One among many things I learnt from Dale Carnegie is that we must learn to appreciate our colleagues, friends and subordinates at work but most particularly to me, we must learn to appreciate and commend our spouses to remind them what they mean to us and how much we care about them.
In his book “How to win friends and influence people”, Carnegie told us a story of a member of one of his classes of a request made by his wife. She and a group of other women were involved in a self-improvement program. She asked her husband to help her by listening six things he believed she could do to help her become a better wife. He reported to the class that: ‘I was surprised by such a request. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to list the 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 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, after she had reported the result of her assignment, several women with whom she had been studying came to me and said, “That was the most considerate thing I have ever heard.” It was then I realized the power of appreciation.’
Carnegie has reminded us of the importance of showing to people how we appreciate them for being them. All of us do have our flaws because we are imperfect but what we all need are people that would accept us just the way we are. Just as Maya Angelou opined “I am human and nothing human is alien to me.”
From Carnegie I also learnt that flattery is not always the best thing to do but its most preferable to show appreciation to such people. 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 over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten.
As long as we live, as long as we continue to exist, every day we strive to be better than we were yesterday. We learn to make improvements in ourselves for the betterment of ourselves, those close to us and the society general in order for us to better in whatever we want to be –to be a better son, husband, and father and in other spheres of lives as well. I do here by recommend the Dale Carnegie pill to all and sundry.