the time of this story until Mr. Eastman's death, 
he and James Adamson were close friends. 

Claude Marais, a restaurant owner in Rouen, France, 
used this principle and saved his restaurant the loss of a 
key employee. This woman had been in his employ for 
five years and was a vital link between M. Marais and 
his staff of twenty-one people. He was shocked to receive 
a registered letter from her advising him of her 

M. Marais reported: "I was very surprised and, even 
more, disappointed, because I was under the impression 
that I had been fair to her and receptive to her needs. 
Inasmuch as she was a friend as well as an employee, I 
probably had taken her too much for granted and maybe 
was even more demanding of her than of other employees. 

"I could not, of course, accept this resignation without 
some explanation. I took her aside and said, 'Paulette, 
you must understand that I cannot accept your resignation 
You mean a great deal to me and to this company, 
and you are as important to the success of this restaurant 
as I am.' I repeated this in front of the entire staff, and I 
invited her to my home and reiterated my confidence in 
her with my family present. 

"Paulette withdrew her resignation, and today I can 
rely on her as never before. I frequently reinforce this 
by expressing my appreciation for what she does and 
showing her how important she is to me and to the restaurant." 

"Talk to people about themselves," said Disraeli, one 
of the shrewdest men who ever ruled the British Empire. 
"Talk to people about themselves and they will 
listen for hours ." 


Make the other person feel important-and 

do it sincerely. 

In a Nutshell 



Become genuinely interested in other people. 




Remember that a person's name is to that person the 
sweetest and most important sound in any language. 


Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about 


Talk in terms of the other person's interests. 


Make the other person feel important-and do it 


How to Win People to 


Way of Thinking 



Shortly after the close of World War I, I learned an invaluable 
lesson one night in London. I was manager at 

the time for Sir Ross Smith. During the war, Sir Ross had 
been the Austrahan ace out in Palestine; and shortly 
after peace was declared, he astonished the world by 
flying halfway around it in thirty days. No such feat had 
ever been attempted before. It created a tremendous 
sensation. The Australian government awarded him fifty 
thousand dollars; the King of England knighted him; 
and, for a while, he was the most talked-about man 
under the Union Jack. I was attending a banquet one 
night given in Sir Ross's honor; and during the dinner, 
the man sitting next to me told a humorous story which 
hinged on the quotation "There's a divinity that shapes 
our ends, rough-hew them how we will." 

The raconteur mentioned that the quotation was from 

the Bible. He was wrong. I knew that, I knew it positively. 

There couldn't be the slightest doubt about it. 

And so, to get a feeling of importance and display my 

superiority, I appointed myself as an unsolicited and unwelcome 

committee of one to correct him. He stuck to 

his guns. What? From Shakespeare? 

Impossible! Absurd! That quotation was from 

the Bible. And he knew it. 

The storj^teller was sitting on my right; and Frank 
Gammond, an old friend of mine, was seated at my left. 
Mr. Gammond had devoted years to the study of Shakespeare, 
So the storyteller and I agreed to submit the 
question to Mr. Gammond. Mr. Gammond listened, 
kicked me under the table, and then said: "Dale, you are 
wrong. The gentleman is right. It is from the Bible." 

On our way home that night, I said to Mr. Gammond: 
"Frank, you knew that quotation was from Shakespeare," 

"Yes, of course," he replied, "Hamlet, Act Five, Scene 
Two. But we were guests at a festive occasion, my dear 
Dale. Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to 
make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He 
didn't ask for your opinion. He didn't want it. Why argue 
with him? Always avoid the acute angle." The man who 
said that taught me a lesson I'll never forget. I not 
only had made the storyteller uncomfortable, but had 
put my friend in an embarrassing situation. How much 
better it would have been had I not become argumentative. 

It was a sorely needed lesson because I had been an 
inveterate arguer. During my youth, I had argued with 
my brother about everything under the Milky Way. 
When I went to college, I studied logic and argumentation 
and went in for debating contests. Talk about being 
from Missouri, I was born there. I had to be shown. 
Later, I taught debating and argumentation in New 
York; and once, I am ashamed to admit, I planned to 
write a book on the subject. Since then, I have listened 
to, engaged in, and watched the effect of thousands of 
arguments. As a result of all this, I have come to the 
conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven 
to get the best of an argument - and that is to 
avoid it . 

Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes. 

Nine times out often, an argument ends with each of 
the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he 
is absolutely right. 

You can't win an argument. You can't because if you 
lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? 
Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot 
his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos 
mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what 
about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have 
hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And - 

A man convinced against his will 
Is of the same opinion still. 

Years ago Patrick J. O'Haire joined one of my classes. 
He had had little education, and how he loved a scrap! 
He had once been a chauffeur, and he came to me because 
he had been trying, without much success, to sell 
trucks. A little questioning brought out the fact that he 
was continually scrapping with and antagonizing the 
very people he was trying to do business with. If a prospect 
said anything derogatory about the trucks he was 
selling, Pat saw red and was right at the customer' s 
throat. Pat won a lot of arguments in those days. As he 
said to me afterward, "I often walked out of an office 
saving: 'I told that bird something.' Sure I had told him 
something, but I hadn't sold him anything." 

Mv first problem was not to teach Patrick J. O'Haire to 
talk. My immediate task was to train him to refrain from 
talking and to avoid verbal fights. 

Mr. O'Haire became one of the star salesmen for the 
White Motor Company in New York. How did he do it? 
Here is his story in his own words: "If I walk into a 
buyer's office now and he says: 'What? A White truck? 

They're no good! I wouldn't take one if you gave it to 
me. I'm going to buy the Whose-It truck,' I say, 'The 
Whose-It is a good truck. If you buy the Whose-It, you'll 
never make a mistake. The Whose-Its are made by a fine 
company and sold by good people. ' 

"He is speechless then. There is no room for an argument. 
If he says the Whose-It is best and I say sure it is, 
he has to stop. He can't keep on all afternoon saying, 
'It's the best' when I'm agreeing with him. We then get 
off the subject of Whose-It and I begin to talk about the 
good points of the White truck. 

"There was a time when a remark like his first one 
would have made me see scarlet and red and orange. I 
would start arguing against the Whose-It; and the more 
I argued against it, the more my prospect argued in favor 
of it; and the more he argued, the more he sold himself 
on my competitor's product. 

"As I look back now I wonder how I was ever able to 
sell anything. I lost years of my life in scrapping and 
arguing. I keep my mouth shut now. It pays." 

As wise old Ben Franklin used to say: 

If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve 
a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because 
you will never get your opponent's good will. 

So figure it out for yourself Which would you rather 
have, an academic, theatrical victory or a person' s good 
will? You can seldom have both. 

The Boston Transcript once printed this bit of significant 

Here lies the body of William Jay, . 
Who died maintaining his right of way- 
He was right, dead right, as he sped along. 
But he's just as dead as if he were wrong. 

You may be right, dead right, as you speed along in 
your argument; but as far as changing another's mind is 
concerned, you will probably be just as futile as if you 
were wrong. 

Frederick S. Parsons, an income tax consultant, had 
been disputing and wrangling for an hour with a gover-ment 
tax inspector. An item of nine thousand dollars was 
at stake. Mr. Parsons claimed that this nine thousand 
dollars was in reality a bad debt, that it would never be 
collected, that it ought not to be taxed. "Bad debt, my 
eye !" retorted the inspector. "It must be taxed." 

"This inspector was cold, arrogant and stubborn," Mr. 
Parsons said as he told the story to the class. "Reason 
was wasted and so were facts. . . The longer we argued, 
the more stubborn he became. So I decided to avoid 
argument, change the subject, and give him appreciation. 

"I said, 'I suppose this is a very petty matter in comparison 
with the really important and difficult decisions 
you're required to make. I've made a study of taxation 
myself But I've had to get my knowledge from books. 
You are getting yours from the firing line of experience. 
I sometime wish I had a job like yours. It would teach 
me a lot.' I meant every word I said. 

"Well." The inspector straightened up in his chair, 
leaned back, and talked for a long time about his work, 
telling me of the clever frauds he had uncovered. His 
tone gradually became friendly, and presently he was 
telling me about his children. As he left, he advised me 
that he would consider my problem further and give me 
his decision in a few days. 

"He called at my office three days later and informed 
me that he had decided to leave the tax return exactly as 
it was filed." 

This tax inspector was demonstrating one of the most 
common of human frailties. He wanted a feeling of 

importance; and as long as Mr. Parsons argued with him, 
he got his feeling of importance by loudly asserting his 
authority. But as soon as his importance was admitted 
and the argument stopped and he was permitted to expand 
his ego, he became a sympathetic and kindly 
human being. 

Buddha said: "Hatred is never ended by hatred but by 
love," and a misunderstanding is never ended by an argument 
but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic 
desire to see the other person's viewpoint. 

Lincoln once reprimanded a young army officer for 
indulging in a violent controversy with an associate. "No 
man who is resolved to make the most of himself," said 
Lincoln, "can spare time for personal contention. Still 
less can he afford to take the consequences, including 
the vitiation of his temper and the loss of self-control. 
Yield larger things to which you show no more than 
equal rights; and yield lesser ones though clearly your 
own. Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by 
him in contesting for the right. Even killing the dog 
would not cure the bite." 

In an article in Bits and Pieces, * some suggestions are 
made on how to keep a disagreement from becoming an 

Welcome the disagreement. Remember the slogan, "When 
two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary." If 
there is some point you haven't thought about, be thankful 
if it is brought to your attention. Perhaps this disagreement 
is your opportunity to be corrected before you make a serious 

Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural 
reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be 
careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It 
may be you at your worst, not your best. 

Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size 
of a person by what makes him or her angry. 

Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them 
finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. 
Try to build bridges of understanding. Don't build 

higher barriers of misunderstanding. 

Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your 
opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which 
you agree. 

Be honest, Look for areas where you can admit error and 
say so. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help disarm your 
opponents and reduce defensiveness. 

Promise to think over your opponents ' ideas and study 
them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. 
It is a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their 
points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in a 
position where your opponents can say: "We tried to tell 
you, but you wouldn't listen." 

Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone 
who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the 
same things you are. Think of them as people who really 
want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into 

Postpone action to give both sides time to think through 
the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that 

day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear. In preparation for this 
meeting, ask yourself some hard questions: 

Could my opponents be right? Partly right? Is there truth 

or merit in their position or argument? Is my reaction one 

that will relieve the problem, or will it just relieve any frustration? 

Will my reaction drive my opponents further away 

or draw them closer to me? Will my reaction elevate the 

estimation good people have of me? Will I win or lose? 

What price will I have to pay if I win? If I am quiet about it, 

will the disagreement blow over? Is this difficult situation 

an opportunity for me? 

* Bits and Pieces, published by The Economics 
Press, Fairfield, N.J. 

Opera tenor Jan Peerce, after he was married nearly 
fifty years, once said: "My wife and I made a pact a long 
time ago, and we've kept it no matter how angry we've 
grown with each other. When one yells, the other should 
listen-because when two people yell, there is no communication. 

just noise and bad vibrations." 


The only way to get the best of an argument 
is to avoid it. 




When Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, he 
confessed that if he could be right 75 percent of the time, 
he would reach the highest measure of his expectation. 

If that was the highest rating that one of the most distinguished 
men of the twentieth century could hope to 
obtain, what about you and me? 

If you can be sure of being right only 55 percent of the 
time, you can go down to Wall Street and make a million 
dollars a day. If you can't be sure of being right even 55 
percent of the time, why should you tell other people 
they are wrong? 

You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an 
intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in 
words - and if you tell them they are wrong, do you 
make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have 
struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, 
pride and self-respect. That will make them want to 
strike back. But it will never make them want to change 
their minds. You may then hurl at them all the logic of a 
Plato or an Immanuel Kant, but you will not alter their 
opinions, for you have hurt their feelings. 

Never begin by announcing "I am going to prove so-and- 
so to you." That's bad. That's tantamount to saying: 
"I'm smarter than you are, I'm going to tell you a thing 
or two and make you change your mind." 

That is a challenge. It arouses opposition and makes 

the listener want to battle with you before you even 

It is difficult, under even the most benign conditions, 
to change people's minds. So why make it harder? Why 
handicap yourself? 

If you are going to prove anything, don't let anybody 
know it. Do it so subtly, so adroitly, that no one will feel 
that you are doing it. This was expressed succinctly by 
Alexander Pope: 

Men must be taught as if you taught them not 
And things unknown proposed as things forgot. 

Over three hundred years ago Galileo said: 

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only 
help him to find it within himself 

As Lord Chesterfield said to his son: 

Be wiser than other people if you can; 
but do not tell them so. 

Socrates said repeatedly to his followers in Athens: 

One thing only I know, and that 
is that I know nothing. 

Well, I can't hope to be any smarter than Socrates, so 
I have quit telling people they are wrong. And I find that 
it pays. 

If a person makes a statement that you think is wrong 
- yes, even that you know is wrong - isn't it better to 
begin by saying: "Well, now, look, I thought otherwise, 
but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, 
I want to be put right. Let's examine the facts." 

There's magic, positive magic, in such phrases as: "I 
may be wrong. I frequently am. Let's examine 
the facts." 

Nobody in the heavens above or on earth 

or in the waters under the earth will ever object to your 
saying: "I may be wrong. Let's examine the facts." 

One of our class members who used this approach in 
dealing with customers was Harold Reinke, a Dodge 
dealer in Billings, Montana. He reported that because of 
the pressures of the automobile business, he was often 
hard-boiled and callous when dealing with customers' 
complaints. This caused flared tempers, loss of business 
and general unpleasantness. 

He told his class: "Recognizing that this was getting 
me nowhere fast, I tried a new tack. I would say something 
like this: 'Our dealership has made so many mistakes 
that I am frequently ashamed. We may have erred 
in your case. Tell me about it.' 

"This approach becomes quite disarming, and by the 
time the customer releases his feelings, he is usually 
much more reasonable when it comes to settling the 
matter. In fact, several customers have thanked me for 
having such an understanding attitude. And two of them 
have even brought in friends to buy new cars. In this 
highly competitive market, we need more of this type of 
customer, and I believe that showing respect for all customers' 
opinions and treating them diplomatically and 
courteously will help beat the competition." 

You will never get into trouble by admitting that you 
may be wrong. That will stop all argument and inspire 
your opponent to be just as fair and open and broad-minded 
as you are. It will make him want to admit that 
he, too, may be wrong. 

If you know positively that a person is wrong, and you 
bluntly tell him or her so, what happens? Let me illustrate. 
Mr. S — a young New York attorney, once argued 
a rather important case before the United States 
Supreme Court (Lustgarten v. Fleet Corporation 280 
U.S. 320). The case involved a considerable sum of 
money and an important question of law. During the 
argument, one of the Supreme Court justices said to him: 
"The statute of limitations in admiralty law is six years, 
is it not?" 

Mr. S — stopped, stared at the Justice for a moment. 

and then said bluntly: "Your Honor, there is no statute 
of limitations in admiralty." 

"A hush fell on the court," said Mr. S — as he related 
his experience to one of the author's classes, "and the 
temperature in the room seemed to drop to zero. I was 
right. Justice - was wrong. And I had told him so. But 
did that make him friendly? No. I still believe that I had 
the law on my side. And I know that I spoke better than 
I ever spoke before. But I didn't persuade. I made the 
enormous blunder of telling a very learned and famous 
man that he was wrong." 

Few people are logical. Most of us are prejudiced and 
biased. Most of us are blighted with preconceived notions, 
with jealousy, suspicion, fear, envy and pride. And 
most citizens don't want to change their minds about 
their religion or their haircut or communism or their favorite 
movie star. So, if you are inclined to tell people 
they are wrong, please read the following paragraph 
every morning before breakfast. It is from James Harvey 
Robinson' s enlightening book The Mind in the Making. 

We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without 
any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we 
are wrong, we resent the imputation and harden our hearts. 
We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, 
but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them 
when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It 
is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, 
but our self-esteem which is threatened. . . . The little word 
"my" is the most important one in human affairs, and properly 
to reckon with it is the beginning of wisdom. It has the 
same force whether it is "my" dinner, "my" dog, and "my" 
house, or "my" father, "my" country, and "my" God. We 
not only resent the imputation that our watch is wrong, or 
our car shabby, but that our conception of the canals of 
Mars, of the pronunciation of "Epictetus," of the medicinal 
value of salicin, or of the date of Sargon I is subject to revision. 
We like to continue to believe what we have been 
accustomed to accept as true, and the resentment aroused 
when doubt is cast upon any of our assumptions leads us to 
seek every manner of excuse for clinging to it. The result is 
that most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments 
for going on believing as we already do. 

Carl Rogers, the eminent psychologist, wrote in his 
book On Becoming a Person: 

I have found it of enormous value when I can permit 
myself to understand the other person. The way in which I 
have worded this statement may seem strange to you. Is it 
necessary to permit oneself to understand another? I think 
it is. Our first reaction to most of the statements (which we 
hear from other people) is an evaluation or judgment, rather 
than an understanding of it. When someone expresses some 
feeling, attitude or belief, our tendency is almost immediately 
to feel "that's right," or "that's stupid," "that's abnormal," 
"that's unreasonable," "that's incorrect," "that's not 
nice ." Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand 
precisely what the meaning of the statement is to the other 

* Adapted from Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person (Boston: Houghton 
Mifflin, 1961), pp. 18ff. 

I once employed an interior decorator to make some 
draperies for my home. When the bill arrived, I was 

A few days later, a friend dropped in and looked at the 
draperies. The price was mentioned, and she exclaimed 
with a note of triumph: "What? That's awful. I am afraid 
he put one over on you." 

True? Yes, she had told the truth, but few people like 
to listen to truths that reflect on their judgment. So, 
being human, I tried to defend myself I pointed out that 
the best is eventually the cheapest, that one can't expect 
to get quality and artistic taste at bargain-basement 
prices, and so on and on. 

The next day another friend dropped in, admired the 
draperies, bubbled over with enthusiasm, and expressed 
a wish that she could afford such exquisite creations for 
her home. My reaction was totally different. "Well, to 
tell the truth," I said, "I can't afford them myself I paid 
too much. I'm sorry I ordered them," 

When we are wrong, we may admit it to ourselves. 
And if we are handled gently and tactfully, we may 
admit it to others and even take pride in our frankness 

and broad-mindedness. But not if someone else is trying 
to ram the unpalatable fact down our esophagus. 

Horace Greeley, the most famous editor in America 
during the time of the Civil War, disagreed violently 
with Lincoln's policies. He believed that he could drive 
Lincoln into agreeing with him by a campaign of argument, 
ridicule and abuse. He waged this bitter campaign 
month after month, year after year. In fact, he wrote a 
brutal, bitter, sarcastic and personal attack on President 
Lincoln the night Booth shot him. 

But did all this bitterness make Lincoln agree with 
Greeley? Not at all. Ridicule and abuse never do. 
If you want some excellent suggestions about dealing 
with people and managing yourself and improving your 
personality, read Benjamin Franklin's autobiography - 
one of the most fascinating life stories ever written, one 
of the classics of American literature. Ben Franklin tells 
how he conquered the iniquitous habit of argument and 
transformed himself into one of the most able, suave and 
diplomatic men in American history. 

One day, when Ben Franklin was a blundering youth, 
an old Quaker friend took him aside and lashed him with 
a few stinging truths, something like this: 

Ben, you are impossible. Your opinions have a slap in 
them for everyone who differs with you. They have become 
so offensive that nobody cares for them. Your friends find 
they enjoy themselves better when you are not around. You 
know so much that no man can tell you anything. Indeed, 
no man is going to try, for the effort would lead only to 
discomfort and hard work. So you are not likely ever to 
know any more than you do now, which is very little. 

One of the finest things I know about Ben Franklin is 
the way he accepted that smarting rebuke. He was big 
enough and wise enough to realize that it was true, to 
sense that he was headed for failure and social disaster. 
So he made a right-about-face. He began immediately to 
change his insolent, opinionated ways. 

"I made it a rule," said Franklin, "to forbear all direct 
contradiction to the sentiment of others, and all positive 
assertion of my own, I even forbade myself the use of 

every word or expression in the language that imported 

a fix'd opinion, such as 'certainly,' 'undoubtedly,' etc., 

and I adopted, instead of them, 'I conceive,' 'I apprehend, 

' or 'I imagine' a thing to be so or so, or 'it so 

appears to me at present.' When another asserted something 

that I thought an error, I deny'd myself the pleasure 

of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing 

immediately some absurdity in his proposition: and in 

answering I began by observing that in certain cases or 

circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the 

present case there appear' d or seem'd to me some difference, 

etc. I soon found the advantage of this change in 

my manner; the conversations I engag'd in went on more 

pleasantly. The modest way in which I propos'd my 

opinions procur'd them a readier reception and less contradiction; 

I had less mortification when I was found to 

be in the wrong, and I more easily prevaile'd with others 

to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened 

to be in the right. 

"And this mode, which I at first put on with some 
violence to natural inclination, became at length so easy, 
and so habitual to me, that perhaps for these fifty years 
past no one has ever heard a dogmatical expression escape 
me. And to this habit (after my character of integrity) 
I think it principally owing that I had earned so 
much weight with my fellow citizens when I proposed 
new institutions, or alterations in the old, and so much 
influence in public councils when I became a member; 
for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to 
much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in 
language, and yet I generally carried my points." 

How do Ben Franklin's methods work in business? 
Let's take two examples. 

Katherine A, Allred of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, 

is an industrial engineering supervisor for a yarn-processing 

plant. She told one of our classes how she 

handled a sensitive problem before and after taking our 


"Part of my responsibility," she reported, "deals with 
setting up and maintaining incentive systems and standards 
for our operators so they can make more money by 
producing more yarn. The system we were using had 

worked fine when we had only two or three different 
types of yarn, but recently we had expanded our inventory 
and capabilities to enable us to run more than 
twelve different varieties. The present system was no 
longer adequate to pay the operators fairly for the work 
being performed and give them an incentive to increase 
production. I had worked up a new system which would 
enable us to pay the operator by the class of yam she 
was running at any one particular time. With my new 
system in hand, I entered the meeting determined to 
prove to the management that my system was the right 
approach. I told them in detail how they were wrong 
and showed where they were being unfair and how I 
had all the answers they needed. To say the least, I 
failed miserably! I had become so busy defending my 
position on the new system that I had left them no opening 
to graciously admit their problems on the old one. 
The issue was dead. 

"After several sessions of this course, I realized all too 
well where I had made my mistakes. I called another 
meeting and this time I asked where they felt their problems 
were. We discussed each point, and I asked them 
their opinions on which was the best way to proceed. 
With a few low-keyed suggestions, at proper intervals, I 
let them develop my system themselves. At the end of 
the meeting when I actually presented my system, they 
enthusiastically accepted it. 

"I am convinced now that nothing good is accomplished 
and a lot of damage can be done if you tell a 
person straight out that he or she is wrong. You only 
succeed in stripping that person of self-dignity and making 
yourself an unwelcome part of any discussion." 

Let's take another example - and remember these 

cases I am citing are typical of the experiences of thousands 

of other people. R. V. Crowley was a salesman for 

a lumber company in New York. Crowley admitted that 

he had been telling hard-boiled lumber inspectors for 

years that they were wrong. And he had won the arguments 

too. But it hadn't done any good. "For these lumber 

inspectors," said Mr. Crowley, "are like baseball 

umpires. Once they make a decision, they never change 


Mr. Crowley saw that his firm was losing thousands of 
dollars through the arguments he won. So while taking 
my course, he resolved to change tactics and abandon 
arguments. With what results? Here is the story as he 
told it to the fellow members of his class: 

"One morning the phone rang in my office. A hot and 
bothered person at the other end proceeded to inform 
me that a car of lumber we had shipped into his plant 
was entirely unsatisfactory. His firm had stopped unloading 
and requested that we make immediate arrangements 
to remove the stock from their yard. After about 
one-fourth of the car had been unloaded, their lumber 
inspector reported that the lumber was running 55 percent 
below grade. Under the circumstances, they refused 
to accept it. 

"I immediately started for his plant and on the way 

turned over in my mind the best way to handle the situation. 

Ordinarily, under such circumstances, I should 

have quoted grading rules and tried, as a result of my 

own experience and knowledge as a lumber inspector, 

to convince the other inspector that the lumber was actually 

up to grade, and that he was misinterpreting the 

rules in his inspection. However, I thought I would 

apply the principles learned in this training. 

"When I arrived at the plant, I found the purchasing 
agent and the lumber inspector in a wicked humor, both 
set for an argument and a fight. We walked out to the car 
that was being unloaded, and I requested that they continue 
to unload so that I could see how things were 
going. I asked the inspector to go right ahead and lay out 
the rejects, as he had been doing, and to put the good 
pieces in another pile. 

"After watching him for a while it began to dawn on 
me that his inspection actually was much too strict and 
that he was misinterpreting the rules. This particular 
lumber was white pine, and I knew the inspector was 

thoroughly schooled in hard woods but not a competent, 
experienced inspector on white pine. White pine happened 
to be my own strong suit, but did I offer any 
objection to the way he was grading the lumber? None 
whatever. I kept on watching and gradually began to ask 

questions as to why certain pieces were not satisfactory. 
I didn't for one instant insinuate that the inspector was 
wrong. I emphasized that my only reason for asking was 
in order that we could give his firm exactly what they 
wanted in future shipments, wanted in future shipments. 

"By asking questions in a very friendly, cooperative 
spirit, and insisting continually that they were right in 
laying out boards not satisfactory to their purpose, I got 
him warmed up, and the strained relations between us 
began to thaw and melt away. An occasional carefully 
put remark on my part gave birth to the idea in his mind 
that possibly some of these rejected pieces were actually 
within the grade that they had bought, and that their 
requirements demanded a more expensive grade. I was 
very careful, however, not to let him think I was making 
an issue of this point. 

"Gradually his whole attitude changed. He finally admitted 
to me that he was not experienced on white pine 
and began to ask me questions about each piece as it 
came out of the car, I would explain why such a piece 
came within the grade specified, but kept on insisting 
that we did not want him to take it if it was unsuitable 
for their purpose. He finally got to the point where he 
felt guilty every time he put a piece in the rejected pile. 
And at last he saw that the mistake was on their part for 
not having specified as good a grade as they needed. 

"The ultimate outcome was that he went through the 
entire carload again after I left, accepted the whole lot, 
and we received a check in full. 

"In that one instance alone, a little tact, and the determination 
to refrain from telling the other man he was 
wrong, saved my company a substantial amount of cash, 
and it would be hard to place a money value on the good 
will that was saved." 

Martin Luther King was asked how, as a pacifist, he 
could be an admirer of Air Force General Daniel "Chappie" 
James, then the nation's highest-ranking black officer. 
Dr. King replied, "I judge people by their own 
principles - not by my own." 

In a similar way. General Robert E. Lee once spoke to 

the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, in the 
most glowing terms about a certain officer under his 
command. Another officer in attendance was astonished. 
"General," he said, " do you not know that the man of 
whom you speak so highly is one of your bitterest enemies 
who misses no opportunity to malign you?" "Yes," 
replied General Lee, "but the president asked my opinion 
of him; he did not ask for his opinion of me." 

By the way, I am not revealing anything new in this 
chapter. Two thousand years ago, Jesus said: "Agree 
with thine adversary quickly." 

And 2,200 years before Christ was born. King Akhtoi 
of Egypt gave his son some shrewd advice - advice that 
is sorely needed today. "Be diplomatic," counseled the 
King. "It will help you gain your point." 

In other words, don't argue with your customer or your 
spouse or your adversary. Don't tell them they are 
wrong, don't get them stirred up. Use a little diplomacy. 









Within a minute's walk of my house there was a wild 
stretch of virgin timber, where the blackberry thickets 
foamed white in the springtime, where the squirrels 
nested and reared their young, and the horseweeds grew 
as tall as a horse's head. This unspoiled woodland was 
called Forest Park - and it was a forest, probably not 
much different in appearance from what it was when 
Columbus discovered America. I frequently walked in 
this park with Rex, my little Boston bulldog. He was a 
friendly, harmless little hound; and since we rarely met 
anyone in the park, I took Rex along without a leash or a 

One day we encountered a mounted policeman in the 
park, a policeman itching to show his authority. 

'"What do you mean by letting that dog run loose in 
the park without a muzzle and leash?" he reprimanded 
me. "Don't you know it's against the law?" 

"Yes, I know it is," I replied softy, "but I didn't think 
he would do any harm out here." 

'You didn't think! You didn't think! The law doesn't 
give a tinker's damn about what you think. That dog 
might kill a squirrel or bite a child. Now, I'm going to let 
you off this time; but if I catch this dog out here again 
without a muzzle and a leash, you'll have to tell it to the 
judge ." 

I meekly promised to obey. 

And I did obey - for a few times. But Rex didn't like 
the muzzle, and neither did I; so we decided to take a 
chance. Everything was lovely for a while, and then we 
struck a snag. Rex and I raced over the brow of a hill one 
afternoon and there, suddenly - to my dismay - 1 saw 
the majesty of the law, astride a bay horse. Rex was out 
in front, heading straight for the officer. 

I was in for it. I knew it. So I didn't wait until the 
policeman started talking. I beat him to it. I said: "Officer, 
you've caught me red-handed. I'm guilty. I have no 
alibis, no excuses. You warned me last week that if I 
brought the dog out here again without a muzzle you 
would fine me." 

"Well, now," the policeman responded in a soft tone. 
"I know it's a temptation to let a little dog like that have 
a run out here when nobody is around." 

"Sure it's a temptation," I replied, "but it is against 
the law." 

"Well, a little dog like that isn't going to harm anybody," 
the policeman remonstrated. 

"No, but he may kill squirrels," I said. 

"Well now, I think you are taking this a bit too seriously," 
he told me. "I'll tell you what you do. You just 
let him run over the hill there where I can't see him - and 
we'll forget all about it." 

That policeman, being human, wanted a feeling of importance; 
so when I began to condemn myself, the only 
way he could nourish his self-esteem was to take the 
magnanimous attitude of showing mercy. 

But suppose I had tried to defend myself - well, did 
you ever argue with a policeman? 

But instead of breaking lances with him, I admitted 
that he was absolutely right and I was absolutely wrong; 
I admitted it quickly, openly, and with enthusiasm. The 
affair terminated graciously in my taking his side and his 

taking my side. Lord Chesterfield himself could hardly 
have been more gracious than this mounted policeman, 
who, only a week previously, had threatened to have the 
law on me. 

If we know we are going to be rebuked anyhow, isn't 
it far better to beat the other person to it and do it ourselves? 
Isn't it much easier to listen to self-criticism than 
to bear condemnation from alien lips? 

Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know 
the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to 
say - and say them before that person has a chance to 
say them. The chances are a hundred to one that a generous, 
forgiving attitude will be taken and your mistakes 
will be minimized just as the mounted policeman did 
with me and Rex. 

Ferdinand E. Warren, a commercial artist, used this 
technique to win the good will of a petulant, scolding 
buyer of art. 

"It is important, in making drawings for advertising 
and publishing purposes, to be precise and very exact," 
Mr. Warren said as he told the story. 

"Some art editors demand that their commissions be 
executed immediately; and in these cases, some slight 
error is liable to occur. I knew one art director in particular 
who was always delighted to find fault with some 
little thing. I have often left his office in disgust, not 
because of the criticism, but because of his method of 
attack. Recently I delivered a rush job to this editor, and 
he phoned me to call at his office immediately. He said 
something was wrong. When I arrived, I found just what 
I had anticipated - and dreaded. He was hostile, gloating 
over his chance to criticize. He demanded with heat 
why I had done so and so. My opportunity had come to 
apply the self-criticism I had been studying about. So I 
said: "Mr. So-and-so, if what you say is true, I am at fault 
and there is absolutely no excuse for my blunder. I have 
been doing drawings for you long enough to know bet-ter. 
I'm ashamed of myself ' 

"Immediately he started to defend me. 'Yes, you're 
right, but after all, this isn't a serious mistake. It is 

only -' 

"I interrupted him. 'Any mistake,' I said, 'may be 
costly and they are all irritating.' 

"He started to break in, but I wouldn't let him. I was 
having a grand time. For the first time in my life, I was 
criticizing myself - and I loved it. 

" 'I should have been more careful,' I continued. 'You 
give me a lot of work, and you deserve the best; so I'm 
going to do this drawing all over. ' 

" 'No! No!' he protested. 'I wouldn't think of putting 
you to all that trouble.' He praised my work, assured me 
that he wanted only a minor change and that my slight 
error hadn't cost his firm any money; and, after all, it was 
a mere detail - not worth worrying about. 

"My eagerness to criticize myself took all the fight out 
of him. He ended up by taking me to lunch; and before 
we parted, he gave me a check and another commission" 

There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the 
courage to admit one's errors. It not only clears the air of 
guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem 
created by the error. 

Bruce Harvey of Albuquerque, New Mexico, had incorrectly 
authorized payment of full wages to an employee 
on sick leave. When he discovered his error, he 
brought it to the attention of the employee and explained 
that to correct the mistake he would have to 
reduce his next paycheck by the entire amount of the 
overpayment. The employee pleaded that as that would 
cause him a serious financial problem, could the money 
be repaid over a period of time? In order to do this, 
Harvey explained, he would have to obtain his supervisor's 
approval. "And this I knew," reported Harvey, 
"would result in a boss-type explosion. While trying to 
decide how to handle this situation better, I realized that 
the whole mess was my fault and I would have to admit I 
it to my boss. 

"I walked into his office, told him that I had made a 
mistake and then informed him of the complete facts. 

He replied in an explosive manner that it was the fault 
of the personnel department. I repeated that it was my 
fault. He exploded again about carelessness in the accounting 
department. Again I explained it was my fault. 
He blamed two other people in the office. But each time 
I reiterated it was my fault. Finally, he looked at me and 
said, 'Okay, it was your fault. Now straighten it out.' The 
error was corrected and nobody got into trouble. I felt 
great because I was able to handle a tense situation and 
had the courage not to seek alibis. My boss has had more 
respect for me ever since." 

Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes - and 
most fools do - but it raises one above the herd and gives 
one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one's 
mistakes. For example, one of the most beautiful things 
that history records about Robert E. Lee is the way he 
blamed himself and only himself for the failure of Pickett's 
charge at Gettysburg. 

Pickett's charge was undoubtedly the most brilliant 
and picturesque attack that ever occurred in the Western 
world. General George E. Pickett himself was picturesque. 
He wore his hair so long that his auburn locks 
almost touched his shoulders; and, like Napoleon in his 
Italian campaigns, he wrote ardent love-letters almost 
daily while on the battlefield. His devoted troops 
cheered him that tragic July afternoon as he rode off 
jauntily toward the Union lines, his cap set at a rakish 
angle over his right ear. They cheered and they followed 
him, man touching man, rank pressing rank, with banners 
flying and bayonets gleaming in the sun. It was a 
gallant sight. Daring. Magnificent. A murmur of admiration 
ran through the Union lines as they beheld it. 

Pickett's troops swept forward at any easy trot, through 

orchard and cornfield, across a meadow and 

over a ravine. 

All the time, the enemy's cannon was tearing 

ghastly holes in their ranks. But on they pressed, grim, 


Suddenly the Union infantry rose from behind the 
stone wall on Cemetery Ridge where they had been hiding 
and fired volley after volley into Pickett's onrushing 
troops. The crest of the hill was a sheet of flame, a 

slaughterhouse, a blazing volcano. In a few minutes, all 
of Pickett's brigade commanders except one were down, 
and four-fifths of his five thousand men had fallen. 

General Lewis A. Armi stead, leading the troops in the 
final plunge, ran forward, vaulted over the stone wall, 
and, waving his cap on the top of his sword, shouted: 
"Give 'em the steel, boys!" 

They did. They leaped over the wall, bayoneted their 
enemies, smashed skulls with clubbed muskets, and 
planted the battleflags of the South on Cemetery Ridge. 
The banners waved there only for a moment. But that 
moment, brief as it was, recorded the high- water mark of 
the Confederacy. 

Pickett's charge - brilliant, heroic - was nevertheless 
the beginning of the end. Lee had failed. He could not 
penetrate the North. And he knew it. 

The South was doomed. 

Lee was so saddened, so shocked, that he sent in his 
resignation and asked Jefferson Davis, the president of 
the Confederacy, to appoint "a younger and abler man." 
If Lee had wanted to blame the disastrous failure of 
Pickett's charge on someone else, he could have found a 
score of alibis. Some of his division commanders had 
failed him. The cavalry hadn't arrived in time to support 
the infantry attack. This had gone wrong and that had 
gone awry. 

But Lee was far too noble to blame others. As Pickett's 
beaten and bloody troops struggled back to the Confederate 
lines, Robert E. Lee rode out to meet them all 
alone and greeted them with a self- 
condemnation that 

was little short of sublime. "All this has been my fault," 
he confessed. "I and I alone have lost this battle." 

Few generals in all history have had the courage and 
character to admit that. 

Michael Cheung, who teaches our course in Hong 
Kong, told of how the Chinese culture presents some 
special problems and how sometimes it is necessary to 

recognize that the benefit of applying a principle may be 
more advantageous than maintaining an old tradition. 
He had one middle-aged class member who had been 
estranged from his son for many years. The father had 
been an opium addict, but was now cured. In Chinese 
tradition an older person cannot take the first step. The 
father felt that it was up to his son to take the initiative 
toward a reconciliation. In an early session, he told the 
class about the grandchildren he had never seen and 
how much he desired to be reunited with his son. His 
classmates, all Chinese, understood his conflict between 
his desire and long-established tradition. The father felt 
that young people should have respect for their elders 
and that he was right in not giving in to his desire, but to 
wait for his son to come to him. 

Toward the end of the course the father again addressed 

his class. "I have pondered this problem," he 

said. "Dale Carnegie says, 'If you are wrong, admit it 

quickly and emphatically.' It is too late for me to admit 

it quickly, but I can admit it emphatically. I wronged my 

son. He was right in not wanting to see me and to expel 

me from his life. I may lose face by asking a younger 

person's forgiveness, but I was at fault and it is my responsibility 

to admit this." The class applauded and 

gave him their full support. At the next class he told how 

he went to his son's house, asked for and received forgiveness 

and was now embarked on a new relationship 

with his son, his daughter-in-law and the grandchildren 

he had at last met. 

Elbert Hubbard was one of the most original 


who ever stirred up a nation, and his stinging sentences 

often aroused fierce resentment. But Hubbard with his 

rare skill for handling people frequently turned his enemies 

into friends. 

For example, when some irritated reader wrote in to 
say that he didn't agree with such and such an article 
and ended by calling Hubbard this and that, Elbert Hubbard 
would answer like this: 

Come to think it over, I don't entirely agree with it myself 
Not everything I wrote yesterday appeals to me today. I am 
glad to learn what you think on the subject. The next time 

you are in the neighborhood you must visit us and we'll get 
this subject threshed out for all time. So here is a handclasp 
over the miles, and I am, 

Your sincerely. 

What could you say to a man who treated you like 

When we are right, let's try to win people gently and 
tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong 
- and that will be surprisingly often, if we are honest 
with ourselves - let's admit our mistakes quickly and 
with enthusiasm. Not only will that technique produce 
astonishing results; but, believe it or not, it is a lot more 
fun, under the circumstances, than trying to defend oneself 

Remember the old proverb: "By fighting you never 

get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected." 


If you are wrong, admit it quickly 





If your temper is aroused and you tell 'em a thing or two, 
you will have a fine time unloading your feelings. But 
what about the other person? Will he share your pleasure? 
Will your belligerent tones, your hostile attitude, 
make it easy for him to agree with you? 

"If you come at me with your fists doubled," said 
Woodrow Wilson, "I think I can promise you that mine 
will double as fast as yours; but if you come to me and 
say, 'Let us sit down and take counsel together, and, if 
we differ from each other, understand why it is that we 
differ, just what the points at issue are,' we will presently 
find that we are not so far apart after all, that the 
points on which we differ are few and the points on 

which we agree are many, and that if we only have the 
patience and the candor and the desire to get together, 
we will get together." 

Nobody appreciated the truth of Woodrow Wilson's 
statement more than John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Back in 
1915, Rockefeller was the most fiercely despised man in 
Colorado, One of the bloodiest strikes in the history of 
American industry had been shocking the state for two 
terrible years. Irate, belligerent miners were demanding 
higher wages from the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company; 
Rockefeller controlled that company. Property had 
been destroyed, troops had been called out. Blood had 
been shed. Strikers had been shot, their bodies riddled 
with bullets. 

At a time like that, with the air seething with hatred. 
Rockefeller wanted to win the strikers to his way of 
thinking. And he did it. How? Here's the story. After 
weeks spent in making friends. Rockefeller addressed 
the representatives of the strikers. This speech, in its 
entirety, is a masterpiece. It produced astonishing results. 
It calmed the tempestuous waves of hate that 
threatened to engulf Rockefeller. It won him a host of 
admirers. It presented facts in such a friendly manner 
that the strikers went back to work without saying another 
word about the increase in wages for which they 
had fought so violently. 

The opening of that remarkable speech follows. Note 

how it fairly glows with friendliness. Rockefeller, remember, 

was talking to men who, a few days previously, 

had wanted to hang him by the neck to a sour apple tree; 

yet he couldn't have been more gracious, more friendly 

if he had addressed a group of medical missionaries. His 

speech was radiant with such phrases as I am proud to 

be here, having visited in your homes, met many of your 

wives and children, we meet here not as strangers, but 

as friends . . . spirit of mutual friendship, our common 

interests, it is only by your courtesy that I am here. 

"This is a red-letter day in my life," Rockefeller 
began. "It is the first time I have ever had the good 
fortune to meet the representatives of the employees of 
this great company, its officers and superintendents, together, 
and I can assure you that I am proud to be here. 

and that I shall remember this gathering as long as I live. 
Had this meeting been held two weeks ago, I should 
have stood here a stranger to most of you, recognizing a 
few faces. Having had the opportunity last week of 
visiting all the camps in the southern coal field and 
of talking individually with practically all of the 
representatives, except those who were away; having 
visited in your homes, met many of your wives and children, 
we meet here not as strangers, but as friends, and 
it is in that spirit of mutual friendship that I am glad to 
have this opportunity to discuss with you our common 

"Since this is a meeting of the officers of the company 
and the representatives of the employees, it is only by 
your courtesy that I am here, for I am not so fortunate as 
to be either one or the other; and yet I feel that I am 
intimately associated with you men, for, in a sense, I 
represent both the stockholders and the directors." 

Isn't that a superb example of the fine art of making 
friends out of enemies? 

Suppose Rockefeller had taken a different tack. Suppose 
he had argued with those miners and hurled devastating 
facts in their faces. Suppose he had told them by 
his tones and insinuations that they were wrong Suppose 
that, by all the rules of logic, he had proved that 
they were wrong. What would have happened? More 
anger would have been stirred up, more hatred, more 

If a man's heart is rankling with discord and ill feeling 
toward you, you can 't win him to your way of thinking 
with all the logic in Christendom. Scolding parents 
and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging 
wives ought to realize that people don 't want to change 
their minds. They can 't he forced or driven to agree 
with you or me. But they may possibly be led to, if we 
are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so 

Lincoln said that, in effect, over a hundred years ago. 
Here are his words: 

It is an old and true maxim that "a drop of honey catches 

more flies than a gallon of gall." So with men, if you would 
win a man to you cause, first convince him that you are his 
sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his 
heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to 
his reason. 

Business executives have learned that it pays to be 
friendly to strikers. For example, when 2,500 employees 
in the White Motor Company's plant struck for higher 
wages and a union shop, Robert F. Black, then president 
of the company, didn't lose his temper and condemn and 
threaten and talk of tryanny and Communists. He actually 
praised the strikers. He published an advertisement 
in the Cleveland papers, complimenting them on 
"the peaceful way in which they laid down their tools." 
Finding the strike pickets idle, he bought them a couple 
of dozen baseball bats and gloves and invited them to 
play ball on vacant lots. For those who preferred bowling, 
he rented a bowling alley. 

This friendliness on Mr. Black's part did what friendliness 
always does: it begot friendliness. So the strikers 
borrowed brooms, shovels, and rubbish carts, and began 
picking up matches, papers, cigarette stubs, and cigar 
butts around the factory. Imagine it! Imagine strikers 
tidying up the factory grounds while battling for higher 
wages and recognition of the union. Such an event had 
never been heard of before in the long, tempestuous 
history of American labor wars. That strike ended with a 
compromise settlement within a week-ended without 
any ill feeling or rancor. 

Daniel Webster, who looked like a god and talked like 
Jehovah, was one of the most successful advocates who 
ever pleaded a case; yet he ushered in his most powerful 
arguments with such friendly remarks as: "It will be for 
the jury to consider," "This may perhaps be worth 
thinking of," " Here are some facts that I trust you will 
not lose sight of," or "You, with your knowledge of 
human nature, will easily see the significance of these 
facts." No bulldozing. No high-pressure methods. No attempt 
to force his opinions on others. Webster used the 
soft-spoken, quiet, friendly approach, and it helped to 
make him famous. 

You may never be called upon to settle a strike or 

address a jury, but you may want to get your rent reduced. 

Will the friendly approach help you then? Let's 


0. L. Straub, an engineer, wanted to get his rent reduced. 
And he knew his landlord was hard-boiled. "I 
wrote him," Mr. Straub said in a speech before the class, 
"notifying him that I was vacating my apartment as soon 
as my lease expired. The truth was, I didn't want to 
move. I wanted to stay if I could get my rent reduced. 
But the situation seemed hopeless. Other tenants had 
tried - and failed. Everyone told me that the landlord 
was extremely difficult to deal with. But I said to myself, 
'I am studying a course in how to deal with people, so 
I'll try it on him - and see how it works.' 

"He and his secretary came to see me as soon as he 
got my letter. I met him at the door with a friendly greeting. 
I fairly bubbled with good will and enthusiasm. I 
didn't begin talking about how high the rent was. I 
began talking about how much I liked his apartment 
house. Believe me, I was 'hearty in my approbation and 
lavish in my praise.' I complimented him on the way he 
ran the building and told him I should like so much to 
stay for another year but I couldn't afford it. 

"He had evidently never had such a reception from a 
tenant. He hardly knew what to make of it. 

"Then he started to tell me his troubles. Complaining 
tenants. One had written him fourteen letters, some of 
them positively insulting. Another threatened to break 
his lease unless the landlord kept the man on the floor 
above from snoring. 'What a relief it is,' he said, 'to have 
a satisfied tenant like you.' And then, without my even 
asking him to do it, he offered to reduce my rent a little. 
I wanted more, so I named the figure I could afford to 
pay, and he accepted without a word. 

"As he was leaving, he turned to me and asked, 'What 
decorating can I do for you?' 

"If I had tried to get the rent reduced by the methods 
the other tenants were using, I am positive I should have 
met with the same failure they encountered. It was the 
friendly, sympathetic, appreciative approach that won." 

Dean Woodcock of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the 
superintendent of a department of the local electric company. 
His staff was called upon to repair some equipment 
on top of a pole. This type of work had formerly 
been performed by a different department and had only 
recently been transferred to Woodcock's section Although 
his people had been trained in the work, this was 
the first time they had ever actually been called upon to 
do it. Everybody in the organization was interested in 
seeing if and how they could handle it. Mr. Woodcock, 
several of his subordinate managers, and members of 
other departments of the utility went to see the operation. 
Many cars and trucks were there, and a number of 
people were standing around watching the two lone 
men on top of the pole. 

Glancing around. Woodcock noticed a man up the 
street getting out of his car with a camera. He began 
taking pictures of the scene. Utility people are extremely 
conscious of public relations, and suddenly Woodcock 
realized what this setup looked like to the man with the 
camera - overkill, dozens of people being called out to 
do a two-person job. He strolled up the street to the 

"I see you're interested in our operation." 

"Yes, and my mother will be more than interested. 
She owns stock in your company. This will be an eye-opener 
for her. She may even decide her investment was 
unwise. I've been telling her for years there's a lot of 
waste motion in companies like yours. This proves it. 
The newspapers might like these pictures, too." 

"It does look like it, doesn't it? I'd think the same 
thing in your position. But this is a unique situation, . . ." 
and Dean Woodcock went on to explain how 
this was the first job of this type for his department and 
how everybody from executives down was interested. 
He assured the man that under normal conditions two 
people could handle the job. The photographer put away 
his camera, shook Woodcock's hand, and thanked him 
for taking the time to explain the situation to him. 

Dean Woodcock's friendly approach saved his company 

much embarrassment and bad publicity. 

Another member of one of our classes, Gerald H. Winn 
of Littleton, New Hampshire, reported how by using a 
friendly approach, he obtained a very satisfactory settlement 
on a damage claim. 

"Early in the spring," he reported, "before the ground 
had thawed from the winter freezing, there was an unusually 
heavy rainstorm and the water, which normally 
would have run off to nearby ditches and storm drains 
along the road, took a new course onto a building lot 
where I had just built a new home. 

"Not being able to run off, the water pressure built up 
around the foundation of the house. The water forced 
itself under the concrete basement floor, causing it to 
explode, and the basement filled with water. This ruined 
the furnace and the hot-water heater. The cost to repair 
this damage was in excess of two thousand dollars. I had 
no insurance to cover this type of damage. 

"However, I soon found out that the owner of the subdivision 
had neglected to put in a storm drain near the 
house which could have prevented this problem I made 
an appointment to see him. During the twenty-five-mile 
trip to his office, I carefully reviewed the situation and, 
remembering the principles I learned in this course, I 
decided that showing my anger would not serve any 
worthwhile purpose. When I arrived, I kept very calm 
and started by talking about his recent vacation to the 
West Indies; then, when I felt the timing was right, I 
mentioned the 'little' problem of water damage. He 
quickly agreed to do his share in helping to correct the 

"A few days later he called and said he would pay for 
the damage and also put in a storm drain to prevent the 
same thing from happening in the future. 

"Even though it was the fault of the owner of the subdivision, 
if I had not begun in a friendly way, there 
would have been a great deal of difficulty in getting him 
to agree to the total liability." 

Years ago, when I was a barefoot boy walking through 

the woods to a country school out in northwest Missouri, 
I read a fable about the sun and the wind. They quarreled 
about which was the stronger, and the wind said, 
"I'll prove I am. See the old man down there with a 
coat? I bet I can get his coat off him quicker than you 

So the sun went behind a cloud, and the wind blew 
until it was almost a tornado, but the harder it blew, the 
tighter the old man clutched his coat to him. 

Finally, the wind calmed down and gave up, and then 
the sun came out from behind the clouds and smiled 
kindly on the old man. Presently, he mopped his brow 
and pulled off his coat. The sun then told the wind that 
gentleness and friendliness were always stronger than 
fury and force. 

The use of gentleness and friendliness is demonstrated 
day after day by people who have learned that a 
drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall. 
F. Gale Connor of Lutherville, Maryland, proved this 
when he had to take his four-month-old car to the service 
department of the car dealer for the third time. He told 
our class: "It was apparent that talking to, reasoning with 
or shouting at the service manager was not going to lead 
to a satisfactory resolution of my problems. 

"I walked over to the showroom and asked to see the 
agency owner, Mr. White. After a short wait, I was ushered 
into Mr. White's office. I introduced myself and 
explained to him that I had bought my car from his 
dealership because of the recommendations of friends 
who had had previous dealings with him. I was told that 
his prices were very competitive and his service was 
outstanding. He smiled with satisfaction as he listened 
to me. I then explained the problem I was having with 
the service department. 'I thought you might want to be 
aware of any situation that might tarnish your fine reputation,' 
I added. He thanked me for calling this to his 
attention and assured me that my problem would be 
taken care of Not only did he personal get involved, 
but he also lent me his car to use while mine was being 

Aesop was a Greek slave who lived at the court of 

Croesus and spun immortal fables six hundred years before 
Christ. Yet the truths he taught about human nature 
are just as true in Boston and Birmingham now as they 
were twenty-six centuries ago in Athens. The sun can 
make you take off your coat more quickly than the wind; 
and kindliness, the friendly approach and appreciation 
can make people change their minds more readily than 
all the bluster and storming in the world. 

Remember what Lincoln said: "A drop of honey 
catches more flies than a gallon of gall." 

Begin in a friendly way. 



In talking with people, don't begin by discussing the 
things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing - and 
keep on emphasizing - the things on which you agree. 
Keep emphasizing, if possible, that you are both striving 
for the same end and that your only difference is one of 
method and not of purpose. 

Get the other person saying "Yes, yes" at the outset. 
Keep your opponent, if possible, from saying "No." 
A "No" response, according to Professor Overstreet,* 
is a most difficult handicap to overcome. When you have 
said "No," all your pride of personality demands that 
you remain consistent with yourself You may later feel 
that the "No" was ill-advised; nevertheless, there is your 
precious pride to consider! Once having said a thing, 
you feel you must stick to it. Hence it is of the very 
greatest importance that a person be started in the affirmative 

* Harry A. Overstreet, Influencing Humun Behavior (New York: Norton, 

The skillful speaker gets, at the outset, a number of 

"Yes" responses. This sets the psychological process of 
the listeners moving in the affirmative direction. It is 
like the movement of a billiard ball. Propel in one direction, 
and it takes some force to deflect it; far more force 
to send it back in the opposite direction. 

The psychological patterns here are quite clear. When 
a person says "No" and really means it, he or she is 
doing far more than saying a word of two letters. The 
entire organism - glandular, nervous, muscular - 
gathers itself together into a condition of rejection. There is, 
usually in minute but sometimes in observable degree, 
a physical withdrawal or readiness for withdrawal. The 
whole neuromuscular system, in short, sets itself on 
guard against acceptance. When, to the contrary, a person 
says "Yes," none of the withdrawal activities takes 
place. The organism is in a forward - moving, accepting, 
open attitude. Hence the more "Yeses" we can, at the 
very outset, induce, the more likely we are to succeed in 
capturing the attention for our ultimate proposal. 

It is a very simple technique - this yes response. And 
yet, how much it is neglected! It often seems as if people 
get a sense of their own importance by antagonizing others 
at the outset. 

Get a student to say "No" at the beginning, or a customer, 
child, husband, or wife, and it takes the wisdom 
and the patience of angels to transform that bristling 
negative into an affirmative. 

The use of this "yes, yes" technique enabled James 
Eberson, who was a teller in the Greenwich Savings 
Bank, in New York City, to secure a prospective customer 
who might otherwise have been lost. 

"This man came in to open an account," said Mr. 
Eberson, "and I gave him our usual form to fill out. Some 
of the questions he answered willingly, but there were 
others he flatly refused to answer. 

"Before I began the study of human relations, I would 
have told this prospective depositor that if he refused to 
give the bank this information, we should have to refuse 
to accept this account. I am ashamed that I have been 
guilty of doing that very thing in the past. Naturally, an 

ultimatum like that made me feel good. I had shown 
who was boss, that the bank's rules and regulations 
couldn't be flouted. But that sort of attitude certainly 
didn't give a feeling of welcome and importance to the 
man who had walked in to give us his patronage. 

"I resolved this morning to use a little horse sense. I 
resolved not to talk about what the bank wanted but 
about what the customer wanted. And above all else, I 
was determined to get him saying 'yes, yes' from the 
very start. So I agreed with him. I told him the information 
he refused to give was not absolutely necessary. 

" 'However,' I said, 'suppose you have money in this 
bank at your death. Wouldn't you like to have the bank 
transfer it to your next of kin, who is entitled to it according 
to law?' 

" 'Yes, of course,' he rephed. 

" 'Don't you think,' I continued, 'that it would be a 
good idea to give us the name of your next of kin so that, 
in the event of your death, we could carry out your 
wishes without error or delay?' 

"Again he said, 'Yes. ' 

"The young man's attitude softened and changed 

when he realized that we weren't asking for this information 

for our sake but for his sake. Before leaving the 

bank, this young man not only gave me complete information 

about himself but he opened, at my suggestion, 

a trust account, naming his mother as the beneficiary for 

his account, and he had gladly answered all the questions 

concerning his mother also. 

"I found that by getting him to say 'yes, yes' from the 
outset, he forgot the issue at stake and was happy to do 
all the things I suggested." 

Joseph Allison, a sales representative for Westinghouse 
Electric Company, had this story to tell: "There 
was a man in my territory that our company was most 
eager to sell to. My predecessor had called on him for 
ten years without selling anything When I took over the 
territory, I called steadily for three years without getting 

an order. Finally, after thirteen years of calls and sales 
talk, we sold him a few motors. If these proved to be all 
right, an order for several hundred more would follow. 
Such was my expectation, 

"Right? I knew they would be all right. So when I 
called three weeks later, I was in high spirits. 

"The chief engineer greeted me with this shocking 
announcement: 'Allison, I can't buy the remainder of the 
motors from you.' 

" 'Why?' I asked in amazement. 'Why?' 

" 'Because your motors are too hot. I can't put my hand 
on them, ' 

"I knew it wouldn't do any good to argue. I had tried 
that sort of thing too long. So I thought of getting the 
'yes, yes' response. 

" 'Well, now look, Mr. Smith,' I said. 'I agree with you 
a hundred percent; if those motors are running too hot, 
you ought not to buy any more of them. You must have 
motors that won't run any hotter than standards set by 
the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Isn't 
that so?' 

"He agreed it was. I had gotten my first 'yes.' 

" 'The Electrical Manufacturers Association regulations 
say that a properly designed motor may have a 
temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit above room temperature. 
Is that correct?' 

" 'Yes,' he agreed. 'That's quite correct. But your motors 
are much hotter. ' 

"I didn't argue with him. I merely asked: 'How hot is 
the mill room?' 

" 'Oh,' he said, 'about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.' 

" 'Well,' I replied, 'if the mill room is 75 degrees and 
you add 72 to that, that makes a total of 147 degrees 
Fahrenheit. Wouldn't you scald your hand if you held it 

under a spigot of hot water at a temperature of 147 degrees 

"Again he had to say 'yes.' 

" 'Well,' I suggested, 'wouldn't it he a good idea to 
keep your hands off those motors?' 

" 'Well, I guess you're right,' he admitted. We continued 
to chat for a while. Then he called his secretary and 
lined up approximately $35,000 worth of business for 
the ensuing month. 

"It took me years and cost me countless thousands of 
dollars in lost business before I finally learned that it 
doesn't pay to argue, that it is much more profitable and 
much more interesting to look at things from the other 
person's viewpoint and try to get that person saying 'yes, yes.' 

Eddie Snow, who sponsors our courses in Oakland, 
California, tells how he became a good customer of a 
shop because the proprietor got him to say "yes, yes." 
Eddie had become interested in bow hunting and had 
spent considerable money in purchasing equipment and 
supplies from a local bow store. When his brother was 
visiting him he wanted to rent a bow for him from this 
store. The sales clerk told him they didn't rent bows, so 
Eddie phoned another bow store. Eddie described what 

"A very pleasant gentleman answered the phone. His 
response to my question for a rental was completely different 
from the other place. He said he was sorry but 
they no longer rented bows because they couldn't afford 
to do so. He then asked me if I had rented before. I 
replied, 'Yes, several years ago.' He reminded me that I 
probably paid $25 to $30 for the rental. I said 'yes' again. 
He then asked if I was the kind of person who liked to 
save money. Naturally, I answered 'yes.' He went on to 
explain that they had bow sets with all the necessary 
equipment on sale for $34.95. 1 could buy a complete set 
for only $4.95 more than I could rent one. He explained 
that is why they had discontinued renting them. Did I 
think that was reasonable? My 'yes' response led to a 
purchase of the set, and when I picked it up I purchased 
several more items at this shop and have since become 

a regular customer." 

Socrates, "the gadfly of Athens," was one of the greatest 
philosophers the world has ever known. He did 
something that only a handful of men in all history have 
been able to do: he sharply changed the whole course of 
human thought; and now, twenty-four centuries after his 
death, he is honored as one of the wisest persuaders who 
ever influenced this wrangling world. 

His method? Did he tell people they were wrong? Oh, 
no, not Socrates. He was far too adroit for that. His whole 
technique, now called the "Socratic method," was based 
upon getting a "yes, yes" response. He asked questions 
with which his opponent would have to agree. He kept 
on winning one admission after another 
until he had an 

armful of yeses. He kept on asking questions until finally, 
almost without realizing it, his opponents found 
themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly 
denied a few minutes previously. 

The next time we are tempted to tell someone he or 
she is wrong, let's remember old Socrates and ask a 
gentle question - a question that will get the "yes, yes" 

The Chinese have a proverb pregnant with the age-old 
wisdom of the Orient: "He who treads softly goes 

They have spent five thousand years studying human 
nature, those cultured Chinese, and they have garnered 
a lot of perspicacity: ''He who treads softly goes far. " 


Get the other person saying "yes, yes" 





Must people trying to win others to their way of thinking 
do too much talking themselves. Let the other people 
talk themselves out. They know more about their business 
and problems than you do. So ask them questions. 
Let them tell you a few things. 

If you disagree with them you may be tempted to interrupt. 
But don't. It is dangerous. They won't pay attention 
to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their 
own crying for expression. So listen patiently and with 
an open mind. Be sincere about it. Encourage them to 
express their ideas fully. 

Does this policy pay in business? Let's see. Here is 
the story of a sales representative who was forced to try 

One of the largest automobile manufacturers in the 
United States was negotiating for a year's requirements 
of upholstery fabrics. Three important manufacturers 
had worked up fabrics in sample bodies. These had all 
been inspected by the executives of the motor company, 
and notice had been sent to each manufacturer saying 
that, on a certain day, a representative from each supplier 
would be given an opportunity to make a final plea 
for the contract. 

G.B.R., a representative of one manufacturer, arrived 
in town with a severe attack of laryngitis. "When it came 
my turn to meet the executives in conference," Mr. 
R — said as he related the story before one of my 
classes, "I had lost my voice. I could hardly whisper. I 
was ushered into a room and found myself face to face 
with the textile engineer, the purchasing agent, the director 
of sales and the president of the company. I stood 
up and made a valiant effort to speak, but I couldn't do 
anything more than squeak. 

"They were all seated around a table, so I wrote on a 
pad of paper: 'Gentlemen, I have lost my voice. I am 

" 'I'll do the talking for you,' the president said. He 
did. He exhibited my samples and praised their good 
points. A lively discussion arose about the merits of my 

goods. And the president, since he was talking for me, 
took the position I would have had during the discussion 
My sole participation consisted of smiles, nods and 
a few gestures. 

"As a result of this unique conference, I was awarded 
the contract, which called for over half a million yards of 
upholstery fabrics at an aggregate value of $1,600,000 - 
the biggest order I had ever received. 

"I know I would have lost the contract if I hadn't lost 
my voice, because I had the wrong idea about the whole 
proposition. I discovered, quite by accident, how richly 
it sometimes pays to let the other person do the talking.' 

Letting the other person do the talking helps in family 
situations as well as in business. Barbara Wilson's relationship 
with her daughter, Laurie, was deteriorating 
rapidly. Laurie, who had been a quiet, complacent child, 
had grown into an uncooperative, sometimes belligerent 
teenager. Mrs. Wilson lectured her, threatened her and 
punished her, but all to no avail. 

"One day," Mrs. Wilson told one of our classes, "I just 
gave up. Laurie had disobeyed me and had left the 
house to visit her girl friend before she had completed 
her chores. When she returned I was about to scream at 
her for the ten-thousandth time, but I just didn't have 
the strength to do it. I just looked at her and said sadly, 
'Why, Laurie, Why?' 

"Laurie noted my condition and in a calm voice asked, 
'Do you really want to know?' I nodded and Laurie told 
me, first hesitantly, and then it all flowed out. I had 
never listened to her. I was always telling her to do this 
or that. When she wanted to tell me her thoughts, feelings, 
ideas, I interrupted with more orders. I began to 
realize that she needed me - not as a bossy mother, but 
as a confidante, an outlet for all her confusion about 
growing up. And all I had been doing was talking when 
I should have been listening. I never heard her. 

"From that time on I let her do all the talking she 

wanted. She tells me what is on her mind, and our relationship 

has improved immeasurably. She is again a cooperative 


A large advertisement appeared on the financial page 
of a New York newspaper calling for a person with unusual 
ability and experience. Charles T. Cubellis answered 
the advertisement, sending his reply to a box 
number. A few days later, he was invited by letter to call 
for an interview. Before he called, he spent hours in 
Wall Street finding out everything possible about the 
person who had founded the business. During the interview, 
he remarked: "I should be mighty proud to be 
associated with an organization with a record like yours. 
I understand you started twenty-eight years ago with 
nothing but desk room and one stenographer. Is that 

Almost every successful person likes to reminisce 
about his early struggles. This man was no exception. 
He talked for a long time about how he had started with 
$450 in cash and an original idea. He told how he had 
fought against discouragement and battled against ridicule, 
working Sundays and holidays, twelve to sixteen 
hours a day; how he had finally won against all odds 
until now the most important executives on Wall Street 
were coming to him for information and guidance. He 
was proud of such a record. He had a right to be, and he 
had a splendid time telling about it. Finally, he questioned 
Mr. Cubellis briefly about his experience, then 
called in one of his vice presidents and said: "I think 
this is the person we are looking for." 

Mr. Cubellis had taken the trouble to find out about 
the accomplishments of his prospective employer. He 
showed an interest in the other person and his problems. 
He encouraged the other person to do most of the talking 
- and made a favorable impression. 

Roy G. Bradley of Sacramento, California, had the opposite 
problem. He listened as a good prospect for a 
sales position talked himself into a job with Bradley's 
firm, Roy reported: 

"Being a small brokerage firm, we had no fringe benefits, 
such as hospitalization, medical insurance and pensions. 
Every representative is an independent agent. We 
don't even provide leads for prospects, as we cannot advertise 
for them as our larger competitors do. 

"Richard Pryor had the type of experience we wanted 

for this position, and he was interviewed first by my 

assistant, who told him about all the negatives related to 

this job. He seemed slightly discouraged when he came 

into my office. I mentioned the one benefit of being associated 

with my firm, that of being an independent contractor 

and therefore virtually being self-employed. 

"As he talked about these advantages to me, he talked 
himself out of each negative thought he had when he 
came in for the interview. Several times it seemed as 
though he was half talking to himself as he was thinking 
through each thought. At times I was tempted to add to 
his thoughts; however, as the interview came to a close 
I felt he had convinced himself, very much on his own, 
that he would like to work for my firm. 

"Because I had been a good listener and let Dick do 
most of the talking, he was able to weigh both sides 
fairly in his mind, and he came to the positive conclusion, 
which was a challenge he created for himself We 
hired him and he has been an outstanding representative 
for our firm," 

Even our friends would much rather talk to us about 
their achievements than listen to us boast about ours. 
La Rochefoucauld, the French philosopher, said: "If 
you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want 
friends, let your friends excel you." 

Why is that true? Because when our friends excel us, 
they feel important; but when we excel them, they - or 
at least some of them - will feel inferior and envious. 

By far the best-liked placement counselor in the Mid-town 
Personnel Agency in New York City was Henrietta 
G — It hadn't always been that way. During the first 
few months of her association with the agency, Henrietta 
didn't have a single friend among her colleagues. Why? 
Because every day she would brag about the placements 
she had made, the new accounts she had opened, and 
anything else she had accomplished. 

"I was good at my work and proud of it," Henrietta 
told one of our classes. " But instead of my colleagues 

sharing my triumphs, they seemed to resent them. I 
wanted to be hked by these people. I really wanted 
them to be my friends. After listening to some of the 
suggestions made in this course, I started to talk about 
myself less and listen more to my associates. They also 
had things to boast about and were more excited about 
telling me about their accomplishments than about listening 
to my boasting. Now, when we have some time 
to chat, I ask them to share their joys with me, and I only 
mention my achievements when they ask." 


Let the other person do a great deal of 





Don't you have much more faith in ideas that you discover 
for yourself than in ideas that are handed to you 
on a silver platter? If so, isn't it bad judgment to try to 
ram your opinions down the throats of other people? 
Isn't it wiser to make suggestions - and let the other person 
think out the conclusion? 

Adolph Seltz of Philadelphia, sales manager in an automobile 
showroom and a student in one of my courses, 
suddenly found himself confronted with the necessity of 
injecting enthusiasm into a discouraged and disorganized 
group of automobile salespeople. Calling a sales 
meeting, he urged his people to tell him exactly what 
they expected from him. As they talked, he wrote their 
ideas on the blackboard. He then said: "I'll give you all 
these qualities you expect from me. Now I want you to 
tell me what I have a right to expect from you." The 
replies came quick and fast: loyalty, honesty, initiative, 
optimism, teamwork, eight hours a day of enthusiastic 
work. The meeting ended with a new courage, a new 

inspiration - one salesperson volunteered to work fourteen 
hours a day - and Mr. Seltz reported to me that the 
increase of sales was phenomenal. 

"The people had made a sort of moral bargain with 
me, " said Mr. Seltz, "and as long as I lived up to my part 
in it, they were determined to live up to theirs. Consulting 
them about their wishes and desires was just the shot 
in the arm they needed." 

No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold some- 
thing or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that 
we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own 
ideas. We like to be consulted about our wishes, our 
wants, our thoughts. 

Take the case of Eugene Wesson. He lost countless 
thousands of dollars in commissions before he learned 
this truth. Mr. Wesson sold sketches for a studio that 
created designs for stylists and textile manufacturers. 
Mr. Wesson had called on one of the leading stylists in 
New York once a week, every week for three years. "He 
never refused to see me," said Mr. Wesson, "but he 
never bought. He always looked over my sketches very 
carefully and then said: 'No, Wesson, I guess we don't 
get together today.' " 

After 150 failures. Wesson realized he must be in a 
mental rut, so he resolved to devote one evening a week 
to the study of influencing human behavior, to help him 
develop new ideas and generate new enthusiasm. 

He decided on this new approach. With half a dozen 
unfinished artists' sketches under his arm, he rushed 
over to the buyer's office. "I want you to do me a little 
favor, if you will," he said. "'Here are some uncompleted 
sketches. Won't you please tell me how we could finish 
them up in such a way that you could use them?" 

The buyer looked at the sketches for a while without 
uttering a word. Finally he said: "Leave these with me 
for a few days. Wesson, and then come back and see 

Wesson returned three davs later, got his suggestions, 
took the sketches back to the studio and had them finished 

according to the buyer's ideas. The result? All accepted. 

After that, this buyer ordered scores of other sketches 
from Wesson, all drawn according to the buyer's ideas. 
"I realized why I had failed for years to sell him," said 
Mr. Wesson. " I had urged him to buy what I thought he 
ought to have. Then I changed my approach completely. 
I urged him to give me his ideas. This made him feel 
that he was creating the designs. And he was. I didn't 
have to sell him. He bought." 

Letting the other person feel that the idea is his or 
hers not only works in business and politics, it works in 
family life as well. Paul M. Davis of Tulsa, Oklahoma, 
told his class how he applied this principle: 

"My family and I enjoyed one of the most interesting 
sightseeing vacation trips we have ever taken. I had long 
dreamed of visiting such historic sites as the Civil War 
battlefield in Gettysburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, 
and our nation's capital. Valley Forge, James-town 
and the restored colonial village of Williamsburg 
were high on the list of things I wanted to see. 

"In March my wife, Nancy, mentioned that she had 
ideas for our summer vacation which included a tour of 
the western states, visiting points of interest in New 
Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada. She had 
wanted to make this trip for several years. But we 
couldn't obviously make both trips. 

"Our daughter, Anne, had just completed a course in 
U.S. history in junior high school and had become very 
interested in the events that had shaped our country's 
growth. I asked her how she would like to visit the 
places she had learned about on our next vacation. She 
said she would love to. 

"Two evenings later as we sat around the dinner table, 
Nancy announced that if we all agreed, the summer's 
vacation would be to the eastern states, that it would he 
a great trip for Anne and thrilling for all of us. We all 

This same psychology was used by an X-ray manufacturer 
to sell his equipment to one of the largest hospitals 

in Brooklyn This hospital was building an addition and 
preparing to equip it with the finest X-ray department in 
America. Dr. L — , who was in charge of the X-ray department, 
was overwhelmed with sales representatives, 
each caroling the praises of his own company's equipment. 

One manufacturer, however, was more skillful. He 
knew far more about handling human nature than the 
others did. He wrote a letter something like this: 

Our factory has recently completed a new line of X-ray 
equipment. The first shipment of these machines has just 
arrived at our office. They are not perfect. We know that, 
and we want to improve them. So we should be deeply 
obligated to you if you could find time to look them over 
and give us your ideas about how they can be made more 
serviceable to your profession. Knowing how occupied you 
are, I shall be glad to send my car for you at any hour you 

"I was surprised to get that letter," Dr. L — said as 
he related the incident before the class. "I was both 
surprised and complimented. I had never had an X-ray 
manufacturer seeking my advice before. It made me feel 
important. I was busy every night that week, but I canceled 
a dinner appointment in order to look over the 
equipment. The more I studied it, the more I discovered 
for myself how much I liked it. 

"Nobody had tried to sell it to me. I felt that the idea 
of buying that equipment for the hospital was my own. I 
sold myself on its superior qualities and ordered it installed." 

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay "Self-Reliance" 
stated: "In every work of genius we recognize our own 
rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain 
alienated majesty." 

Colonel Edward M. House wielded an enormous influence 
in national and international affairs while Woodrow 
Wilson occupied the White House. Wilson leaned 
upon Colonel House for secret counsel and advice more 
than he did upon even members of his own cabinet. 

What method did the Colonel use in influencing the 
President? Fortunately, we know, for House himself revealed 

it to Arthur D. Howden Smith, and Smith quoted 
House in an article in The Saturday Evening Post. 

" 'After I got to know the President,' House said, 'I 
learned the best way to convert him to an idea was to 
plant it in his mind casually, but so as to interest him in 
it - so as to get him thinking about it on his own account. 
The first time this worked it was an accident. I had been 
visiting him at the White House and urged a policy on 
him which he appeared to disapprove. But several days 
later, at the dinner table, I was amazed to hear him trot 
out my suggestion as his own.' " 

Did House interrupt him and say, "That's not your 
idea. That's mine" ? Oh, no. Not House. He was too 
adroit ft)r that. He didn't care about credit. He wanted 
results. So he let Wilson continue to feel that the idea 
was his. House did even more than that. He gave Wilson 
public credit ft)r these ideas. 

Let's remember that everyone we come in contact 
with is just as human as Woodrow Wilson. So let's use 
Colonel House's technique. 

A man up in the beautifial Canadian province of New 
Brunswick used this technique on me and won my patronage. 
I was planning at the time to do some fishing 
and canoeing in New Brunswick. So I wrote the tourist 
bureau for information. Evidently my name and address 
were put on a mailing list, for I was immediately overwhelmed 
with scores of letters and booklets and printed 
testimonials from camps and guides. I was bewildered. 
I didn't know which to choose. Then one camp owner 
did a clever thing. He sent me the names and telephone 
numbers of several New York people who had stayed at 
his camp and he invited me to telephone them and discover 
for myself what he had to offer. 

I found to my surprise that I knew one of the men on 
his list. I telephoned him, found out what his experience 
had been, and then wired the camp the date of my arrival. 

The others had been trying to sell me on their service, 
but one let me sell myself That organization won. 
Twenty-five centuries ago, Lao-tse, a Chinese sage, 
said some things that readers of this book might use 


" The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage 
of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below 
them. Thus they are able to reign over all the mountain 
streams. So the sage, wishing to be above men, putteth 
himself below them; wishing to be before them, he putteth 
himself behind them. Thus, though his place be 
above men, they do not feel his weight; though his place 
be before them, they do not count it an injury." 


Let the other person feel that the idea is 

his or 






Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But 
they don't think so. Don't condemn them. Any fool can 
do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, 
exceptional people even try to do that. 

There is a reason why the other man thinks and acts 
as he does. Ferret out that reason - and you have the key 
to his actions, perhaps to his personality 

Try honestly to put yourself in his place. 

If you say to yourself, "How would I feel, how would 
I react if I were in his shoes?" you will save yourself 
time and irritation, for "by becoming interested in the 
cause, we are less likely to dislike the effect." And, in 
addition, you will sharply increase your skill in human 

"Stop a minute," says Kenneth M. Goode in his book 
How to Turn People Into Gold, "stop a minute to contrast 

your keen interest in your own affairs with your 
mild concern about anything else. Realize then, that 
everybody else in the world feels exactly the same way! 
Then, along with Lincoln and Roosevelt, you will have 
grasped the only solid foundation for interpersonal relationships; 
namely, that success in dealing with people 
depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other persons' 

Sam Douglas of Hempstead, New York, used to tell 

his wife that she spent too much time working on their 

lawn, pulling weeds, fertilizing, cutting the grass twice 

a week when the lawn didn't look any better than it had 

when they moved into their home four years earlier. Naturally, 

she was distressed by his remarks, and each time 

he made such remarks the balance of the evening was 


After taking our course, Mr. Douglas realized how 
foolish he had been all those years. It never occurred to 
him that she enjoyed doing that work and she might 
really appreciate a compliment on her diligence. 

One evening after dinner, his wife said she wanted to 
pull some weeds and invited him to keep her company. 
He first declined, but then thought better of it and went 
out after her and began to help her pull weeds. She was 
visibly pleased, and together they spent an hour in hard 
work and pleasant conversation. 

After that he often helped her with the gardening and 
complimented her on how fine the lawn looked, what a 
fantastic job she was doing with a yard where the soil 
was like concrete. Result: a happier life for both because 
he had learned to look at things from her point of view 
- even if the subject was only weeds. 

In his book Getting Through to People, Dr. Gerald S. 
Nirenberg commented: "Cooperativeeness in conversation 
is achieved when you show that you consider the 
other person's ideas and feelings as important as your 
own. Starting your conversation by giving the other person 
the purpose or direction of your conversation, governing 
what you say by what you would want to hear if 
you were the listener, and accepting his or her viewpoint 
will encourage the listener to have an open mind 

to your ideas." * 

* Dr Gerald S. Nirenberg, Getting Through to People (Englewood Cliffs, 
N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963), p. 31. 

I have always enjoyed walking and riding in a park 

near my home. Like the Druids of ancient Gaul, I all but 

worship an oak tree, so I was distressed season after 

season to see the young trees and shrubs killed off by 

needless fires. These fires weren't caused by careless 

smokers. They were almost all caused by youngsters 

who went out to the park to go native and cook a frankfurter 

or an egg under the trees. Sometimes, these fires 

raged so fiercely that the fire department had to be called 

out to fight the conflagration. 

There was a sign on the edge of the park saying that 
anyone who started a fire was liable to fine and imprisonment, 
but the sign stood in an unfrequented part of the 
park, and few of the culprits ever saw it. A mounted 
policeman was supposed to look after the park; but he 
didn't take his duties too seriously, and the fires continued 
to spread season after season. On one occasion, I 
rushed up to a policeman and told him about a fire 
spreading rapidly through the park and wanted him to 
notify the fire department, and he nonchalantly replied 
that it was none of his business because it wasn't in his 
precinct! I was desperate, so after that when I went riding, 
I acted as a self-appointed committee of one to protect 
the public domain. In the beginning, I am afraid I 
didn't even attempt to see the other people's point of 
view. When I saw a fire blazing under the trees, I was so 
unhappy about it, so eager to do the right thing, that I 
did the wrong thing. I would ride up to the boys, warn 
them that they could be jailed for starting a fire, order 
with a tone of authority that it be put out; and, if they 
refused, I would threaten to have them arrested. I was 
merely unloading my feelings without thinking of their 
point of view. 

The result? They obeyed - obeyed sullenly and with 
resentment. After I rode on over the hill, they probably 
rebuilt the fire and longed to burn up the whole park. 

With the passing of the years, I acquired a trifle more 
knowledge of human relations, a little more tact, a somewhat 
greater tendency to see things from the other person's 

standpoint. Then, instead of giving orders, I would 
ride up to a blazing fire and begin something like this: 

"Having a good time, boys? What are you going to 
cook for supper? ... I loved to build fires myself when I 
was a boy - and I still love to. But you know they are 
very dangerous here in the park. I know you boys don't 
mean to do any harm, but other boys aren't so careful. 
They come along and see that you have built a fire; so 
they build one and don't put it out when they go home 
and it spreads among the dry leaves and kills the trees. 
We won't have any trees here at all if we aren't more 
careful. You could be put in jail for building this fire. But 
I don't want to be bossy and interfere with your pleasure. 
I like to see you enjoy yourselves; but won't you 
please rake all the leaves away from the fire right now 
- and you'll be careful to cover it with dirt, a lot of dirt, 
before you leave, won't you? And the next time you want 
to have some fun, won't you please build your fire over 
the hill there in the sandpit? It can't do any harm there. 
. . . Thanks so much, boys. Have a good time." 

What a difference that kind of talk made! It made the 
boys want to cooperate. No sullenness, no resentment. 
They hadn't been forced to obey orders. They had saved 
their faces. They felt better and I felt better because I 
had handled the situation with consideration for their 
point of view. 

Seeing things through another person's eyes may ease 

tensions when personal problems become overwhelming. 

Elizabeth Novak of New South Wales, Australia, 

was six weeks late with her car payment. "On a Friday," 

she reported, "I received a nasty phone call from the 

man who was handling my account informing me if I did 

not come up with $122 by Monday morning I could anticipate 

further action from the company. I had no way 

of raising the money over the weekend, so when I received 

his phone call first thing on Monday morning I 

expected the worst. Instead of becoming upset I looked 

at the situation from his point of view. I apologized most 

sincerely for causing him so much inconvenience and 

remarked that I must be his most troublesome customer 

as this was not the first time I was behind in my payments. 

His tone of voice changed immediately, and he 

reassured me that I was far from being one of his really 

troublesome customers. He went on to tell me several 
examples of how rude his customers sometimes were, 
how they lied to him and often tried to avoid talking to 
him at all. I said nothing. I listened and let him pour out 
his troubles to me. Then, without any suggestion from 
me, he said it did not matter if I couldn't pay all the 
money immediately. It would be all right if I paid him 
$20 by the end of the month and made up the balance 
whenever it was convenient for me to do so." 

Tomorrow, before asking anyone to put out a fire or 
buy your product or contribute to your favorite charity, 
why not pause and close your eyes and try to think the 
whole thing through from another person's point of 
view? Ask yourself "Why should he or she want to do 
it?" True, this will take time, but it will avoid making 
enemies and will get better results - and with less friction 
and less shoe leather. 

'T would rather walk the sidewalk in front of a person's 
office for two hours before an interview," said 
Dean Donham of the Harvard business school, "than 
step into that office without a perfectly clear idea of what 
I was going to say and what that person - from my 
knowledge of his or her interests and motives - was 
likely to answer." 

That is so important that I am going to repeat it in 
italics for the sake of emphasis. 

I would rather walk the sidewalk in front of a person's 
office for two hours before an interview than step 
into that office without a perfectly clear idea of what I 
was going to say and what that per sob -from my 
knowledge of his or her interests and motives - was 
likely to answer. 

If, as a result of reading this book, you get only one 
thing - an increased tendency to think always in terms 
of the other person's point of view, and see things from 
that person's angle as well as your own - if you get only 
that one thing from this book, it may easily prove to be 
one of the stepping - stones of your career. 

Try honestly to see things from the other 

person's point of view. 



Wouldn't you like to have a magic phrase that would 
stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create good will, 
and make the other person listen attentively? 

Yes? All right. Here it is: "I don't blame you one iota 
for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly 
feel just as you do." 

An answer like that will soften the most cantankerous 
old cuss alive. And you can say that and be 100 percent 
sincere, because if you were the other person you, of 
course, would feel just as he does. Take Al Capone, for 
example. Suppose you had inherited the same body and 
temperament and mind that Al Capone had. Suppose 
you had had his environment and experiences. You 
would then be precisely what he was - and where he 
was. For it is those things - and only those things - that 
made him what he was. The only reason, for example, 
that you are not a rattlesnake is that your mother and 
father weren't rattlesnakes. 

You deserve very little credit for being what you are 
- and remember, the people who come to you irritated, 
bigoted, unreasoning, deserve very little discredit for 
being what they are. Feel sorry for the poor devils. Pity 
them. Sympathize with them. Say to yourself "There, 
but for the grace of God, go L" 

Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are 
hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, 
and they will love you. 

I once gave a broadcast about the author oi Little 

Women, Louisa May Alcott. Naturally, I knew she had 

lived and written her immortal books in Concord, Massachusetts. 

But, without thinking what I was saying, I 

spoke of visiting her old home in Concord. New Hampshire. 

If I had said New Hampshire only once, it might 
have been forgiven. But, alas and alack! I said it twice, I 
was deluged with letters and telegrams, stinging messages 
that swirled around my defenseless head like a 
swarm of hornets. Many were indignant. A few insulting. 
One Colonial Dame, who had been reared in Concord, 
Massachusetts, and who was then living in Philadelphia, 
vented her scorching wrath upon me. She couldn't have 
been much more bitter if I had accused Miss Alcott of 
being a cannibal from New Guinea. As I read the letter, 
I said to myself, "Thank God, I am not married to that 
woman." I felt like writing and telling her that although 
I had made a mistake in geography, she had made a far 
greater mistake in common courtesy. That was to be just 
my opening sentence. Then I was going to roll up my 
sleeves and tell her what I really thought. But I didn't. 
I controlled myself I realized that any hotheaded 
fool could do that - and that most fools would do just 

I wanted to be above fools. So I resolved to try to turn 
her hostility into friendliness. It would be a challenge, a 
sort of game I could play. I said to myself, "After all, if 
I were she, I would probably feel just as she does." 
So, I determined to sympathize with her viewpoint. 
The next time I was in Philadelphia, I called her on the 
telephone. The conversation went something like 

ME: Mrs. So-and-So, you wrote me a letter a few weeks 
ago, and I want to thank you for it. 

SHE: (in incisive, cultured, well-bred tones): To whom 
have I the honor of speaking? 

ME: I am a stranger to you. My name is Dale Carnegie. 

You listened to a broadcast I gave about Louisa May 
Alcott a few Sundays ago, and I made the unforgivable 
blunder of saying that she had lived in Concord, 
New Hampshire. It was a stupid blunder, and 
I want to apologize for it. It was so nice of you to 
take the time to write me. 

SHE : I am sorry, Mr. Carnegie, that I wrote as I did. I lost 
my temper. I must apologize. 

ME: No! No! You are not the one to apologize; I am. Any 
school child would have known better than to have 
said what I said. I apologized over the air the following 
Sunday, and I want to apologize to you personally 

SHE : I was born in Concord, Massachusetts. My family 
has been prominent in Massachusetts affairs for two 
centuries, and I am very proud of my native state. I 
was really quite distressed to hear you say that Miss 
Alcott had lived in New Hampshire. But I am really 
ashamed of that letter. 

ME: I assure you that you were not one-tenth as distressed 
as I am. My error didn't hurt Massachusetts, 
but it did hurt me. It is so seldom that people of 
your standing and culture take the time to write 
people who speak on the radio, and I do hope you 
will write me again if you detect an error in my 

SHE: You know, I really like very much the way you have 

accepted my criticism. You must be a very nice person. 
I should like to know you better. 

So, because I had apologized and sympathized with 
her point of view, she began apologizing and sympathizing 
with my point of view, I had the satisfaction of 
controlling my temper, the satisfaction of returning 
kindness for an insult. I got infinitely more real fun out 
of making her like me than I could ever have gotten out 
of telling her to go and take a jump in the Schuylkill 

Every man who occupies the White House is faced 
almost daily with thorny problems in human relations. 
President Taft was no exception, and he learned from 
experience the enormous chemical value of sympathy in 
neutralizing the acid of hard feelings. In his hook Ethics 
in Service, Taft gives rather an amusing illustration of 
how he softened the ire of a disappointed and ambitious 

"A lady in Washington," wrote Taft, "whose husband 
had some political influence, came and labored with me 

for six weeks or more to appoint her son to a position. 
She secured the aid of Senators and Congressmen in 
formidable number and came with them to see that they 
spoke with emphasis. The place was one requiring technical 
qualification, and following the recommendation 
of the head of the Bureau, I appointed somebody else. I 
then received a letter from the mother, saying that I was 
most ungrateful, since I declined to make her a happy 
woman as I could have done by a turn of my hand. She 
complained further that she had labored with her state 
delegation and got all the votes for an administration bill 
in which I was especially interested and this was the 
way I had rewarded her. 

"When you get a letter like that, the first thing you do 

is to think how you can be severe with a person who has 

committed an impropriety, or even been a little impertinent. 

Then you may compose an answer. Then if you 

are wise, you will put the letter in a drawer and lock the 

drawer. Take it out in the course of two days - such communications 

will always bear two days' delay in answering 

- and when you take it out after that interval, you 

will not send it. That is just the course I took. After that, 

I sat down and wrote her just as polite a letter as I could, 

telling her I realized a mother's disappointment under 

such circumstances, but that really the appointment was 

not left to my mere personal preference, that I had to 

select a man with technical qualifications, and had, 

therefore, to follow the recommendations of the head of 

the Bureau. I expressed the hope that her son would go 

on to accomplish what she had hoped for him in the 

position which he then had. That mollified her and she 

wrote me a note saying she was sorry she had written as 

she had. 

"But the appointment I sent in was not confirmed at 

once, and after an interval I received a letter which purported 

to come from her husband, though it was in the 

the same handwriting as all the others. I was therein 

advised that, due to the nervous prostration that had followed 

her disappointment in this case, she had to take 

to her bed and had developed a most serious case of 

cancer of the stomach. Would I not restore her to health 

by withdrawing the first name and replacing it by her 

son's? I had to write another letter, this one to the husband, 

to say that I hoped the diagnosis would prove to 

be inaccurate, that I sympathized with him in the sorrow 
he must have in the serious illness of his wife, but that it 
was impossible to withdraw the name sent in. The man 
whom I appointed was confirmed, and within two days 
after I received that letter, we gave a musicale at the 
White House. The first two people to greet Mrs. Taft and 
me were this husband and wife, though the wife had so 
recently been in articulo mortis. " 

Jay Mangum represented an elevator-escalator main-tenance 
company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which had the 
maintenance contract for the escalators in one of Tulsa' s 
leading hotels. The hotel manager did not want to shut 
down the escalator for more than two hours at a time 
because he did not want to inconvenience the hotel's 
guests. The repair that had to be made would take at 
least eight hours, and his company did not always have 
a specially qualified mechanic available at the convenience 
of the hotel. 

When Mr. Mangum was able to schedule a top-flight 
mechanic for this job, he telephoned the hotel manager 
and instead of arguing with him to give him the necessary 
time, he said: 

"Rick, I know your hotel is quite busy and you would 
like to keep the escalator shutdown time to a minimum. 
I understand your concern about this, and we want to do 
everything possible to accommodate you. However, our 
diagnosis of the situation shows that if we do not do a 
complete job now, your escalator may suffer more serious 
damage and that would cause a much longer shutdown. 
I know you would not want to inconvenience 
your guests for several days." 

The manager had to agree that an eight-hour shut 

down was more desirable than several days'. By sympathizing 

with the manager's desire to keep his patrons 

happy, Mr. Mangum was able to win the hotel manager 

to his way of thinking easily and without rancor. 

Joyce Norris, a piano teacher in St, Louis, Missouri, 
told of how she had handled a problem piano teachers 
often have with teenage girls. Babette had exceptionally 
long fingernails. This is a serious handicap to anyone 
who wants to develop proper piano-playing habits. 

Mrs. Norris reported: "I knew her long fingernails 
would be a barrier for her in her desire to play well. 
During our discussions prior to her starting her lessons 
with me, I did not mention anything to her about her 
nails. I didn't want to discourage her from taking lessons, 
and I also knew she would not want to lose that 
which she took so much pride in and such great care to 
make attractive. 

"After her first lesson, when I felt the time was right, 
I said: 'Babette, you have attractive hands and beautiful 
fingernails. If you want to play the piano as well as you 
are capable of and as well as you would like to, you 
would be surprised how much quicker and easier it 
would be for you, if you would trim your nails shorter. 
Just think about it. Okay?' She made a face which was 
definitely negative. I also talked to her mother about this 
situation, again mentioning how lovely her nails were. 
Another negative reaction. It was obvious that Babette' s 
beautifully manicured nails were important to her. 

"The following week Babette returned for her second 
lesson. Much to my surprise, the fingernails had been 
trimmed. I complimented her and praised her for making 
such a sacrifice. I also thanked her mother for influencing 
Babette to cut her nails. Her reply was 'Oh, I had 
nothing to do with it. Babette decided to do it on her 
own, and this is the first time she has ever trimmed her 
nails for anyone.' " 

Did Mrs. Norris threaten Babette? Did she say she 
would refuse to teach a student with long fingernails? 
No, she did not. She let Babette know that her finger- 
nails were a thing of beauty and it would be a sacrifice 
to cut them. She implied, "I sympathize with you - 1 
know it won't be easy, but it will pay off in your better 
musical development." 

Sol Hurok was probably America's number one impresario. 
For almost half a century he handled artists - such 
world-famous artists as Chaliapin, Isadora Duncan, and 
Pavlova. Mr. Hurok told me that one of the first lessons 
he had learned in dealing with his temperamental stars 
was the' necessity for sympathy, sympathy and more 
sympathy with their idiosyncrasies. 

For three years, he was impresario for Feodor Chahapin - 
one of the greatest bassos who ever thrilled the 
ritzy boxholders at the Metropolitan, Yet Chaliapin was 
a constant problem. He carried on like a spoiled child. 
To put it in Mr. Hurok's own inimitable phrase: "He 
was a hell of a fellow in every way." 

For example, Chaliapin would call up Mr. Hurok 
about noun of the day he was going to sing and say, "Sol, 
I feel terrible. My throat is like raw hamburger. It is 
impossible for me to sing tonight." Did Mr. Hurok argue 
with him? Oh, no. He knew that an entrepreneur 
couldn't handle artists that way. So he would rush over 
to Chaliapin' s hotel, dripping with sympathy. "What a 
pity, " he would mourn. "What a pity! My poor fellow. 
Of course, you cannot sing. I will cancel the engagement 
at once. It will only cost you a couple of thousand dollars, 
but that is nothing in comparison to your reputation." 

Then Chaliapin would sigh and say, "Perhaps you had 
better come over later in the day. Come at five and see 
how I feel then." 

At five o'clock, Mr. Hurok would again rush to his 
hotel, dripping with sympathy. Again he would insist on 
canceling the engagement and again Chaliapin would 
sigh and say, "Well, maybe you had better come to see 
me later. I may be better then." 

At seven-thirty the great basso would consent to sing, 
only with the understanding that Mr. Hurok would walk 
out on the stage of the Metropolitan and announce that 
Chaliapin had a very bad cold and was not in good voice. 
Mr. Hurok would lie and say he would do it, for he 
knew that was the only way to get the basso out on the 

Dr. Arthur I. Gates said in his splendid book Educational 
Psychology: "Sympathy the human species universally 
craves. The child eagerly displays his injury; or 
even inflicts a cut or bruise in order to reap abundant 
sympathy. For the same purpose adults . . . show their 
bruises, relate their accidents, illness, especially details 
of surgical operations. 'Self-pity' for misfortunes real or 
imaginary is in some measure, practically a universal 


So, if you want to win people to your way of thinking, 
put in practice . . . 


Be sympathetic with the other person's 


and desires. 



I was reared on the edge of the Jesse James country out 
in Missouri, and I visited the James farm at Kearney, 
Missouri, where the son of Jesse James was then 

His wife told me 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, "Two Gun" Crowley, 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. Pierpont 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 himself 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 people, appeal to the nobler 

Is that too idealistic to work in business? Let's see. 

Let's take the case of Hamilton J. Farrell of the Farrell-Mitchell 

Company of Glenolden, Pennsylvania. Mr. Farrell 

had a disgruntled tenant who threatened to move. 

The tenant's lease still had four months to run; nevertheless, 
he served notice that he was vacating immediately, 
regardless of lease. 

"These people had lived in my house all winter - the 
most expensive part of the year," Mr. Farrell said as he 
told the story to the class, "and I knew it would be difficult 
to rent the apartment again before fall. I could see 
all that rent income going over the hill and believe me, 
I saw red. 

"Now, ordinarily, I would have waded into that tenant 
and advised him to read his lease again. I would have 
pointed out that if he moved, the full balance of his rent 
would fall due at once - and that I could, and would, 
move to collect. 

"However, instead of flying off the handle and making 
a scene, I decided to try other tactics. So I started like 
this: 'Mr. Doe,' I said, 'I have listened to your story, 
and I still don't believe you intend to move. Years in 
the renting business have taught me something about 
human nature, and I sized you up in the first place as 
being a man of your word. In fact, I'm so sure of it that 
I'm willing to take a gamble. 

" 'Now, here's my proposition. Lav your decision on 
the table for a few days and think it over. If you come 
back to me between now and the first of the month, 
when your rent is due, and tell me you still intend to 
move, I give you my word I will accept your decision as 
final. I will privilege you to move and admit to myself 
I've been wrong in my judgment. But I still believe 
you're a man of your word and will live up to your contract. 
For after all, we are either men or monkeys - and 
the choice usually lies with ourselves! ' 

"Well, when the new month came around, this gentleman 
came to see me and paid his rent in person. He and 
his wife had talked it over, he said - and decided to stay. 
They had concluded that the only honorable thing to do 
was to live up to their lease." 

When the late Lord Northcliffe found a newspaper 
using a picture of him which he didn't want 

he wrote the editor a letter. But did he say, "Please do 
not publish that picture of me any more; / don't like it"? 
No, he appealed to a nobler motive. He appealed to the 
respect and love that all of us have for motherhood. He 
wrote, "Please do not publish that picture of me any 
more. My mother doesn't like it." 

When John D. Rockefeller, Jr., wished to stop newspaper 
photographers from snapping pictures of his children, 
he too appealed to the nobler motives. He didn't, 
say: "I don't want their pictures published." No, he appealed 
to the desire, deep in all of us, to refrain from 
harming children. He said: "You know how it is, boys. 
You've got children yourselves, some of you. And you 
know it's not good for youngsters to get too much publicity." 

When Cyrus H. K. Curtis, the poor boy from Maine, 
was starting on his meteoric career, which was destined 
to make him millions as owner of The Saturday Evening 
Post and the Ladies ' Home Journal, he couldn't afford to 
pay his contributors the prices that other magazines 
paid. He couldn't afford to hire first-class authors to 
write for money alone. So he appealed to their nobler 
motives. For example, he persuaded even Louisa May 
Alcott, the immortal author oi Little Women, to write for 
him when she was at the flood tide of her fame; and he 
did it by offering to send a check for a hundred dollars, 
not to her, but to her favorite charity. 

Right here the skeptic may say: "Oh, that stuff is all 
right for Northcliffe and Rockefeller or a sentimental 
novelist. But, I'd like to see you make it work with the 
tough babies I have to collect bills from!" 

You may be right. Nothing will work in all cases - and 
nothing will work with all people. If you are satisfied 
with the results you are now getting, why change? If you 
are not satisfied, why not experiment? 

At any rate, I think you will enjoy reading this 

true story told by James L. Thomas, a former student of 


Six customers of a certain automobile company refused 
to pay their bills for servicing. None of the customers 
protested the entire bill, but each claimed that some 

one charge was wrong. In each case, the customer had 
signed for the work done, so the company knew it was 
right - and said so. That was the first mistake. 

Here are the steps the men in the credit department 
took to collect these overdue bills. Do you suppose they 

1 . They called on each customer and told him 
bluntly that they had come to collect a bill that was 
long past due. 

2. They made it very plain that the company was 
absolutely and unconditionally right; therefore he, 
the customer, was absolutely and unconditionally 

3 . They intimated that they, the company, knew 
more about automobiles than he could ever hope to 
know. So what was the argument about? 

4. Result: They argued. 

Did any of these methods reconcile the customer and 
settle the account? You can answer that one yourself 

At this stage of affairs, the credit manager was about to 
open fire with a battery of legal talent, when fortunately 
the matter came to the attention of the general manager. 
The manager investigated these defaulting clients and 
discovered that they all had the reputation of paying 
their bills promptly. Something was wrong here - something 
was drastically wrong about the method of collection. 
So he called in James L. Thomas and told him to 
collect these "uncollectible" accounts. 

Here, in his words, are the steps Mr. Thrrmas 

1. My visit to each customer was likewise to collect a bill 
long past due - a bill that we knew was absolutely right. 
But I didn't say a word about that. I explained I had called 
to find out what it was the company had done, or failed to 

2. 1 made it clear that, until I had heard the customer's 

story, I had no opinion to offer. I told him the company 
made no claims to being infallible. 

3. I told him I was interested only in his car, and that he 
knew more about his car than anyone else in the world; that 
he was the authority on the subject. 

4. I let him talk, and I listened to him with all the interest 
and sympathy that he wanted - and had expected. 

5. Finally, when the customer was in a reasonable mood, 

I put the whole thing up to his sense of fair play. I appealed 
to the nobler motives. "First," I said, "I want you to know 
I also feel this matter has been badly mishandled. You've 
been inconvenienced and annoyed and irritated by one of 
our representatives. That should never have happened. I'm 
sorry and, as a representative of the company, I apologize. 
As I sat here and listened to your side of the story, I could 
not help being impressed by your fairness and patience. 
And now, because you are fair - minded and patient, I am 
going to ask you to do something for me. It's something that 
you can do better than anyone else, something you know 
more about than anyone else. Here is your bill; I know it is 
safe for me to ask you to adjust it, just as you would do if 
you were the president of my company. I am going to leave 
it all up to you. Whatever you say goes." 

Did he adjust the bill? He certainly did, and got quite a 
kick out of it. The bills ranged from $150 to $400 - but did 
the customer give himself the best of it? Yes, one of them 
did! One of them refused to pay a penny of the disputed 
charge; but the other five all gave the company the best of 
it! And here's the cream of the whole thing: we delivered 
new cars to all six of these customers within the next two 

"Experience has taught me," says Mr. Thomas, "that 
when no information can be secured about the customer, 
the only sound basis on which to proceed is to assume 
that he or she is sincere, honest, truthful and willing and 
anxious to pay the charges, once convinced they are correct. 
To put it differently and perhaps mare clearly, people 
are honest and want to discharge their obligations. 
The exceptions to that rule are comparatively few, and I 
am convinced that the individuals who are inclined to 
chisel will in most cases react favorably if you make 

them feel that you consider them honest, upright and fair. 

Appeal to the nobler motives. 




Many years ago, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin was 
being maligned by a dangerous whispering campaign. A 
malicious rumor was being circulated. Advertisers were 
being told that the newspaper was no longer attractive 
to readers because it carried too much advertising and 
too little news. Immediate action was necessary. The 
gossip had to be squelched. 

But how? 

This is the way it was done. 

The Bulletin clipped from its regular edition all reading 
matter of all kinds on one average day, classified it, 
and published it as a book. The book was called One 
Day. It contained 307 pages - as many as a hard-covered 
book; yet the Bulletin had printed all this news and feature 
material on one day and sold it, not for several dollars, 
but for a few cents. 

The printing of that book dramatized the fact that the 
Bulletin carried an enormous amount of interesting 
reading matter. It conveyed the facts more vividly, more 
interestingly, more impressively, than pages of figures 
and mere talk could have done. 

This is the day of dramatization. Merely stating a 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. 

Experts in window display know the power of dramazation. 
For example, the manufacturers of a new rat 
poison gave dealers a window display that included two 
live rats. The week the rats were shown, sales zoomed 
to five times their normal rate. 

Television commercials abound with examples of the 
use of dramatic techniques in selling products. Sit down 
one evening in front of your television set and analyze 
what the advertisers do in each of their presentations. 
You will note how an antacid medicine changes the 
color of the acid in a test tube while its competitor 
doesn't, how one brand of soap or detergent gets a greasy 
shirt clean when the other brand leaves it gray. You'll 
see a car maneuver around a series of turns and curves 
- far better than just being told about it. Happy faces 
will show contentment with a variety of products. All of 
these dramatize for the viewer the advantages offered by 
whatever is being sold - and they do get people to buy 

You can dramatize your ideas in business or in any 
other aspect of your life. It's easy. Jim Yeamans, who 
sells for the NCR company (National Cash Register) in 
Richmond, Virginia, told how he made a sale by dramatic 

"Last week I called on a neighborhood grocer and saw 
that the cash registers he was using at his checkout 
counters were very old-fashioned. I approached the 
owner and told him: 'You are literally throwing away 
pennies every time a customer goes through your line.' 
With that I threw a handful of pennies on the floor. 
He quickly became more attentive. The mere words 
should have been of interest to him, but the sound of 
Pennies hitting the floor really stopped him. I was able 
to get an order from him to replace all of his old 

It works in home life as well. When the old-time lover 
Proposed to his sweetheart, did he just use words of 
love? No! He went down on his knees. That really 
showed he meant what he said. We don't propose on our 
knees any more, but many suitors still set up a romantic 
atmosphere before they pop the question. 

Dramatizing what you want works with children as 
well. Joe B. Fant, Jr., of Birmingham, Alabama, was having 
difficulty getting his five-year-old boy and three-year- 
old daughter to pick up their toys, so he invented a 
"train." Joey was the engineer (Captain Casey Jones) on 
his tricycle. Janet's wagon was attached, and in the evening 
she loaded all the "coal" on the caboose (her 
wagon) and then jumped in while her brother drove her 
around the room. In this way the room was cleaned up 
- without lectures, arguments or threats. 

Mary Catherine Wolf of Mishawaka, Indiana, was having 
some problems at work and decided that she had to 
discuss them with the boss. On Monday morning she 
requested an appointment with him but was told he was 
very busy and she should arrange with his secretary for 
an appointment later in the week. The secretary indicated 
that his schedule was very tight, but she would try 
to fit her in. 

Ms. Wolf described what happened: 

"I did not get a reply from her all week long. Whenever 
I questioned her, she would give me a reason why 
the boss could not see me. Friday morning came and I 
had heard nothing definite. I really wanted to see him 
and discuss my problems before the weekend, so I asked 
myself how I could get him to see me. 

"What I finally did was this. I wrote him a formal letter. 
I indicated in the letter that I fully understood how 
extremely busy he was all week, but it was important 
that I speak with him. I enclosed a form letter and a self- 
addressed envelope and asked him to please fill it out or 
ask his secretary to do it and return it to me. The form 
letter read as follows: 

Ms. Wolf- 1 will be able to see you on a t 

A.M/P.M. I will give you minutes of 

my time. 

'T put this letter in his in-basket at 1 1 A.M. At 2 P.M. I 
checked my mailbox. There was my self-addressed envelope. 
He had answered my form letter himself and 
indicated he could see me that afternoon and could give 

me ten minutes of his time. I met with him, and we 
talked for over an hour and resolved my problems. 

"If I had not dramatized to him the fact that I really 
wanted to see him, I would probably be still waiting for 
an appointment." 

James B. Boynton had to present a lengthy market report. 
His firm had just finished an exhaustive study for a 
leading brand of cold cream. Data were needed immediately 
about the competition in this market; the prospective 
customer was one of the biggest - and most 
formidable - men in the advertising business. 

And his first approach failed almost before he began. 

"The first time I went in," Mr. Boynton explains, "I 
found myself sidetracked into a futile discussion of the 
methods used in the investigation. He argued and I argued. 
He told me I was wrong, and I tried to prove that 
I was right. 

"I finally won my point, to my own satisfaction - but 
my time was up, the interview was over, and I still 
hadn't produced results. 

"The second time, I didn't bother with tabulations of 
figures and data, I went to see this man, I dramatized my 
facts L 

"As I entered his office, he was busy on the phone. 
While he finished his conversation, I opened a suitcase 
and dumped thirty-two jars of cold cream on top of his 
desk - all products he knew - all competitors of his 

"On each jar, I had a tag itemizing the results of the 
trade investigation. And each tag told its story briefly, 

"What happened? 

"There was no longer an argument. Here was something 
new, something different. He picked up first one 
and then another of the jars of cold cream and read the 
information on the tag. A friendly conversation developed. 

He asked additional questions. He was intensely 
interested. He had originally given me only ten minutes 
to present my facts, but ten minutes passed, twenty minutes, 
forty minutes, and at the end of an hour we were 
still talking. 

"I was presenting the same facts this time that I had 
presented previously. But this time I was using dramatization, 
showmanship - and what a difference it made." 

Dramatize your ideas. 





Charles Schwab had a mill manager whose people 
weren't producing their quota of work. 

"How is it," Schwab asked him, "that a manager as 
capable as you can't make this mill turn out what it 

"I don't know," the manager replied. "I've coaxed the 
men, I've pushed them, I've sworn and cussed, I've 
threatened them with damnation and being fired. But 
nothing works. They just won't produce." 

This conversation took place at the end of the day, just 
before the night shift came on. Schwab asked the manager 
for a piece of chalk, then, turning to the nearest 
man, asked: "How many heats did your shift make 


Without another word, Schwab chalked a big figure 
six on the floor, and walked away. 

When the night shift came in, they saw the "6" and 

asked what it meant. 

"The big boss was in here today," the day people said. 
"He asked us how many heats we made, and we told 
him six. He chalked it down on the floor." 

The next morning Schwab walked through the mill 
again. The night shift had rubbed out "6" and replaced 
it with a big "7." 

When the day shift reported ft)r work the next morning, 
they saw a big "7" chalked on the floor. So the night 
shift thought they were better than the day shift did 
they? Well, they would show the night shift a thing or 
two. The crew pitched in with enthusiasm, and when 
they quit that night, they left behind them an enormous, 
swaggering "10." Things were stepping up. 

Shortly this mill, which had been lagging way behind 
in production, was turning out more work than any other 
mill in the plant. 

The principle? 

Let Charles Schwab say it in his own words: "The 
way to get things done," say Schwab, "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 

Without a challenge, Theodore Roosevelt would never 
have been President of the United States. The Rough 
Rider, just back from Cuba, was picked for governor of 
New York State. The opposition discovered he was no 
longer a legal resident of the state, and Roosevelt, 
frightened, wished to withdraw. Then Thomas Collier 
Piatt, then U.S. Senator from New York, threw down the 
challenge. Turning suddenly on Theodore Roosevelt, he 
cried in a ringing voice: "Is the hero of San Juan Hill a 

Roosevelt stayed in the flght - and the rest is history. 
A challenge not only changed his life; it had a real effect 

upon the future of his nation. 

"All men have fears, but the brave put down their 
fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to 
victory" was the motto of the King's Guard in ancient 
Greece. What greater challenge can be offered than the 
opportunity to overcome those fears? 

When Al Smith was governor of New York, he was up 
against it. Sing Sing, at the time the most notorious pen- 
itentiary west of Devil's Island, was without a warden. 
Scandals had been sweeping through the pristin walls, 
scandals and ugly rumors. Smith needed a strong man to 
rule Sing Sing - an iron man. But who? He sent for 
Lewis E. Lawes of New Hampton. 

"How about going up to take charge of Sing Sing?" he 
said jovially when Lawes stood before him. "They need 
a man up there with experience." 

Lawes was flabbergasted. He knew the dangers of 
Sing Sing. It was a political appointment, subject to the 
vagaries of political whims. Wardens had come and gone 
- one had lasted only three weeks. He had a career to 
consider. Was it worth the risk? 

Then Smith, who saw his hesitation, leaned back in 
his chair and smiled. "Young fellow," he said, "I don't 
blame you for being scared. It's a tough spot. It'll take a 
big person to go up there and stay." 

So Smith was throwing down a challenge, was he? 
Lawes liked the idea of attempting a job that called for 
someone "big." 

So he went. And he stayed. He stayed, to become the 
most famous warden of his time. His book 20,000 Years 
in Sing Sing sold into the hundred of thousands of copies. 
His broadcasts on the air and his stories of prison 
life have inspired dozens of movies. His "humanizing" 
of criminals wrought miracles in the way of prison reform. 

"I have never found," said Harvey S. Firestone, 
founder of the great Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, 
"that pay and pay alone would either bring together 
or hold good people. I think it was the game 


Frederic Herzberg, one of the great behavorial scientists, 

concurred. He studied in depth the work attitudes 

of thousands of people ranging from factory workers to 

senior executives. What do you think he found to be the 

most motivating factor - the one facet of the jobs that 

was most stimulating? Money? Good working conditions? 

Fringe benefits? No - not any of those. 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. 

That is what every successful person loves: the game. 
The chance for self-expression. The chance to prove his 
or her worth, to excel, to win. That is what makes foot-races 
and hog-calling and pie-eating contests. The desire 
to excel. The desire for a feeling of importance. 

Throw down a challenge. 

InaNu tshell 



The only way to get the best of an argument is to 

avoid it. 


Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never 


"You're \vrong." 

If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. 

Begin in a friendly way. 

Get the other person saying "yes, yes" immediately. 

Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. 

Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers. 


Try honestly to see things from the other person's 

point of 



Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and 


Appeal to the nobler motives. 

Dramatize your ideas. 

Throw down a challenge. 


Be a Leader: How to 


People Without Giving 

Offense or Arousing 





A friend of mine was a guest at the White House for a 
weekend during the administration of Calvin Coohdge. 
Drifting into the President's private office, he heard 
Coohdge say to one of his secretaries, "That's a pretty 
dress you are wearing this morning, and you are a very 
attractive young woman." 

That was probably the most effusive praise Silent Cal 
had ever bestowed upon a secretary in his life. It was so 
unusual, so unexpected, that the secretary blushed in 
conflision. Then Coolidge said, "Now, don't get stuck 
up. I just said that to make you feel good. From now on, 
I wish you would be a little bit more careflil with your 

His method was probably a bit obvious, but the psychology 
was superb. It is always easier to listen to unpleasant 
things after we have heard some praise of our 
good points. 

A barber lathers a man before he shaves him; and that 
is precisely what McKinley did back in 1896, when he 
was running for President. One of the prominent Republicans 
of that day had written a campaign speech that he 
felt was just a trifle better than Cicero and Patrick Henry 
and Daniel Webster all rolled into one. With great glee, 
this chap read his immortal speech aloud to McKinley. 
The speech had its fine points, but it just wouldn't do. It 
would have raised a tornado of criticism. McKinley 
didn't want to hurt the man's feelings. He must not kill 
the man's splendid enthusiasm, and yet he had to say 
"no." Note how adroitly he did it. 

"My friend, that is a splendid speech, a magnificent 
speech," McKinley said. "No one could have prepared a 
better one. There are many occasions on which it would 
be precisely the right thing to say, but is it quite suitable 
to this particular occasion? Sound and sober as it is from 
your standpoint, I must consider its effect from the 
party's standpoint. Now you go home and write a speech 
along the lines I indicate, and send me a copy of it." 

He did just that. McKinley blue-penciled and helped 
him rewrite his second speech, and he became one of 
the effective speakers of the campaign. 

Here is the second most famous letter that Abraham 
Lincoln ever wrote. (His most famous one was written to 
Mrs. Bixby, expressing his sorrow for the death of the 
five sons she had lost in battle.) Lincoln probably dashed 
this letter off in five minutes; yet it sold at public auction 
in 1926 for twelve thousand dollars, and that, by the 

way, was more money than Lincoln was able to save 
during half a century of hard work. The letter was written 
to General Joseph Hooker on April 26, 1863, during 
the darkest period of the Civil War. For eighteen 
months, Lincoln's generals had been leading the Union 
Army from one tragic defeat to another. Nothing but futile, 
stupid human butchery. The nation was appalled. 
Thousands of soldiers had deserted from the army, and 
en the Republican members of the Senate had revolted 
and wanted to force Lincoln out of the White House. 
"We are now on the brink of destruction," Lincoln 
said. It appears to me that even the Almighty is 
against us. I can hardly see a ray of hope." Such was the 
black sorrow and chaos out of which this letter 

I am printing the letter here because it shows how 
Lincoln tried to change an obstreperous general when 
the very fate of the nation could have depended upon 
the general's action. 

This is perhaps the sharpest letter Abe Lincoln wrote 
after he became President; yet you will note that he 
praised General Hooker before he spoke of his grave 

Yes, they were grave faults, but Lincoln didn't call 

them that. Lincoln was more conservative, more diplomatic. 

Lincoln wrote: "There are some things in regard 

to which I am not quite satisfied with you." Talk about 

tact! And diplomacy! 

Here is the letter addressed to General Hooker: 

I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac. 
Of course, I have done this upon what appears to me to be 
sufficient reasons, and yet I think it best for you to know 
that there are some things in regard to which I am not quite 
satisfied with you. 

I believe you to be a brave and skillful soldier, which, of 
course, I like. I also believe you do not mix politics with 
your profession, in which you are right. You have confidence 
in yourself, which is a valuable if not an indispensable 

You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, 
does good rather than harm. But I think that during General 
Burnside's command of the army you have taken counsel of 
your ambition and thwarted him as much as you could, in 
which you did a great wrong to the country and to a most 
meritorious and honorable brother officer. 

I have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your recently 
saying that both the army and the Government 
needed a dictator. Of course, it was not for this, but in spite 
of it, that I have given you command. 

Only those generals who gain successes can set up as 
dictators. What I now ask of you is military success and I 
will risk the dictatorship. 

The Government will support you to the utmost of its 
ability, which is neither more nor less than it has done and 
will do for all commanders. I much fear that the spirit which 
you have aided to infuse into the army, of criticizing their 
commander and withholding confidence from him, will 
now turn upon you. I shall assist you, as far as I can, to put 
it down. 

Neither you nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could 
get any good out of an army while such spirit prevails in it, 
and now beware of rashness. Beware of rashness, but with 
energy and sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories. 

You are not a Coolidge, a McKinley or a Lincoln. You 
want to know whether this philosophy will operate for 
you in everyday business contacts. Will it? Let's see. 
Let's take the case of W. P. Gaw of the Wark Company, 

The Wark Company had contracted to build and complete 

a large office building in Philadelphia by a certain 

specified date. Everything was going along well; the 

building was almost finished, when suddenly the sub-contractor 

making the ornamental bronze work to go on 

the exterior of this building declared that he couldn't 

make delivery on schedule. What! An entire building 

held up! Heavy penalties! Distressing losses! All because 

of one man! 

Long-distance telephone calls. Arguments! Heated 

conversations! All in vain. Then Mr. Gaw was sent to 
New York to beard the bronze lion in his den. 

"Do you know you are the only person in Brooklyn 
with your name,?" Mr Gaw asked the president of the 
subcontracting firm shortly after they were introduced. 
The president was surprised. "No, I didn't know 

"Well," said Mr. Gaw, "when I got off the train this 
morning, I looked in the telephone book to get your 
address, and you're the only person in the Brooklyn 
phone book with your name." 

"I never knew that," the subcontractor said. He 
checked the phone book with interest. "Well, it's an unusual 
name," he said proudly. "My family came from 
Holland and settled in New York almost two hundred 
years ago. " He continued to talk about his family and his 
ancestors for several minutes. When he finished that, 
Mr. Gaw complimented him on how large a plant he had 
and compared it favorably with a number of similar 
plants he had visited. "It is one of the cleanest and neatest 
bronze factories I ever saw," said Gaw. 

"I've spent a lifetime building up this business," the 
subcontractor said, "and I am rather proud of it. Would 
you like to take a look around the factory?" 

During this tour of inspection, Mr. Gaw complimented 

the other man on his system of fabrication and 

told him how and why it seemed superior to those of 

some of his competitors. Gaw commented on some unusual 

machines, and the subcontractor announced that 

he himself had invented those machines. He spent considerable 

time showing Gaw how they operated and the 

superior work they turned out. He insisted on taking his 

visitor to lunch. So far, mind you, not a word had been 

said about the real purpose of Gaw' s visit. 

After lunch, the subcontractor said, "Now, to get down 
to business. Naturally, I know why you're here. I didn't 
expect that our meeting would be so enjoyable. You can 
go back to Philadelphia with my promise that your material 
will be fabricated and shipped, even if other orders 
have to be delayed." 

Mr. Gaw got everything that he wanted without even 
asking for it. The material arrived on time, and the building 
was completed on the day the completion contract 

Would this have happened had Mr. Gaw used the 
hammer-and-dynamite method generally employed on 
such occasions? 

Dorothy Wrublewski, a branch manager of the Fort 
Monmouth, New Jersey, Federal Credit Union, reported 
to one of our classes how she was able to help one of her 
employees become more productive. 

"We recently hired a young lady as a teller trainee. 
Her contact with our customers was very good. She was 
accurate and efficient in handling individual transactions. 
The problem developed at the end of the day 
when it was time to balance out. 

"The head teller came to me and strongly suggested 
that I fire this woman. 'She is holding up everyone else 
because she is so slow in balancing out. I've shown her 
over and over, but she can't get it. She's got to go.' 

"The next day I observed her working quickly and 
accurately when handling the normal everyday transactions, 
and she was very pleasant with our customers. 

"It didn't take long to discover why she had trouble 
balancing out. After the office closed, I went over to talk 
with her. She was obviously nervous and upset. I 
praised her for being so friendly and outgoing with the 
customers and complimented her for the accuracy and 
speed used in that work. I then suggested we review the 
procedure we use in balancing the cash drawer. Once 
she realized I had confidence in her, she easily followed 
my suggestions and soon mastered this function. We 
have had no problems with her since then." 

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

Begin with praise and honest appreciation. 





Charles Schwab was passing through one of his steel 
mills one day at noon when he came across some of his 
employees smoking. Immediately above their heads was 
a sign that said "No Smoking." Did Schwab point to the 
sign and say, "Can't you read.? Oh, no not Schwab. He 
walked over to the men, handed each one a cigar, and 
said, "I'll appreciate it, boys, if you will smoke these on 
the outside." They knew that he knew that they had 
broken a rule - and they admired him because he said 
nothing about it and gave them a little present and made 
them feel important. Couldn't keep from loving a man 
like that, could you? 

John Wanamaker used the same technique. Wanamaker 

used to make a tour of his great store in Philadelphia 

every day. Once he saw a customer waiting at a 

counter. No one was paying the slightest attention to 

her. The salespeople? Oh, they were in a huddle at the 

far end of the counter laughing and talking among themselves. 

Wanamaker didn't say a word. Quietly slipping 

behind the counter, he waited on the woman himself 

and then handed the purchase to the salespeople to be 

wrapped as he went on his way. 

Public officials are often criticized for not being accessible 
to their constituents. They are busy people, and 
the fault sometimes lies in overprotective assistants who 
don't want to overburden their bosses with too many 
visitors. Carl Langford, who has been mayor of Orlando, 

Florida, the home of Disney World, for many years, frequently 
admonished his staff to allow people to see him. 
clamed he had an "open-door" policy; yet the citizens 
of his community were blocked by secretaries and 
administrators when they called. 

Finally the mayor found the solution. He removed the 
door from his office! His aides got the message, and the 
mayor has had a truly open administration since the day 
his door was symbolically thrown away. 

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. For example, in trying to change a child's 
careless attitude toward studies, we might say, "We're 
really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this 
term. But if you had worked harder on your algebra, the 
results would have been better." 

In this case, Johnnie might feel encouraged until he 
heard the word "but." He might then question the sincerity 
of the original praise. To him, the praise seemed 
only to be a contrived lead-in to a critical inference of 
failure. Credibility would be strained, and we probably 
would not achieve our objectives of changing Johnnie's 
attitude toward his studies. 

This could be easily overcome by changing the word 
"but" to "and." "We're really proud of you, Johnnie, for 
raiseing your grades this term, and hy continuing the 
same conscientious efforts next term, your algebra grade 
can be up with all the others." 

Now, Johnnie would accept the praise because there 
was no follow-up of an inference of failure. We have 
called his attention to the behavior we wished to change 
indirectly and the chances are he will try to live up to 
our expectations. 

Calling attention to one's mistakes indirectly works 
wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly 
any direct criticism. Marge Jacob of Woonsocket, Rhode 
Island, told one of our classes how she convinced some 
sloppy construction workers to clean up after themselves 
when they were building additions to her house. 

For the first few days of the work, when Mrs. Jacob 
returned from her job, she noticed that the yard was 

strewn with the cut ends of lumber. She didn't want to 
antagonize the builders, because they did excellent 
work. So after the workers had gone home, she and her 
children picked up and neatly piled all the lumber debris 
in a corner. The ft)llowing morning she called the 
ft)reman to one side and said, "I'm really pleased with 
the way the front lawn was left last night; it is nice and 
clean and does not offend the neighbors." From that day 
forward the workers picked up and piled the debris to 
one side, and the foreman came in each day seeking 
approval of the condition the lawn was left in after a 
day's work. 

One of the major areas of controversy between members 
of the army reserves and their regular army trainers 
is haircuts. The reservists consider themselves civilians 
(which they are most of the time) and resent having to 
cut their hair short. 

Master Sergeant Harley Kaiser of the 542nd USAR 
School addressed himself to this problem when he was 
working with a group of reserve noncommissioned officers. 
As an old-time regular-army master sergeant, he 
might have been expected to yell at his troops and 
threaten them. Instead he chose to make his point indirectly. 

"Gentlemen," he started, "you are leaders. You will 
be most effective when you lead by example. You must 
be the example for your men to follow. You know what 
the army regulations say about haircuts. I am going to 
get my hair cut today, although it is still much shorter 
than some of yours. You look at yourself in the mirror, 
and if you feel you need a haircut to be a good example, 
we'll arrange time for you to visit the post barbership." 

The result was predictable. Several of the candidates 
did look in the mirror and went to the barbershop that 
afternoon and received "regulation" haircuts. Sergeant 
Kaiser commented the next morning that he already 
could see the development of leadership qualities in 
some of the members of the squad. 

On March 8, 1887, the eloquent Henry Ward Beecher 
died. The following Sunday, Lyman Abbott was invited 
to speak in the pulpit left silent by Beecher' s passing. 
Eager to do his best, he wrote, rewrote and polished his 

sermon with the meticulous care of a Flaubert. Then he 
read it to his wife. It was poor - as most written speeches 
are. She might have said, if she had had less judgment, 
"Lyman, that is terrible. That'll never do. You'll put people 
to sleep. It reads like an encyclopedia. You ought to 
know better than that after all the years you have been 
preaching. For heaven's sake, why don't you talk like a 
human being? Why don't you act natural? You'll disgrace 
yourself if you ever read that stuff" 

That's what she might have said. And, if she had, you 
know what would have happened. And she knew too. 
So, she merely remarked that it would make an excellent 
article for the North American Review. In other words, 
she praised it and at the same time subtly suggested that 
it wouldn't do as a speech. Lyman Abbott saw the point, 
tore up his carefully prepared manuscript and preached 
without even using notes. 

An effective way to correct others' mistakes is . . . 


Call attention to people's mistakes 




My niece, Josephine Carnegie, had come to New York 
to be my secretary. She was nineteen, had graduated 
from high school three years previously, and her business 
experience was a trifle more than zero. She became 
one of the most proficient secretaries west of Suez, but 
in the beginning, she was - well, susceptible to improvement. 
One day when I started to criticize her, I 
said to myself "Just a minute. Dale Carnegie; just a 
minute. You are twice as old as Josephine. You have had 
ten thousand times as much business experience. How 
can you possibly expect her to have your viewpoint, your 
judgment, your initiative - mediocre though they may 
be? And just a minute. Dale, what were you doing at 

nineteen? Remember the asinine mistakes and blunders 
you made? Remember the time you did this . . . and 
that . . . ?" 

After thinking the matter over, honestly and impartially, 
I concluded that Josephine's batting average at 
nineteen was better than mine had been - and that, I'm 
sorry to confess, isn't paying Josephine much of a compliment. 

So after that, when I wanted to call Josephine's attention 
to a mistake, I used to begin by saying, "You have 
made a mistake, Josephine, but the Lord knows, it's no 
worse than many I have made. You were not born with 
judgment. That comes only with experience, and you are 
better than I was at your age. I have been guilty of so 
many stupid, silly things myself, I have very little incliion 
to criticize you or anyone. But don't you think it 
would have been wiser if you had done so and so?" 

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

E. G. Dillistone, an engineer in Brandon, Manitoba, 
Canada, was having problems with his new secretary. 
Letters he dictated were coming to his desk for signature 
with two or three spelling mistakes per page. Mr. Dillistone 
reported how he handled this: 

"Like many engineers, I have not been noted for my 
excellent English or spelling. For years I have kept a 
little black thumb - index book for words I had trouble 
spelling. When it became apparent that merely pointing 
out the errors was not going to cause my secretary to do 
more proofreading and dictionary work, I resolved to 
take another approach. When the next letter came to my 
attention that had errors in it, I sat down with the typist 
and said: 

" 'Somehow this word doesn't look right. It's one of 

the words I always have had trouble with. That's the reason 

I started this spelling book of mine. [I opened 

the book to the appropriate page.] Yes, here it is. I'm 

very conscious of my spelling now because people do 

judge us by our letters and misspellings make us look 

less professional. 

"I don't know whether she copied my system or not, 
but since that conversation, her frequency of spelling 
errors has been significantly reduced." 

The polished Prince Bernhard von Biilow learned the 
sharp necessity of doing this back in 1909. Von Biilow 
was then the Imperial Chancellor of Germany, and on 
the throne sat Wilhelm Il-Wilhelm, the haughty; Wilhelm 
the arrogant; Wilhelm, the last of the German Kaisers, 
building an army and navy that he boasted could 
whip their weight in wildcats 

Then an astonishing thing happened. The Kaiser said 
things, incredible things, things that rocked the continent 
and started a series of explosions heard around the 
world. To make matters infinitely worse, the Kaiser 
made silly, egotistical, absurd announcements in public, 
he made them while he was a guest in England, and he 
gave his royal permission to have them printed in the 
Daily Telegraph. For example, he declared that he was 
the only German who felt friendly toward the English; 
that he was constructing a navy against the menace of 
Japan; that he, and he alone, had saved England from 
being humbled in the dust by Russia and France; that it 
had been his campaign plan that enabled England's 
Lord Roberts to defeat the Boers in South Africa; and so 
on and on. 

No other such amazing words had ever fallen from the 
lips of a European king in peacetime within a hundred 
years. The entire continent buzzed with the fury of a 
hornet's nest. England was incensed. German statesmen 
were aghast. And in the midst of all this consternation, 
the Kaiser became panicky and suggested to Prince von 
Biilow, the Imperial Chancellor, that he take the blame. 
Yes, he wanted von Biilow to announce that it was all 
his responsibility, that he had advised his monarch to 
say these incredible things. 

"But Your Majesty," von Biilow protested, "it seems 
to me utterly impossible that anybody either in Germany 
or England could suppose me capable of having advised 
Your Majesty to say any such thing." 

The moment those words were out of von Biilow's 

mouth, he reahzed he had made a grave mistake. The 
Kaiser blew up. 

"You consider me a donkey," he shouted, "capable of 
blunders you yourself could never have committed!" 

Von Billow's knew that he ought to have praised before 
he condemned; but since that was too late, he did the 
next best thing. He praised after he had criticized. And 
it worked a miracle. 

"I'm far from suggesting that," he answered respectfially. 
"Your Majesty surpasses me in manv respects; not 
only of course, in naval and military knowledge but 
above all, in natural science. I have often listened in 
admiration when Your Majesty explained the barometer, 
or wireless telegraphy, or the Roentgen rays. I am 
shamefully ignorant of all branches of natural science, 
have no notion of chemistry or physics, and am quite 
incapable of explaining the simplest of natural phenomena. 
But," von Biillow continued, "in compensation, I 
possess some historical knowledge and perhaps certain 
qualities useful in politics, especially in diplomacy." 

The Kaiser beamed. Von Bulow had praised him. Von 
Billow had exalted him and humbled himself The Kaiser 
could forgive anything after that. "Haven't I always 
told you," he exclaimed with enthusiasm, "that we complete 
one another famously? We should stick together, 
and we will!" 

He shook hands with von Biilow, not once, but several 
times. And later in the day he waxed so enthusiastic that 
he exclaimed with doubled fists, "If anyone says anything 
to me against Prince von Biilow, / shall punch him 
in the nose. " 

Von Biilow saved himself in time - but, canny diplomat 
that he was, he nevertheless had made one error: he 
should have begun by talking about his own shortcomings 
and Wilhelm' s superiority - not by intimating that 
the Kaiser was a half-wit in need of a guardian. 

If a few sentences humbling oneself and praising the 
other party can turn a haughty, insulted Kaiser into a 
staunch friend, imagine what humility and praise can do 

for you and me in our daily contacts. Rightfully used, 
they will work veritable miracles in human relations. 

Admitting one's own mistakes - even when one hasn't 
corrected them - can help convince somebody to change 
his behavior. This was illustrated more recently by Clarence 
Zerhusen of Timonium, Maryland, when he discovered 
his fifteen-year-old son was experimenting with 

"Naturally, I didn't want David to smoke," Mr. Zerhusen 

told us, "but his mother and I smoked cigarettes; 

we were giving him a bad example all the time. I explained 

to Dave how I started smoking at about his age 

and how the nicotine had gotten the best of me and now 

it was nearly impossible for me to stop. I reminded him 

how irritating my cough was and how he had been after 

me to give up cigarettes not many years before. 

"I didn't exhort him to stop or make threats or warn 
him about their dangers. All I did was point out how I 
was hooked on cigarettes and what it had meant to me. 

"He thought about it for a while and decided he 
wouldn't smoke until he had graduated from high 
school. As the years went by David never did start smoking 
and has no intention of ever doing so. 

"As a result of that conversation I made the decision 
to stop smoking cigarettes myself, and with the support 
of my family, I have succeeded." 

A good leader follows this principle: 


Talk about your own mistakes before 

criticizing the other person. 



I once had the pleasure of dining with Miss Ida Tarbell, 
the dean of American biographers. When I told her I was 

writing this book, we began discussing this all-important 
subject of getting along with people, and she told me 
that while she was writing her biography of Owen D. 
Young, she interviewed a man who had sat for three 
years in the same office with Mr. Young. This man declared 
that during all that time he had never heard Owen 
D. Young give a direct order to anyone. He always gave 
suggestions, not orders. Owen D. Young never said, for 
example, "Do this or do that," or "Don't do this or don't 
do that." He would say, "You might consider this," or 
"Do you think that would work?" Frequently he would 
say, after he had dictated a letter, "What do you think of 
this?" In looking over a letter of one of his assistants, he 
would say, "Maybe if we were to phrase it this way it 
would be better." He always gave people the opportunity 
to do things themselves; he never told his assistants 
to do things; he let them do them, let them learn from 
their mistakes. 

A technique like that makes it easy for a person to 
correct errors. A technique like that saves a person's 
pride and gives him or her a feeling of importance. It 
encourages cooperation instead of rebellion. 

Resentment caused by a brash order may last a long 
time -even if the order was given to correct an obviously 
bad situation. Dan Santarelli, a teacher at a vocational 
school in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, told one of 
our classes how one of his students had blocked the entrance 
way to one of the school's shops by illegally parking 
his car in it. One of the other instructors stormed into 
the classroom and asked in an arrogant tone, "Whose car 
is blocking the driveway?" When the student who 
owned the car responded, the instructor screamed: 
"Move that car and move it right now, or I'll wrap a 
chain around it and drag it out of there." 

Now that student was wrong. The car should not have 
been parked there. But from that day on, not only did 
that student resent the instructor's action, but all the 
students in the class did everything they could to give 
the instructor a hard time and make his job unpleasant. 

How could he have handled it differently? If he had 
asked in a friendly way, "Whose car is in the driveway?" 
and then suggested that if it were moved, other cars 

could get in and out, the student would have gladly 
moved it and neither he nor his classmates would have 
been upset and resentful. 

Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; 
it often stimulates the creativity of the persons 
whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order 
if they have had a part in the decision that caused the 
order to be issued. 

When Ian Macdonald of Johannesburg, South Africa, 

the general manager of a small manufacturing plant specializing 

in precision machine parts, had the opportunity 

to accept a very large order, he was convinced that he 

would not meet the promised delivery date. The work 

already scheduled in the shop and the short completion 

time needed for this order made it seem impossible for 

him to accept the order. 

Instead of pushing his people to accelerate their work 
and rush the order through, he called everybody together, 
explained the situation to them, and told them 
how much it would mean to the company and to them if 
they could make it possible to produce the order on 
time. Then he started asking questions: 

"Is there anything we can do to handle this order?" 

"Can anyone think of different ways to process it 
through the shop that will make it possible to take the 

"Is there any way to adjust our hours or personnel 
assignments that would help?" 

The employees came up with many ideas and insisted 
that he take the order. They approached it with a "We 
can do it" attitude, and the order was accepted, produced 
and delivered on time. 

An effective leader will use . . . 


Ask questions instead of giving direct 





Years ago the General Electric Company was faced with 
the delicate task of removing Charles Steinmetz from 
the head of a department. Steinmetz, a genius of the first 
magnitude when it came to electricity, was a failure as 
the head of the calculating department. Yet the company 
didn't dare offend the man. He was indispensable - and 
highly sensitive. So they gave him a new title. They 
made him Consulting Engineer of the General Electric 
Company - a new title for work he was already doing - 
and let someone else head up the department. 

Steinmetz was happy. 

So were the officers of G.E. They had gently maneuvered 
their most temperamental star, and they had done 
it without a storm - by letting him save face. 

Letting one save face! How important, how vitally important 
that is! And how few of us ever stop to think of 
it! We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting 
our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing a 
child or an employee in front of others, without even 
considering the hurt to the other person's pride. 
Whereas a few minutes' thought, a considerate word or 
two, a genuine understanding of the other person's attitude, 
would go so far toward alleviating the sting! 

Let's remember that the next time we are faced with 
the distasteful necessity of discharging or reprimanding 
an employee. 

"Firing employees is not much fun. Getting fired is 

even less fun." (Fm quoting now from a letter written 

me by Marshall A. Granger, a certified public accountant.) 

"Our business is mostly seasonal. Therefore we 

have to let a lot of people go after the income tax rush is 


It's a byword in our profession that no one enjoys 

wielding the ax. Consequently, the custom has developed 
of getting it over as soon as possible, and usually 
in the following way: 'Sit down, Mr. Smith. The season's 
over, and we don't seem to see any more assignments for 
you. Of course, you understood you were only employed 
for the busy season anyhow, etc., etc' 

"The effect on these people is one of disappointment 
and a feeling of being 'let down.' Most of them are in the 
accounting field for life, and they retain no particular 
love for the firm that drops them so casually. 

"I recently decided to let our seasonal personnel go 
with a little more tact and consideration. So I call each 
one in only after carefully thinking over his or her work 
during the winter. And I've said something like this: 
'Mr. Smith, you've done a fine job (if he has). That time 
we sent you to Newark, you had a tough assignment. 
You were on the spot, but you came through with flying 
colors, and we want you to know the firm is proud of 
you. You've got the stuff- you're going a long way, 
wherever you're working. This firm believes in you, and 
is rooting for you, and we don't want you to forget it.' 

"Effect? The people go away feeling a lot better about 
being fired. They don't feel 'let down.' They know if we 
had work for them, we'd keep them on. And when we 
need them again, they come to us with a keen personal 

At one session of our course, two class members discussed 
the negative effects of faultfinding versus the 
positive effects of letting the other person save face. 

Fred Clark of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, told of an incident 

that occurred in his company: "At one of our production 

meetings, a vice president was asking very 

pointed questions of one of our production supervisors 

regarding a production process. His tone of voice was 

aggressive and aimed at pointing out faulty performance 

on the part of the supervisor. Not wanting to be embarrassed 

in front of his peers, the supervisor was evasive 

in his responses. This caused the vice president to lose 

his temper, berate the supervisor and accuse him of 


"Any working relationship that might have existed 

prior to this encounter was destroyed in a few brief moments. 

This supervisor, who was basically a good 

worker, was useless to our company from that time on. A 

few months later he left our firm and went to work for a 

competitor, where I understand he is doing a fine job." 

Another class member, Anna Mazzone, related how a 

similar incident had occurred at her job - but what a 

difference in approach and results! Ms. Mazzone, a marketing 

specialist for a food packer, was given her first 

major assignment - the test-marketing of a new product. 

She told the class: "When the results of the test came in, 

I was devastated. I had made a serious error in my planning, 

and the entire test had to be done all over again. 

To make this worse, I had no time to discuss it with my 

boss before the meeting in which I was to make my 

report on the project. 

"When I was called on to give the report, I was shaking 
with fright. I had all I could do to keep from breaking 
down, but I resolved I would not cry and have all those 
men make remarks about women not being able to handle 
a management job because they are too emotional. I 
made my report briefiy and stated that due to an error I 
would repeat the study before the next meeting. I sat 
down, expecting my boss to blow up. 

"Instead, he thanked me for my work and remarked 
that it was not unusual for a person to make an error on 
a new project and that he had confidence that the repeat 
survey would be accurate and meaningful to the company. 
He Assured me, in front of all my colleagues, that 
he had faith in me and I knew I had done my best, and 
that my lack of experience, not my lack of ability, was 
the reason for the failure. 

I left that meeting with my head in the air and 

with the determination that I would never let that boss 

of mine down again." 

Even if we are right and the other person is definitely 
wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose 
face. The legendary French aviation pioneer and author 
Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote: "I have no right to say 
or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. 

What matters is not what I think of him, but what he 
thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a 

A real leader will always follow . . . 

Let the other person save face. 



Pete Barlow was an old friend of mine. He had a dog-and- 
pony act and spent his life traveling with circuses 
and vaudeville shows. I loved to watch Pete train new 
dogs for his act. I noticed that the moment a dog showed 
the slightest improvement, Pete patted and praised 
him and gave him meat and made a great to-do about 

That's nothing new. Animal trainers have been using 
that same technique for centuries. 

Why, I wonder, don't we use the same common sense 
when trying to change people that we use when trying 
to change dogs? Why don't we use meat instead of a 
whip? Why don't we use praise instead of condemnation? 
Let us praise even the slightest improvement. That 
inspires the other person to keep on improving. 

In his book I Ain 'tMuch, Baby-But I'm All / Got, 

the psychologist Jess Lair comments: "Praise is like sunlight 

to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and 

grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too 

ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we 

are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine 

of praise." * 

* Jess Lair, I Ain 'tMuch, Baby - But I'm All I Got (Greenwich, Conn.: 
Fawcett, 1976), p . 248. 

I can look back at my own life and see where a few 

words of praise have sharply changed my entire future. 
Can't you say the same thing about your hfe? History is 
replete with striking illustrations of the sheer witchery 

For example, many years ago a boy often was working 
in a factory in Naples, He longed to be a singer, but his 
first teacher discouraged him. "You can't sing," he said. 
"You haven't any voice at all. It sounds like the wind in 
the shutters." 

But his mother, a poor peasant woman, put her arms 

about him and praised him and told him she knew he 

could sing, she could already see an improvement, and 

she went barefoot in order to save money to pay for his 

music lessons. That peasant mother's praise and encouragement 

changed that boy's life. His name was Enrico 

Caruso, and he became the greatest and most 

famous opera singer of his age. 

In the early nineteenth century, a young man in London 
aspired to be a writer. But everything seemed to be 
against him. He had never been able to attend school 
more than four years. His father had been flung in jail 
because he couldn't pay his debts, and this young man 
often knew the pangs of hunger. Finally, he got a job 
pasting labels on bottles of blacking in a rat-infested 
warehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic room 
with two other boys - guttersnipes from the slums of 
London. He had so little confidence in his ability to 
write that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript 
in the dead of night so nobody would laugh at him. Story 
after story was reflised. Finally the great day came when 
one was accepted. True, he wasn't paid a shilling for it, 
but one editor had praised him. One editor had given 
him recognition. He was so thrilled that he wandered 
aimlessly around the streets with tears rolling down his 

The praise, the recognition, that he received through 
getting one story in print, changed his whole life, for if 
it hadn't been for that encouragement, he might have 
spent his entire life working in rat-infested factories. 
You may have heard of that boy. His name was Charles 

Another boy in London made his hving as a clerk in a 
dry-goods store. He had to get up at five o'clock, sweep 
out the store, and slave for fourteen hours a day. It was 
sheer drudgery and he despised it. After two years, he 
could stand it no longer, so he got up one morning and, 
without waiting for breakfast, tramped fifteen miles to 
talk to his mother, who was working as a housekeeper. 

He was frantic. He pleaded with her. He wept. He 
swore he would kill himself if he had to remain in the 
shop any longer. Then he wrote a long, pathetic letter to 
his old schoolmaster, declaring that he was heartbroken, 
that he no longer wanted to live. His old schoolmaster 
gave him a little praise and assured him that he really 
was very intelligent and fitted for finer things and offered 
him a job as a teacher. 

That praise changed the fiiture of that boy and made a 
lasting impression on the history of English literature. 
For that boy went on to write innumerable best-selling 
books and made over a million dollars with his pen. 
You've probably heard of him. His name: H. G. Wells. 

Use of praise instead of criticism is the basic concept 
of B. F. Skinner's teachings. This great contemporary 
psychologist has shown by experiments with animals 
and with humans that when criticism is minimized and 
praise emphasized, the good things people do will be 
reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of 

John Ringelspaugh of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 

used this in dealing with his children. It seemed that, as 

in so many families, mother and dad's chief form of communication 

with the children was yelling at them. And, 

as in so many cases, the children became a little worse 

rather than better after each such session - and so did 

the parents. There seemed to be no end in sight for this 


Mr. Ringelspaugh determined to use some of the principles 
he was learning in our course to solve this situation. 
He reported: "We decided to try praise instead of 
harping on their faults. It wasn't easy when all we could 
see were the negative things they were doing; it was 
really tough to find things to praise. We managed to find 

something, and within the first day or two some of the 
really upsetting things they were doing quit happening. 
Then some of their other faults began to disappear. They 
began capitalizing on the praise we were giving them. 
They even began going out of their way to do things 
right. Neither of us could believe it. Of course, it didn't 
last forever, but the norm reached after things leveled 
off was so much better. It was no longer necessary to 
react the way we used to. The children were doing far 
more right things than wrong ones." All of this was a 
result of praising the slightest improvement in the children 
rather than condemning everything they did wrong. 

This works on the job too. Keith Roper of Woodland 

Hills, California, applied this principle to a situation in 

his company. Some material came to him in his print 

shop which was of exceptionally high quality. The 

printer who had done this job was a new employee who 

had been having difficulty adjusting to the job. His supervisor 

was upset about what he considered a negative 

attitude and was seriously thinking of terminating his 


When Mr. Roper was informed of this situation, he 
personally went over to the print shop and had a talk 
with the young man. He told him how pleased he was 
with the work he had just received and pointed out it 
was the best work he had seen produced in that shop for 
some time. He pointed out exactly why it was superior 
and how important the young man's contribution was to 
the company. 

Do you think this affected that young printer's attitude 
toward the company? Within days there was a complete 
turnabout. He told several of his co-workers about the 
conversation and how someone in the company really 
appreciated good work. And from that day on, he was a 
loyal and dedicated worker. 

What Mr. Roper did was not just fiatter the young 
printer and say "You're good." He specifically pointed 
out how his work was superior. Because he had singled 
out a specific accomplishment, rather than just making 
general fiattering remarks, his praise became much more 
meaningful to the person to whom it was given. Everybody 
likes to be praised, but when praise is specific, it 

comes across as sincere - not something the other person 
may be saying just to make one feel good. 

Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition, 
and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wants 
insincerity. Nobody wants flattery. 

Let me repeat: The principles taught in this book will 
work only when they come from the heart. I am not 
advocating a bag of tricks. I am talking about a new way 
of life. 

Talk about changing people. If you and I will inspire 
the people with whom we come in contact to a realization 
of the hidden treasures they possess, we can do far 
more than change people. We can literally transform 

Exaggeration? Then listen to these sage words from 
William James, one of the most distinguished psychologists 
and philosophers America has ever produced: 

Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half 
awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical 
and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the 
human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses 
powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use. 

Yes, you who are reading these lines possess powers 
of various sorts which you habitually fail to use; and one 
of these powers you are probably not using to the fullest 
extent is your magic ability to praise people and inspire 
them with a realization of their latent possibilities. 

Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under 
encouragement. To become a more effective leader of 
people, apply . . . 


Praise the slightest improvement and 


every improvement. Be "hearty in 


approbation and lavish in your 





What do you do when a person who has been a good 
worker begins to turn in shoddy work? You can fire him 
or her, but that really doesn't solve anything. You can 
berate the worker, but this usually causes resentment. 
Henry Henke, a service manager for a large truck dealership 
in Lowell, Indiana, had a mechanic whose 
work had become less than satisfactory. Instead of 
bawling him out or threatening him, Mr. Henke called 
him into his office and had a heart-to-heart talk with 

"Bill," he said, "you are a fine mechanic. You have 
been in this line of work for a good number of years. You 
have repaired many vehicles to the customers' satisfaction. 
In fact, we've had a number of compliments about 
the good work you have done. Yet, of late, the time you 
take to complete each job has been increasing and your 
work has not been up to your own old standards. Because 
you have been such an outstanding mechanic in 
the past, I felt sure you would want to know that I am 
not happy with this situation, and perhaps jointly we 
could find some way to correct the problem." 

Bill responded that he hadn't realized he had been 
falling down in his duties and assured his boss that the 
work he was getting was not out of his range of expertise 
and he would try to improve in the future. 

Did he do it? You can be sure he did. He once again 

became a fast and thorough mechanic. With that reputation 

Mr. Henke had given him to live up to, how 


he do anything else but turn out work comparable to that 

which he had done in the past. 

"The average person," said Samuel Vauclain, then 
president of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, "can be 
led readily if you have his or her respect and if you show 
that you respect that person for some kind of ability." 

In short, if you want to improve a person in a certain 
spect, act as though that particular trait were already 
one of his or her outstanding characteristics. Shakespeare 
said "Assume a virtue, if you have it not." And it 
might be well to assume and state openly that other people 
have the virtue you want them to develop. Give 
them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make 
prodigious efforts rather than see you disillusioned. 

Georgette Leblanc, in her book Souvenirs, My Life 
with Maeterlinck, describes the startling transformation 
of a humble Belgian Cinderella. 

"A servant girl from a neighboring hotel brought my 
meals," she wrote. "She was called 'Marie the Dish 
washer' because she had started her career as a scullery 
assistant. She was a kind of monster, cross-eyed, bandylegged, 
poor in flesh and spirit. 

"One day, while she was holding my plate of macaroni 
in her red hand, I said to her point-blank, 'Marie, you do 
not know what treasures are within you.' 

"Accustomed to holding back her emotion, Marie 
waited a few moments, not daring to risk the slightest 
gesture for fear of a castastrophe. Then she put the dish 
on the table, sighed and said ingenuously, 'Madame, I 
would never have believed it.' She did not doubt, she 
did not ask a question. She simply went back to the 
kitchen and repeated what I had said, and such is the 
force of faith that no one made fun of her. From that day 
on, she was even given a certain consideration. But the 
most curious change of all occurred in the humble Marie 
herself Believing she was the tabernacle of 
unseen marvels, she began taking care of her 
face and body so carefully that her starved 
youth seemed to bloom and 
modestly hide her plainness. 

"Two months later, she announced her coming marriage 
with the nephew of the chef 'I'm going to be a 
lady,' she said, and thanked me. A small phrase had 
changed her entire life." 

Georgette Leblanc had given "Marie the Dishwasher" 

a reputation to live up to - and that reputation had transformed 

Bill Parker, a sales representative for a food company 
in Daytona Beach, Florida, was very excited about the 
new line of products his company was introducing and 
was upset when the manager of a large independent 
food market turned down the opportunity to carry it in 
his store. Bill brooded all day over this rejection and 
decided to return to the store before he went home that 
evening and try again. 

"Jack," he said, "since I left this morning I realized I 
hadn't given you the entire picture of our new line, and 
I would appreciate some of your time to tell you about 
the points I omitted. I have respected the fact that you 
are always willing to listen and are big enough to change 
your mind when the facts warrant a change." 

Could Jack refuse to give him another hearing? Not 
with that reputation to live up to. 

One morning Dr. Martin Fitzhugh, a dentist in Dublin, 
Ireland, was shocked when one of his patients 
pointed out to him that the metal cup holder which she 
was using to rinse her mouth was not very clean. True, 
the patient drank from the paper cup, not the holder, but 
it certainly was not professional to use tarnished equipment. 

When the patient left. Dr. Fitzhugh retreated to his 
private office to write a note to Bridgit, the charwoman, 
who came twice a week to clean his office. He 

My dear Bridgit, 

I see you so seldom, I thought I'd take the time to thank 
you for the fine job of cleaning you've been doing. By the 
way, I thought I'd mention that since two hours, twice a 
week, is a very limited amount of time, please feel free to 
work an extra half hour from time to time if you feel you 
need to do those "once-in-a-while" things like polishing 
the cup holders and the like. I, of course, will pay you for 
the extra time. 

"The next day, when I walked into my office," Dr. 

Fitzhugh reported, "My desk had been polished to a 
mirror-hke finish, as had my chair, which I nearly slid 
out of. When I went into the treatment room I found the 
shiniest, cleanest chrome-plated cup holder I had ever 
seen nestled in its receptacle. I had given my char-woman 
a fine reputation to live up to, and because of 
this small gesture she outperformed all her past efforts. 
How much additional time did she spend on this? That's 
right-none at all . " 

There is an old saying: "Give a dog a bad name and 
you may as well hang him." But give him a good name 
- and see what happens! 

When Mrs. Ruth Hopkins, a fourth-grade teacher in 
Brooklyn, New York, looked at her class roster the first 
day of school, her excitement and joy of starting a new 
term was tinged with anxiety. In her class this year she 
would have Tommy T., the school's most notorious "bad 
boy." His third-grade teacher had constantly complained 
about Tommy to colleagues, the principal and 
anyone else who would listen. He was not just mischievous; 
he caused serious discipline problems in the class, 
picked fights with the boys, teased the girls, was fresh to 
the teacher, and seemed to get worse as he grew older. 
His only redeeming feature was his ability to learn rapidly 
and master the-school work easily. 

Mrs. Hopkins decided to face the "Tommy problem" 

immediately. When she greeted her new students, she 

made little comments to each of them: "Rose, that's a 

pretty dress you are wearing," "Alicia, I hear you draw 

beautifully." When she came to Tommy, she looked him 

straight in the eyes and said, "Tommy, I understand you 

are a natural leader. I'm going to depend on you to help 

me make this class the best class in the fourth grade this 

year." She reinforced this over the first few days by complimenting 

Tommy on everything he did and commenting 

on how this showed what a good student he was. 

With that reputation to live up to, even a nine-year-old 

couldn't let her down - and he didn't. 

If you want to excel in that difficult leadership role of 
changing the attitude or behavior of others, use 


Give the other person a fine reputation to 


up to. 



A bachelor friend of mine, about forty years old, became 
engaged, and his fiancee persuaded him to take some 
belated dancing lessons. "The Lord knows I needed 
dancing lessons," he confessed as he told me the story, 
"for I danced just as I did when I first started twenty 
years ago. The first teacher I engaged probably told me 
the truth. She said I was all wrong; I would just have to 
forget everything and begin all over again. But that took 
the heart out of me. I had no incentive to go on. So I quit 

"The next teacher may have been lying, but I liked it. 

She said nonchalantly that my dancing was a bit old-fashioned 

perhaps, but the fundamentals were all right, 

and she assured me I wouldn't have any trouble learning 

a few new steps. The first teacher had discouraged me 

by emphasizing my mistakes. This new teacher did the 

opposite. She kept praising the things I did right and 

minimizing my errors. 'You have a natural sense of 

rhythm,' she assured me. 'You really are a natural-born 

dancer.' Now my common sense tells me that I always 

have been and always will be a fourth-rate dancer; yet, 

deep in my heart, I still like to think that maybe she 

meant it. To be sure, I was paying her to say it; but why 

bring that up? 

"At any rate, I know I am a better dancer than I would 
have been if she hadn't told me I had a natural 
sense of 

rhythm. That encouraged me. That gave me hope. That 
made me want to improve." 

Tell your child, your spouse, or your employee that he 
or she is stupid or dumb at a certain thing, has no gift for 

it, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyed 
almost every incentive to try to improve. But use the 
opposite technique - be liberal with your encouragement, 
make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person 
know that you have faith in his ability to do it, that 
he has an undeveloped flair for it - and he will practice 
until the dawn comes in the window in order to excel. 

Lowell Thomas, a superb artist in human relations, 
used this technique. He gave you confidence, inspired 
you with courage and faith. For example, I spent a weekend 
with Mr. and Mrs. Thomas; and on Saturday night, 
I was asked to sit in on a friendly bridge game before a 
roaring fire. Bridge? Oh, no! No! No! Not me. I knew 
nothing about it. The game had always been a black 
mystery to me. No! No! Impossible! 

"Why, Dale, it is no trick at all," Lowell replied. 
"There is nothing to bridge except memory and judgment. 
You've written articles on memory. Bridge will be 
a cinch for you. It's right up your alley." 

And presto, almost before I realized what I was doing, 
I found myself for the first time at a bridge table. All 
because I was told I had a natural flair for it and the 
game was made to seem easy. 

Speaking of bridge reminds me of Ely Culbertson, 
whose books on bridge have been translated into a 
dozen languages and have sold more than a million copies. 
Yet he told me he never would have made a profession 
out of the game if a certain young woman hadn't 
assured him he had a flair for it. 

When he came to America in 1922, he tried to get a job 
teaching in philosophy and sociology, but he couldn't. 
Then he tried selling coal, and he failed at that 

Then he tried selling coffee, and he failed at that, too. 

He had played some bridge, but it had never occurred 
to him in those days that someday he would teach it. He 
was not only a poor card player, but he was also very 
stubborn. He asked so many questions and held so many 
post-mortem examinations that no one wanted to play 
with him. 

Then he met a pretty bridge teacher, Josephine Dillon, 

fell in love and married her. She noticed how carefully 

he analyzed his cards and persuaded him that he 

was a potential genius at the card table. It was that encouragement 

and that alone, Culbertson told me, that 

caused him to make a profession of bridge. 

Clarence M. Jones, one of the instructors of our course 
in Cincinnati, Ohio, told how encouragement and making 
faults seem easy to correct completely changed the 
life of his son. 

"In 1970 my son David, who was then fifteen years 
old, came to live with me in Cincinnati. He had led a 
rough life. In 1958 his head was cut open in a car accident, 
leaving a very bad scar on his forehead. In 1960 
his mother and I were divorced and he moved to Dallas, 
Texas, with his mother. Until he was fifteen he had spent 
most of his school years in special classes for slow learners 
in the Dallas school system. Possibly because of the 
scar, school administrators had decided he was brain-injured 
and could not function at a normal level. He was 
two years behind his age group, so he was only in the 
seventh grade. Yet he did not know his multiplication 
tables, added on his fingers and could barely read. 

"There was one positive point. He loved to work on 

radio and TV sets. He wanted to become a TV technician. 

I encouraged this and pointed out that he needed 

math to qualify for the training. I decided to help him 

become proficient in this subject. We obtained four sets 

of flash cards: multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. 

As we went through the cards, we put the correct 

answers in a discard stack. When David missed one, 

I gave him the correct answer and then put the card in 

the repeat stack until there were no cards left. I made a 

big deal out of each card he got right, particularly if he 

had missed it previously. Each night we would go 

through the repeat stack until there were no cards left. 

Each night we timed the exercise with a stop watch. I 
promised him that when he could get all the cards correct 
in eight minutes with no incorrect answers, we 
would quit doing it every night. This seemed an impossible 
goal to David. The first night it took 52 minutes. 

the second night, 48, then 45, 44, 41 then under 40 minutes. 

We celebrated each reduction. I'd call in my wife, 

and we would both hug him and we'd all dance a jig. At 

the end of the month he was doing all the cards perfectly 

in less than eight minutes. When he made a small improvement 

he would ask to do it again. He had made the 

fantastic discovery that learning was easy and fun. 

"Naturally his grades in algebra took a jump. It is 

amazing how much easier algebra is when you can multiply. 

He astonished himself by bringing home a B in 

math. That had never happened before. Other changes 

came with almost unbelievable rapidity. His reading improved 

rapidly, and he began to use his natural talents 

in drawing. Later in the school year his science teacher 

assigned him to develop an exhibit. He chose to develop 

a highly complex series of models to demonstrate the 

effect of levers. It required skill not only in drawing and 

model making but in applied mathematics. The exhibit 

took first prize in his school's science fair and was entered 

in the city competition and won third prize for the 

entire city of Cincinnati. 

"That did it. Here was a kid who had flunked two 
grades, who had been told he was 'brain-damaged,' who 
had been called 'Frankenstein' by his 
classmates and 

told his brains must have leaked out of the cut on his 
head. Suddenly he discovered he could really learn and 
accomplish things. The result? From the last quarter of 
the eighth grade all the way through high school, he 
never failed to make the honor roll; in high school he 
was elected to the national honor society. Once he found 
learning was easy, his whole life changed." 

If you want to help others to improve, remember . . . 


Use encouragement. Make the fault seem 

easy to correct. 




Back in 1915, America was aghast. For more than a year, 

the nations of Europe had been slaughtering one another 

on a scale never before dreamed of in all the 

bloody annals of mankind. Could peace be brought 

about? No one knew. But Woodrow Wilson was determined 

to try. He would send a personal representative, 

a peace emissary, to counsel with the warlords of Europe. 

William Jennings Bryan, secretary of state, Bryan, the 
peace advocate, longed to go. He saw a chance to perform 
a great service and make his name immortal. But 
Wilson appointed another man, his intimate friend and 
advisor Colonel Edward M. House; and it was House's 
thorny task to break the unwelcome news to Bryan without 
giving him offense. 

"Bryan was distinctly disappointed when he heard I 
was to go to Europe as the peace emissary," Colonel 
House records in his diary. "He said he had planned to 
do this himself . . . 

"I replied that the President thought it would be unwise 
for anyone to do this officially, and that his going 
would attract a great deal of attention and people 
would wonder why he was there. ..." 

You see the intimation? House practically told Bryan 
that he was too important for the job - and Bryan was 

Colonel House, adroit, experienced in the ways of the 
world, was following one of the important rules of 
human relations: Always make the other person happy 
about doing the thing you suggest. 

Woodrow Wilson followed that policy even when inviting 
William Gibbs McAdoo to become a member of 
his cabinet. That was the highest honor he could confer 
upon anyone, and yet Wilson extended the invitation in 
such a way as to make McAdoo feel doubly important. 
Here is the story in McAdoo's own words: "He [Wilson] 
said that he was making up his cabinet and that he would 

be very glad if I would accept a place in it as Secretary 
of the Treasury. He had a delightful way of putting 
things; he created the impression that by accepting this 
great honor I would be doing him a favor." 

Unfortunately, Wilson didn't always employ such taut. 
If he had, history might have been different. For example, 
Wilson didn't make the Senate and the Republican 
Party happy by entering the United States in the League 
of Nations. Wilson refused to take such prominent Republican 
leaders as Elihu Root or Charles Evans Hughes 
or Henry Cabot Lodge to the peace conference with 
him. Instead, he took along unknown men from his own 
party. He snubbed the Republicans, refused to let them 
feel that the League was their idea as well as his, refused 
to let them have a finger in the pie; and, as a result of 
this crude handling of human relations, wrecked his own 
career, ruined his health, shortened his life, caused 
America to stay out of the League, and altered the history 
of the world. 

Statesmen and diplomats aren't the only ones who use 
this make-a-person-happy-yo-do-things-you-want-them-to- 
do approach. Dale O. Ferrier of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 
told how he encouraged one of his young children to 
willingly do the chore he was assigned. 

"One of Jeff s chores was to pick up pears from under 
the pear tree so the person who was mowing underneath 
wouldn't have to stop to pick them up. He didn't like 
this chore, and frequently it was either not done at all or 
it was done so poorly that the mower had to stop and 
pick up several pears that he had missed. Rather than 
have an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation about it, one 
day I said to him: 'Jeff, I'll make a deal with you. For 
every bushel basket full of pears you pick up, I'll pay 
you one dollar. But after you are finished, for every pear 
I find left in the yard, I'll take away a dollar. How does 
that sound?' As you would expect, he not only picked up 
all of the pears, but I had to keep an eye on him to see 
that he didn't pull a few off the trees to fill up some of 
the baskets." 

I knew a man who had to refiise many invitations to 
speak, invitations extended by friends, invitations coming 
from people to whom he was obligated; and yet he 

did it so adroitly that the other person was at least contented 
with his refusal. How did he do it? Not by merely 
talking about the fact that he was too busy and too-this 
and too-that. No, after expressing his appreciation of the 
invitation and regretting his inability to accept it, he suggested 
a substitute speaker. In other words, he didn't 
give the other person any time to feel unhappy about the 
refusal. He immediately changed the other person's 
thoughts to some other speaker who could accept the 

Gunter Schmidt, who took our course in West Germany, 
told of an employee in the food store he managed 
who was negligent about putting the proper price tags 
on the shelves where the items were displayed. This 
caused confusion and customer complaints. Reminders, 
admonitions, confrontations, with her about this did not 
do much good. Finally, Mr. Schmidt called her into his 
office and told her he was appointing her Supervisor of 
Price Tag Posting for the entire store and she would be 
responsible for keeping all of the shelves properly 
tagged. This new responsibility and title changed her 
attitude completely, and she flilfiled her duties satisfactorily 
from then on. 

Childish? Perhaps. But that is what they said to Napoleon 
when he created the Legion of Honor and distributed 
15,000 crosses to his soldiers and made 
eighteen of his generals "Marshals of France" and called 
his troops the "Grand Army." Napoleon was criticized 
for giving "toys" to war-hardened veterans, and Napoleon 
replied, "Men are ruled by toys." 

This technique of giving titles and authority worked 
for Napoleon and it will work for you. For example, a 
friend of mine, Mrs. Ernest Gent of Scarsdale, New 
York, was troubled by boys running across and destroying 
her lawn. She tried criticism. She tried coaxing. Neither 
worked. Then she tried giving the worst sinner in 
the gang a title and a feeling of authority. She made him 
her "detective" and put him in charge of keeping all 
trespassers off her lawn. That solved her problem. Her 
"detective" built a bonfire in the backyard, heated an 
iron red hot, and threatened to brand any boy who 
stepped on the lawn. 

The effective leader should keep the following guidelines 
in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or 

1. Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you 
cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself 
and concentrate on the benefits to the other person. 

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 
personally will benefit. We could give a curt order like 
this: " John, we have customers coming in tomorrow 
and I need the stockroom cleaned out. So sweep it out, 
put the stock in neat piles on the shelves and polish 
the counter." Or we could express the same idea by 
showing John the benefits he will get from doing the 
task: "John, we have a job that should be completed 
right away. If it is done now, we won 't be faced with 

it later. I am bringing some customers in tomorrow to 
show our facilities. I would like to show them the 
stockroom, but it is in poor shape. If you could sweep 
it out, put the stock in neat piles on the shelves, and 
polish the counter, it would make us look efficient and 
you will have done your part to provide a good company 
image. " 

Will John be happy about doing what you suggest? 
Probably not very happy, but happier than if you had not 
pointed out the benefits. Assuming you know that John 
has pride in the way his stockroom looks and is interested 
in contributing to the company image, he will be 
more likely to be cooperative. It also will have been 
pointed out to John that the job would have to be done 
eventually and by doing it now, he won't be faced with 
it later. 

It is naive to believe you will always get a favorable 

reaction from other persons when you use these approaches, 

but the experience of most people shows that 

you are more likely to change attitudes this way than by 

not using these principles - and if you increase your successes 

by even a mere 10 percent, you have become 10 

percent more effective as a leader than you were before 

- and that is your benefit. 

People are more likely to do what you would like them 
to do when you use . . . 


Make the other person happy about doing 

the thing you suggest. 

In a Nutshell 


A leader's job often includes changing your people's 
attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish 


Begin with praise and honest appreciation. 


Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly. 


Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing 

the other 



Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. 


Let the other person save face. 


Praise the slightest improvement and praise every 

improvement. Be "hearty in your approbation and 

lavish in 

your praise. 


Give the other person a fine reputation to hve up 



Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to 


Make the other person happy about doing the 

thing you 


A Shortcut to 

by Lowell Thomas 

This biographical information about Dale Carnegie was 
written as an introduction to the original edition of 
How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is reprinted 
in this edition to give the readers additional 
background on Dale Carnegie. 

It was a cold January night in 1935, but the weather 
couldn't keep them away. Two thousand five hundred 
men and women thronged into the grand ballroom of the 
Hotel Pennsylvania in New York. Every available seat 
was filled by half-past seven. At eight o'clock, the eager 
crowd was still pouring in. The spacious balcony was 
soon jammed. Presently even standing space was at a 
premium, and hundreds of people, tired after navigating 
a day in business, stood up for an hour and a half that 
night to witness - what? 

A fashion show? 

A six-day bicycle race or a personal appearance by 
Clark Gable? 

No. These people had been lured there by a newspaper 
ad. Two evenings previously, they had seen this 
full-page announcement in the New York Sun staring 
them in the face: 

Learn to Speak Effectively 
Prepare for Leadership 

Old stuff? Yes, but believe it or not, in the most sophisticated 
town on earth, during a depression with 20 
percent of the population on relief, twenty- five hundred 
people had left their homes and hustled to the hotel in 
response to that ad. 

The people who responded were of the upper economic 
strata - executives, employers and professionals. 

These men and women had come to hear the opening 
gun of an ultramodern, ultrapractical course in "Effective 
Speaking and Infiuencing Men in Business"- a 
course given by the Dale Carnegie Institute of Effective 
Speaking and Human Relations. 

Why were they there, these twenty-five hundred business 
men and women? 

Because of a sudden hunger for more education because 
of the depression? 

Apparently not, for this same course had been playing 
to packed houses in New York City every season for the 
preceding twenty-four years. During that time, more 
than fifteen thousand business and professional people 
had been trained by Dale Carnegie. Even large, skeptical, 
conservative organizations such as the Westinghouse 
Electric Company, the McGraw-Hill Publishing 
Company, the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, the 
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the American Institute 
of Electrical Engineers and the New York Telephone 
Company have had this training conducted in 
their own offices for the benefit of their members and 

The fact that these people, ten or twenty years after 
leaving grade school, high school or college, come and 

take this training is a glaring commentary on the shocking 
deficiencies of our educational system. 

What do adults really want to study? That is an important 

question; and in order to answer it, the University 

of Chicago, the American Association for Adult Education, 

and the United Y.M.C.A. Schools made a survey 

over a two-year period. 

That survey revealed that the prime interest of adults 
is health. It also revealed that their second interest is in 
developing skill in human relationships - they want to 
learn the technique of getting along with and influencing 
other people. They don't want to become public 
speakers, and they don't want to listen to a lot of high 
sounding talk about psychology; they want suggestions 
they can use immediately in business, in social contacts 
and in the home. 

So that was what adults wanted to study, was it? 

"All right," said the people making the survey. "Fine. 
If that is what they want, we'll give it to them." 

Looking around for a textbook, they discovered that 
no working manual had ever been written to help people 
solve their daily problems in human relationships. 

Here was a fine kettle offish! For hundreds of years, 
learned volumes had been written on Greek and Latin 
and higher mathematics - topics about which the average 
adult doesn't give two hoots. But on the one subject 
on which he has a thirst for knowledge, a veritable passion 
for guidance and help - nothing! 

This explained the presence of twenty- five hundred 

eager adults crowding into the grand ballroom of the 

Hotel Pennsylvania in response to a newspaper advertisement. 

Here, apparently, at last was the thing for 

which they had long been seeking. 

Back in high school and college, they had pored over 
books, believing that knowledge alone was the open sesame 
to financial - and professional rewards. 

But a few years in the rough-and-tumble of business 

and professional life had brought sharp dissillusionment. 
They had seen some of the most important business 
successes won by men who possessed, in addition 
to their knowledge, the ability to talk well, to win people 
to their way of thinking, and to "sell" themselves and 
their ideas. 

They soon discovered that if one aspired to wear the 
captain's cap and navigate the ship of business, personality 
and the ability to talk are more important than a 
knowledge of Latin verbs or a sheepskin from Harvard. 

The advertisement in the New York Sun promised that 
the meeting would be highly entertaining. It was. 
Eighteen people who had taken the course were marshaled 
in front of the loudspeaker - and fifteen of them 
were given precisely seventy-five seconds each to tell 
his or her story. Only seventy- five seconds of talk, then 
"bang" went the gavel, and the chairman shouted, 
"Time! Next speaker!" 

The affair moved with the speed of a herd of buffalo 
thundering across the plains. Spectators stood for an 
hour and a half to watch the performance. 

The speakers were a cross section of life: several sales 
representatives, a chain store executive, a baker, the 
president of a trade association, two bankers, an insurance 
agent, an accountant, a dentist, an architect, a druggist 
who had come from Indianapolis to New York to 
take the course, a lawyer who had come from Havana in 
order to prepare himself to give one important three-minute 

The first speaker bore the Gaelic name Patrick J. 
O'Haire. Born in Ireland, he attended school for only 
four years, drifted to America, worked as a mechanic, 
then as a chauffeur. 

Now, however, he was forty, he had a growing family 
and needed more money, so he tried selling trucks. Suffering 
from an inferiority complex that, as he put it, was 
eating his heart out, he had to walk up and down in front 
of an office half a dozen times before he could summon 
up enough courage to open the door. He was so discouraged 
as a salesman that he was thinking of going back to 

working with his hands in a machine shop, when one 
day he received a letter inviting him to an organization 
meeting of the Dale Carnegie Course in Effective 

He didn't want to attend. He feared he would have to 
associate with a lot of college graduates, that he would 
be out of place. 

His despairing wife insisted that he go, saying, "It 
may do you some good, Pat. God knows you need it." 
He went down to the place where the meeting was to be 
held and stood on the sidewalk for five minutes before 
he could generate enough self-confidence to enter the 

The first few times he tried to speak in front of the 
others, he was dizzy with fear. But as the weeks drifted 
by, he lost all fear of audiences and soon found that he 
loved to talk - the bigger the crowd, the better. And he 
also lost his fear of individuals and of his superiors. He 
presented his ideas to them, and soon he had been advanced 
into the sales department. He had become a valued 
and much liked member of his company. This night, 
in the Hotel Pennsylvania, Patrick O'Haire stood in front 
of twenty- five hundred people and told a gay, rollicking 
story of his achievements. Wave after wave of laughter 
swept over the audience. Few professional speakers 
could have equaled his performance. 

The next speaker, Godfrey Meyer, was a gray-headed 
banker, the father of eleven children. The first time he 
had attempted to speak in class, he was literally struck 
dumb. His mind refused to function. His story is a vivid 
illustration of how leadership gravitates to the person 
who can talk. 

He worked on Wall Street, and for twenty-five years 
he had been living in Clifton, New Jersey. During that 
time, he had taken no active part in community affairs 
and knew perhaps five hundred people. 

Shortly after he had enrolled in the Carnegie course, 
he received his tax bill and was infuriated by what he 
considered unjust charges. Ordinarily, he would have 
sat at home and fumed, or he would have taken it out in 

grousing to his neighbors. But instead, he put on his hat 
that night, walked into the town meeting, and blew off 
steam in public. 

As a result of that talk of indignation, the citizens of 
Clifton, New Jersey, urged him to run for the town council. 
So for weeks he went from one meeting to another, 
denouncing waste and municipal extravagance. 

There were ninety-six candidates in the field. When 
the ballots were counted, lo, Godfrey Meyer' s name led 
all the rest. Almost overnight, he had become a public 
figure among the forty thousand people in his community. 
As a result of his talks, he made eighty times more 
friends in six weeks than he had been able to previously 
in twenty-five years. 

And his salary as councilman meant that he got a return 
of 1,000 percent a year on his investment in the 
Carnegie course. 

The third speaker, the head of a large national association 
of food manufacturers, told how he had been unable 
to stand up and express his ideas at meetings of a 
board of directors. 

As a result of learning to think on his feet, two astonishing 
things happened. He was soon made president of 
his association, and in that capacity, he was obliged to 
address meetings all over the United States. Excerpts 
from his talks were put on the Associated Press wires 
and printed in newspapers and trade magazines 
throughout the country. 

In two years, after learning to speak more effectively, 
he received more free publicity for his company and its 
products than he had been able to get previously with a 
quarter of a million dollars spent in direct advertising. 
This speaker admitted that he had formerly hesitated to 
telephone some of the more important business executives 
in Manhattan and invite them to lunch with him. 
But as a result of the prestige he had acquired by his 
talks, these same people telephoned him and invited 
him to lunch and apologized to him for encroaching on 
his time. 

The ability to speak is a shortcut to distinction. It puts 
a person in the hmelight, raises one head and shoulders 
above the crowd. And the person who can speak acceptably 
is usually given credit for an ability out of all proportion 
to what he or she really possesses. 

A movement for adult education has been sweeping 
over the nation; and the most spectacular force in that 
movement was Dale Carnegie, a man who listened to 
and critiqued more talks by adults than has any other 
man in captivity. According to a cartoon by "Believe-It-or- 
Not" Ripley, he had criticized 150,000 speeches. If 
that grand total doesn't impress you, remember that it 
meant one talk for almost every day that has passed since 
Columbus discovered America. Or, to put it in other 
words, if all the people who had spoken before him had 
used only three minutes and had appeared before him 
in succession, it would have taken ten months, listening 
day and night, to hear them all. 

Dale Carnegie's own career, filled with sharp contrasts, 
was a striking example of what a person can accomplish 
when obsessed with an original idea and afire 
with enthusiasm. 

Born on a Missouri farm ten miles from a railway, he 

never saw a streetcar until he was twelve years old; yet 

by the time he was forty-six, he was familiar with the far-flung 

corners of the earth, everywhere from Hong Kong 

to Hammerfest; and, at one time, he approached closer 

to the North Pole than Admiral Byrd's headquarters at 

Little America was to the South Pole. 

This Missouri lad who had once picked strawberries 
and cut cockleburs for five cents an hour became the 
highly paid trainer of the executives of large corporations 
in the art of self-expression. 

This erstwhile cowboy who had once punched cattle 
and branded calves and ridden fences out in western 
South Dakota later went to London to put on shows 
under the patronage of the royal family. 

This chap who was a total failure the first half-dozen 
times he tried to speak in public later became my personal 
manager. Much of my success has been due to 

training under Dale Carnegie. 

Young Carnegie had to struggle for an education, for 
hard luck was always battering away at the old farm in 
northwest Missouri with a flying tackle and a body slam. 
Year after year, the "102" River rose and drowned the 
corn and swept away the hay. Season after season, the 
fat hogs sickened and died from cholera, the bottom fell 
out of the market for cattle and mules, and the bank 
threatened to foreclose the mortgage. 

Sick with discouragement, the family sold out and 
bought another farm near the State Teachers' College at 
Warrensburg, Missouri. Board and room could be had in 
town for a dollar a day, but young Carnegie couldn't 
afford it. So he stayed on the farm and commuted on 
horseback three miles to college each day. At home, he 
milked the cows, cut the wood, fed the hogs, and studied 
his Latin verbs by the light of a coal-oil lamp until his 
eyes blurred and he began to nod. 

Even when he got to bed at midnight, he set the alarm 
for three o'clock. His father bred pedigreed Duroc-Jersey 
hogs - and there was danger, during the bitter 
cold nights, that the young pigs would freeze to death; 
so they were put in a basket, covered with a gunny sack, 
and set behind the kitchen stove. True to their nature, 
the pigs demanded a hot meal at 3 A.M. So when the 
alarm went off. Dale Carnegie crawled out of the blankets, 
took the basket of pigs out to their mother, waited 
for them to nurse, and then brought them back to the 
warmth of the kitchen stove. 

There were six hundred students in State Teachers' 

College, and Dale Carnegie was one of the isolated half-dozen 

who couldn't afford to board in town. He was 

ashamed of the poverty that made it necessary for him to 

ride back to the farm and milk the cows every night. He 

was ashamed of his coat, which was too tight, and his 

trousers, which were too short. Rapidly developing an 

inferiority complex, he looked about for some shortcut 

to distinction. He soon saw that there were certain 

groups in college that enjoyed influence and prestige - the 

football and baseball players and the chaps who won 

the debating and public-speaking contests. 

Realizing that he had no flair for athletics, he decided 
to win one of the speaking contests. He spent months 
preparing his talks. He practiced as he sat in the saddle 
galloping to college and back; he practiced his speeches 
as he milked the cows; and then he mounted a bale of 
hay in the barn and with great gusto and gestures harangued 
the frightened pigeons about the issues of the 

But in spite of all his earnestness and preparation, he 
met with defeat after defeat. He was eighteen at the time 
- sensitive and proud. He became so discouraged, so 
depressed, that he even thought of suicide. And then 
suddenly he began to win, not one contest, but every 
speaking contest in college. 

Other students pleaded with him to train them; and 
they won also. 

After graduating from college, he started selling 

correspondence courses to the ranchers among the sand 

hills of western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. In spite 

of all his boundless energy and enthusiasm, he couldn't 

make the grade. He became so discouraged that he went 

to his hotel room in Alliance, Nebraska, in the middle of 

the day, threw himself across the bed, and wept in despair. 

He longed to go back to college, he longed to 

retreat from the harsh battle of life; but he couldn't. So 

he resolved to go to Omaha and get another job. He 

didn't have the money for a railroad ticket, so he traveled 

on a freight train, feeding and watering two carloads of 

wild horses in return for his passage. After landing in 

south Omaha, he got a job selling bacon and soap and 

lard for Armour and Company. His territory was up 

among the Badlands and the cow and Indian country of 

western South Dakota. He covered his territory by 

freight train and stage coach and horseback and slept in 

pioneer hotels where the only partition between the 

rooms was a sheet of muslin. He studied books on salesmanship, 

rode bucking bronchos, played poker with the 

Indians, and learned how to collect money. And when, 

for example, an inland storekeeper couldn't pay cash for 

the bacon and hams he had ordered. Dale Carnegie 

would take a dozen pairs of shoes off his shelf, sell the 

shoes to the railroad men, and forward the receipts to 

Armour and Company. 

He would often ride a freight train a hundred miles a 
day. When the train stopped to unload freight, he would 
dash uptown, see three or fr)ur merchants, get his orders; 
and when the whistle blew, he would dash down the 
street again lickety-split and swing onto the train while 
it was moving. 

Within two years, he had taken an unproductive territory 
that had stood in the twenty-fifth place and had 
boosted it to first place among all the twenty-nine car 
routes leading out of south Omaha. Armour and Company 
offered to promote him, saying: "You have 
achieved what seemed impossible." But he refused the 
promotion and resigned, went to New York, studied at 
the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and toured the 
country, playing the role of Dr. Hartley in Polly of the 

He would never be a Booth or a Barrymore. He had 
the good sense to recognize that. So back he went to 
sales work, selling automobiles and trucks for the Packard 
Motor Car Company. 

He knew nothing about machinery and cared nothing 
about it. Dreadfully unhappy, he had to scourge himself 
to his task each day. He longed to have time to study, to 
write the books he had dreamed about writing back in 
college. So he resigned. He was going to spend his days 
writing stories and novels and support himself by teaching 
in a night school. 

Teaching what? As he looked back and evaluated his 
college work, he saw that his training in public speaking 
had done more to give him confidence, courage, poise 
and the ability to meet and deal with people in business 
than had all the rest of his college courses put together. 
So he urged the Y.M.C. A. schools in New York to give 
him a chance to conduct courses in public speaking for 
people in business. 

What? Make orators out of business people? Absurd. 
The Y.M.C. A. people knew. They had tried such courses 
-and they had always failed. When they refused to pay 
him a salary of two dollars a night, he agreed to teach on 
a commission basis and take a percentage of the net profits 

-if there were any profits to take. And inside of three 
years they were paying him thirty dollars a night on that 
basis - instead of two. 

The course grew. Other "Ys" heard of it, then other 
cities. Dale Carnegie soon became a glorified circuit 
rider covering New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and 
later London and Paris. All the textbooks were too academic 
and impractical for the business people who 
flocked to his courses. Because of this he wrote his own 
book entitled Public Speaking and Influencing Men in 
Business. It became the official text of all the Y.M.C.A.s 
as well as of the American Bankers' Association and the 
National Credit Men' s Association. 

Dale Carnegie claimed that all people can talk when 
they get mad. He said that if you hit the most ignorant 
man in town on the jaw and knock him down, he would 
get on his feet and talk with an eloquence, heat and 
emphasis that would have rivaled that world famous orator 
William Jennings Bryan at the height of his career. 
He claimed that almost any person can speak acceptably 
in public if he or she has self-confidence and an idea 
that is boiling and stewing within. 

The way to develop self-confidence, he said, is to do 
the thing you fear to do and get a record of successful 
experiences behind you. So he forced each class member 
to talk at every session of the course. The audience 
is sympathetic. They are all in the same boat; and, by 
constant practice, they develop a courage, confidence 
and enthusiasm that carry over into their private speaking. 

Dale Carnegie would tell you that he made a living all 
these years, not by teaching public speaking - that was 
incidental. His main job was to help people conquer 
their fears and develop courage. 

He started out at first to conduct merely a course in 
public speaking, but the students who came were business 
men and women. Many of them hadn't seen the 
inside of a classroom in thirty years. Most of them were 
paying their tuition on the installment plan. They 
wanted results and they wanted them quick - results 
that they could use the next day in business interviews 
and in speaking before groups. 

So he was forced to be swift and practical. Consequently, 
he developed a system of training that is 
unique - a striking combination of public speaking, 
salesmanship, human relations and applied psychology. 

A slave to no hard-and-fast rules, he developed a 
course that is as real as the measles and twice as much 

When the classes terminated, the graduates formed 
clubs of their own and continued to meet fortnightly for 
years afterward. One group of nineteen in Philadelphia 
met twice a month during the winter season for seventeen 
years. Class members frequently travel fifty or a 
hundred miles to attend classes. One student used to 
commute each week from Chicago to New York. 
Professor William James of Harvard used to say that 
the average person develops only 10 percent of his latent 
mental ability. Dale Carnegie, by helping business men 
and women to develop their latent possibilities, created 
one of the most significant movements in adult education 






Probably the most popular program ever offered in developing 
better interpersonal relations, this course is designed to 
develop self-confidence, the ability to get along with others 
in one's family and in social and occupational relations, to 
increase ability to communicate ideas, to build positive attitudes, 
increase enthusiasm, reduce tension and anxiety and to 
increase one's enjoyment of life. Not only do many thousands 
of individuals enroll in this course each year, but it has been 
used by companies, government agencies and other organizations 
to develop the potential of their people. 


This in-depth participative program is designed to help persons 

currently engaged in sales or sales management to become 

more professional and successful in their careers. It 

covers the vital but little understood element of customer motivation 

and its application to any product or service that is 

being sold. Salespeople are put on the firing line of actual 

sales situations and learn to use motivational selling methods. 


This program sets forth the Dale Carnegie principles of 
human relations and applies them to business. The importance 
of balancing results attained with the development of 
people-potential to assure long-term growth and profit is highlighted. 
Participants construct their own position descriptions 
and learn how to stimulate creativity in their people, motivate, 
delegate and communicate, as well as solve problems and 
make decisions in a systematic manner. Application of these 
principles to each person's own job is emphasized. 

If you are interested in any of these courses, details on 
when and where they are offered in your community can 
be obtained by writing to: 

Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. 
1475 Franklin Ave. 
Garden City, N.Y. 11530 


How to Stop Worrying & Start Living by Dale Carnegie 
A practical, concrete, easy-to-read, inspiring handbook on 
conquering work and fears. 

Simon & Schuster, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, N.Y.C 


Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie 

A fascinating story of little-known facts and insights about 

this great American. 

Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc., 1475 Franklin Ave., 

Garden City, N.Y. 11530 

The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dorothy 


Principles and practical implementation of expressing one-self 

before groups of people. 

Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc., 1475 Franklin Ave., 

Garden City, N.Y. 11530 

The Dale Carnegie Scrapbook edited by Dorothy Carnegie 

A collection of quotations that Dale Carnegie found inspirational 

interspersed with nuggets from his own writings. 

Simon & Schuster, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, N.Y.C. 


Don 't Grow Old-Grow Up by Dorothy Carnegie 
How to stay young in spirit as you grow older. 

Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc., 1475 Franklin Ave., 

Garden City, N.Y. 11530 

Managing Through People by Dale Carnegie & Associates, 


The application of Dale Carnegie's principles of good 

human relations to effective management. 

Simon & Schuster, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, N.Y.C. 


Enrich Your Life, The Dale Carnegie Way by Arthur R. Pell, 


An inspirational and exciting narrative. Tells how people 

from all walks of life have applied the principles that Dale 

Carnegie and his successors have taught and, as a result, 

have made their lives more satisfactory and fulfilling. 

Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc., 1475 Franklin Ave., 

Garden City, N.Y. 11530