“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people, the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”
A study was done on runaway wives, what do you think was discovered to be the main reason wives ran away? It was “lack of appreciation.” And I’d bet that a similar study made of runaway husbands would come out the same way. We often take our spouses so much for granted that we never let them know we appreciate them. You need to use sincere praise, be careful not to use flattery; it does not work – at least not on intelligent people. Flattery is counterfeit, and like counterfeit money, it will eventually get you into trouble if you pass it to someone else. Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself. Appreciation is the legal tender that all souls enjoy.
“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then 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 them over a life time – repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
*Compilation taken from “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie