Begin in a Friendly Way

October 21, 2011

Dale Carnegie knew that in order to win people to your way of thinking, you must begin your dealings with them in a friendly way. In his book, “How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” he quotes the words President Lincoln said over a hundred years ago:

“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 your 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.”

Carnegie remembers when he was a barefoot boy walking through the woods to a country school out in northwest Missouri, reading a fable by Aesop about the sun and the wind quarreling about which was stronger. The wind said, “I’ll prove I am. See that old man down there with a coat? I bet I can get his coat off him quicker than you can.”  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 cloud 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 moral of the story is that a friendly approach and appreciation can make people change their minds more readily than all the bluster and storming in the world.

Here’s an example of the principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Maryland and the DC Metro Area:

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 and Twitter.

Photo credit: Ambro

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