《人性的弱点》第四篇 第2章 如何批评才不致招怨
Charles Schwab was passing through one of his steelmills one day at noon when he came across some of hisemployees smoking. Immediately above their heads wasa sign that said “No Smoking.” Did Schwab point to thesign and say, “Can’t you read.? Oh, no not Schwab. Hewalked over to the men, handed each one a cigar, andsaid, “I’ll appreciate it, boys, if you will smoke these onthe outside.” They knew that he knew that they hadbroken a rule - and they admired him because he saidnothing about it and gave them a little present and madethem feel important. Couldn’t keep from loving a manlike that, could you?
John Wanamaker used the same technique. Wanamakerused to make a tour of his great store in Philadelphiaevery day. Once he saw a customer waiting at acounter. No one was paying the slightest attention toher. The salespeople? Oh, they were in a huddle at thefar end of the counter laughing and talking among themselves.Wanamaker didn’t say a word. Quietly slippingbehind the counter, he waited on the woman himselfand then handed the purchase to the salespeople to bewrapped as he went on his way.
Public officials are often criticized for not being accessibleto their constituents. They are busy people, andthe fault sometimes lies in overprotective assistants whodon’t want to overburden their bosses with too manyvisitors. Carl Langford, who has been mayor of Orlando, Florida, the home of Disney World, for many years, frequentlyadmonished his staff to allow people to see him.clamed he had an “open-door” policy; yet the citizensof his community were blocked by secretaries andadministrators when they called.
Finally the mayor found the solution. He removed thedoor from his office! His aides got the message, and themayor has had a truly open administration since the dayhis door was symbolically thrown away.
Simply changing one three-letter word can often spellthe difference between failure and success in changingpeople without giving offense or arousing resentment.
Many people begin their criticism with sincere praisefollowed by the word “but” and ending with a criticalstatement. For example, in trying to change a child’scareless attitude toward studies, we might say, “We’rereally proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades thisterm. But if you had worked harder on your algebra, theresults would have been better.”
In this case, Johnnie might feel encouraged until heheard the word “but.” He might then question the sincerityof the original praise. To him, the praise seemedonly to be a contrived lead-in to a critical inference offailure. Credibility would be strained, and we probablywould not achieve our objectives of changing Johnnie’sattitude toward his studies.
This could be easily overcome by changing the word"but" to "and." “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, forraiseing your grades this term, and by continuing thesame conscientious efforts next term, your algebra gradecan be up with all the others.”
Now, Johnnie would accept the praise because therewas no follow-up of an inference of failure. We havecalled his attention to the behavior we wished to changeindirectly and the chances are he will try to live up toour expectations.
Calling attention to one’s mistakes indirectly workswonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterlyany direct criticism. Marge Jacob of Woonsocket, RhodeIsland, told one of our classes how she convinced somesloppy construction workers to clean up after themselveswhen they were building additions to her house.
For the first few days of the work, when Mrs. Jacobreturned from her job, she noticed that the yard was strewn with the cut ends of lumber. She didn’t want toantagonize the builders, because they did excellentwork. So after the workers had gone home, she and herchildren picked up and neatly piled all the lumber debrisin a corner. The following morning she called theforeman to one side and said, “I’m really pleased withthe way the front lawn was left last night; it is nice andclean and does not offend the neighbors.” From that dayforward the workers picked up and piled the debris toone side, and the foreman came in each day seekingapproval of the condition the lawn was left in after aday’s work.
One of the major areas of controversy between membersof the army reserves and their regular army trainersis haircuts. The reservists consider themselves civilians(which they are most of the time) and resent having tocut their hair short.
Master Sergeant Harley Kaiser of the 542nd USARSchool addressed himself to this problem when he wasworking with a group of reserve noncommissioned officers.As an old-time regular-army master sergeant, hemight have been expected to yell at his troops andthreaten them. Instead he chose to make his point indirectly.
“Gentlemen,” he started, “you are leaders. You willbe most effective when you lead by example. You mustbe the example for your men to follow. You know whatthe army regulations say about haircuts. I am going toget my hair cut today, although it is still much shorterthan some of yours. You look at yourself in the mirror,and if you feel you need a haircut to be a good example,we'll arrange time for you to visit the post barbership.”
The result was predictable. Several of the candidatesdid look in the mirror and went to the barbershop thatafternoon and received “regulation” haircuts. SergeantKaiser commented the next morning that he alreadycould see the development of leadership qualities insome of the members of the squad.
On March 8, 1887, the eloquent Henry Ward Beecherdied. The following Sunday, Lyman Abbott was invitedto speak in the pulpit left silent by Beecher’s passing.Eager to do his best, he wrote, rewrote and polished his sermon with the meticulous care of a Flaubert. Then heread it to his wife. It was poor - as most written speechesare. She might have said, if she had had less judgment,“Lyman, that is terrible. That’ll never do. You’ll put peopleto sleep. It reads like an encyclopedia. You ought toknow better than that after all the years you have beenpreaching. For heaven’s sake, why don’t you talk like ahuman being? Why don’t you act natural? You’ll disgraceyourself if you ever read that stuff.”
That’s what she might have said. And, if she had, youknow what would have happened. And she knew too.So, she merely remarked that it would make an excellentarticle for the North American Review. In other words,she praised it and at the same time subtly suggested thatit wouldn’t do as a speech. Lyman Abbott saw the point,tore up his carefully prepared manuscript and preachedwithout even using notes.
An effective way to correct others’ mistakes is . . .
PRINCIPLE 2Call attention to people’s mistakesindirectly.
I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer.Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, butI have found that for some strange reason, fish preferworms. So when I we
Psychologists know you have to be careful when you go poking around the human mind because you're never sure what you'll find there. A number of psychological experiments over the