Arouse In The Other Person An Eager Want
In Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends and Influence People, there are a collection of human relations principles, 30 to be exact. This is principle 3.
I remember when I first read this principle I didn’t really understand it. Then I read an example from his book…
“One day the famous philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and his son were trying to get a calf into the barn. It was going rather poorly. They pushed and the calf pulled. They pulled and the calf pushed. Meanwhile, their housemaid noticed their predicament, and though she couldn’t write brilliant essays or books, she possessed an insight she thought might solve the problem. She walked over to the calf and put her finger in its mouth. While the calf suckled, she gently led it into the barn. What did the maid know that the luminous philosopher had forgotten? She knew that one of the calf’s core desires was food. Once she tapped into that desire, the calf willingly followed. Emerson and his son merely thought about what they desired—the calf in the barn so they could eat their lunch.” from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
What I like most about this example is that the desired result didn’t come from the smartest person in the room, nor the most educated…it came from the person who paid attention to what was most important to others and was willing to give it to them.
It is not about manipulating or forcing someone to do something. It is about paying attention to what is important to them. People are much happier to help if they can also get something they want. By paying attention to other people, and being interested in learning more about them, will likely result in better relationships.
Carnegie’s book was written in the 50s but is still very relevant today. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it.
Full disclosure, I was a Dale Carnegie instructor for 10 years early on in my career, and still read it every couple of years as a reminder of the important things in life.