In his book, “How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” Dale Carnegie says that the unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely.
In the book he tells the story of Claude Marais, a restaurant owner in Ruen, France, who used this principle and saved his restaurant the loss of a key employee. This woman had been in his employ for five years and was a vital link between Marais and his staff of twenty-one people. He was shocked to receive a registered letter from her advising him of her resignation.
Marais was surprised and disappointed because he was under the impression that he had been fair to her and receptive to her needs. But he also admitted that he had probably taken her too much for granted and maybe was even more demanding of her than of other employees.
He took the employee aside one day and told her he couldn’t accept her resignation because she was as important to the success of the restaurant as he was. He repeated this in front of the entire staff, and invited the employee to his home to reiterate his confidence in her with his family present.
The employee withdrew her resignation and from that day forward Marais was able to rely on her like never before, continually reinforcing his appreciation for what she did and showing her how important she was to him and the restaurant.
Making the other person feel important through sincere appreciation is one of the fundamental principles of Dale Carnegie Training. Here’s an example in action:
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