Sunday, November 11, 2007

Principle 1 : Don't Criticize, Condemn or Complain

I am currently reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie . In each chapter there is a lesson to be learned, I will explain them here - Lesson 1.

"God himself does not propose to judge man until the end of his days," why should you and I?

Abraham Lincoln mentioned "Don't criticize others; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances." Put yourself in someone else's shoes before you criticize them, and understand why they make the decisions that they do. Criticizing and pointing the finger is the easy way out, DON'T BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

People justify their actions 99.9% of them time, so criticizing them will only higher their defenses, wound their pride and way of thinking. An example of this is one of Al Capone. Mr. Capone, the most notorious gangster in the US, considered himself a public benefactor - an unappreciated and misunderstood public benefactor. When criticized, he justified actions by stating that he was helping people that couldn't act for themselves. Al was one of those people in the 99.9% when he was justifying his actions.

Next time, before you criticize or condemn someone, remember that they will justify their actions in their head, and no progress will be made. The best way to approach a situation like this is to give constructive feedback, and try to understand them, and their situation.

The book mentions a great way to handle these situations : "B.F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Later studies showed that the same applies for humans. By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and ofter incur resentment."

Finally, repeated again in Dale's words : "Instead of condemning people, let's try to understand them. Let's try to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. To know all is to forgive all."

Lesson 1 : Don't criticize, condemn or complain.

A great poem to help us remember this lesson, Father Forgets

1 comment:

Viktor said...

Dale's work is one of the great classics of our time. If you can control the 3 C's you will be a great teammate. As my good old friend Ben says:

Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.

-Benjamin Franklin