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.”
Many people wonder why they cannot obtain and keep great staff or friends in their lives. This simple principle can change the culture of any organization. You may feel you do not have time to spend just talking with employees, vendors or referral sources but I challenge you to make time. For if you do not make the time you will find even less time available to do your work. It takes more time to constantly recruit hire and train people than it does to develop those worth keeping.
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 resignation.
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, “and they will listen for hours.”
“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 flattery, but you do crave sincere appreciation. You want your friends and associates to be, as Charles Schwab put it“ 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, everywhere.” – Dale Carnegie. “How to Win Friends & Influence People.”