The Right Way to Motivate Someone to Do Something

August 12, 2011
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Dale Carnegie had a knack for making people happy to do something he suggested. He realized early on that intimidation, threats, and simply dictating his wishes would only resolve the other person to resist whatever it was he wanted them to do.

In his legendary book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” he told the story of J.A. Want, head of the J.A. Want Organization. This company, which was one of the largest Hooven letter and photo-offset printing houses in New York at the time, had a disgruntled mechanic who was responsible for keeping scores of typewriters and other machines functioning smoothly night and day. The mechanic was good at his job, but always complained that the hours were too long, that there was too much work, and that he needed an assistant.

Mr. Want was faced with the challenge of changing the mechanic’s attitude and demands without arousing resentment. And he ended up doing exactly that without giving the man an assistant, shorter hours, or less work. How did he do it?

He made the mechanic happy by giving him a private office with his name on the door and the title of “Manager of the Service Department.” Now the mechanic saw himself as no longer being a repairman that was ordered about by others. He was now the manager of a department. He had dignity, recognition, and a feeling of importance. From there on, he worked happily and without any complaints.

So if you want to change people without arousing resentment or giving offense, remember Dale Carnegie’s rule: “Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.”

Here’s an example of the rule in action from Dale Carnegie Training:

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of Maryland and the DC Metro Area. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo credit: Ambro

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