《人性的弱点》第四篇 第3章 先说出你自己的错误

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My niece, Josephine Carnegie, had come to New Yorkto be my secretary. She was nineteen, had graduatedfrom high school three years previously, and her businessexperience was a trifle more than zero. She becameone of the most proficient secretaries west of Suez, butin the beginning, she was - well, susceptible to improvement.One day when I started to criticize her, Isaid to myself: “Just a minute, Dale Carnegie; just aminute. You are twice as old as Josephine. You have hadten thousand times as much business experience. Howcan you possibly expect her to have your viewpoint, yourjudgment, your initiative - mediocre though they maybe? And just a minute, Dale, what were you doing at nineteen? Remember the asinine mistakes and blundersyou made? Remember the time you did this . . . andthat . . . ?"

After thinking the matter over, honestly and impartially,I concluded that Josephine’s batting average atnineteen was better than mine had been - and that, I’msorry to confess, isn’t paying Josephine much of a compliment.

So after that, when I wanted to call Josephine’s attentionto a mistake, I used to begin by saying, “You havemade a mistake, Josephine, but the Lord knows, it’s noworse than many I have made. You were not born withjudgment. That comes only with experience, and you arebetter than I was at your age. I have been guilty of somany stupid, silly things myself, I have very little incliionto criticize you or anyone. But don’t you think itwould have been wiser if you had done so and so?"

It isn’t nearly so difficult to listen to a recital of yourfaults if the person criticizing begins by humbly admittingthat he, too, is far from impeccable.

E. G. Dillistone, an engineer in Brandon, Manitoba,Canada, was having problems with his new secretary.Letters he dictated were coming to his desk for signaturewith two or three spelling mistakes per page. Mr. Dillistonereported how he handled this:

“Like many engineers, I have not been noted for myexcellent English or spelling. For years I have kept alittle black thumb - index book for words I had troublespelling. When it became apparent that merely pointingout the errors was not going to cause my secretary to domore proofreading and dictionary work, I resolved totake another approach. When the next letter came to myattention that had errors in it, I sat down with the typistand said:

" ‘Somehow this word doesn’t look right. It’s one ofthe words I always have had trouble with. That’s the reasonI started this spelling book of mine. [I openedthe book to the appropriate page.] Yes, here it is. I’mvery conscious of my spelling now because people dojudge us by our letters and misspellings make us lookless professional.

"I don't know whether she copied my system or not,but since that conversation, her frequency of spellingerrors has been significantly reduced.”

The polished Prince Bernhard von Bülow learned thesharp necessity of doing this back in 1909. Von Bülowwas then the Imperial Chancellor of Germany, and onthe throne sat  Wilhelm II-Wilhelm, the haughty; Wilhelmthe arrogant; Wilhelm, the last of the German Kaisers,building an army and navy that he boasted couldwhip their weight in wildcats.

Then an astonishing thing happened. The Kaiser saidthings, incredible things, things that rocked the continentand started a series of explosions heard around theworld. To make matters infinitely worse, the Kaisermade silly, egotistical, absurd announcements in public,he made them while he was a guest in England, and hegave his royal permission to have them printed in theDaily Telegraph. For example, he declared that he wasthe only German who felt friendly toward the English;that he was constructing a navy against the menace ofJapan; that he, and he alone, had saved England frombeing humbled in the dust by Russia and France; that ithad been his campaign plan that enabled England’sLord Roberts to defeat the Boers in South Africa; and soon and on.

No other such amazing words had ever fallen from thelips of a European king in peacetime within a hundredyears. The entire continent buzzed with the fury of ahornet’s nest. England was incensed. German statesmenwere aghast. And in the midst of all this consternation,the Kaiser became panicky and suggested to Prince vonBülow, the Imperial Chancellor, that he take the blame.Yes, he wanted von Bülow to announce that it was allhis responsibility, that he had advised his monarch tosay these incredible things.

“But Your Majesty,” von Bülow protested, “it seemsto me utterly impossible that anybody either in Germanyor England could suppose me capable of having advisedYour Majesty to say any such thing.”

The moment those words were out of von Bülow's

mouth, he realized he had made a grave mistake. TheKaiser blew up.

“You consider me a donkey,” he shouted, “capable ofblunders you yourself could never have committed!”

Von Bülow's knew that he ought to have praised beforehe condemned; but since that was too late, he did thenext best thing. He praised after he had criticized. Andit worked a miracle.

"I'm far from suggesting that,” he answered respectfully.“Your Majesty surpasses me in manv respects; notonly of course, in naval and military knowledge butabove all, in natural science. I have often listened inadmiration when Your Majesty explained the barometer,or wireless telegraphy, or the Roentgen rays. I amshamefully ignorant of all branches of natural science,have no notion of chemistry or physics, and am quiteincapable of explaining the simplest of natural phenomena.But,” von Büllow continued, “in compensation, Ipossess some historical knowledge and perhaps certainqualities useful in politics, especially in diplomacy.”

The Kaiser beamed. Von Bulow had praised him. VonBülow had exalted him and humbled himself. The Kaisercould forgive anything after that. “Haven’t I alwaystold you," he exclaimed with enthusiasm, “that we completeone another famously? We should stick together,and we will!"

He shook hands with von Bülow, not once, but severaltimes. And later in the day he waxed so enthusiastic thathe exclaimed with doubled fists, “If anyone says anythingto me against Prince von Bülow, I shall punch himin the nose.”

Von Bülow saved himself in time - but, canny diplomatthat he was, he nevertheless had made one error: heshould have begun by talking about his own shortcomingsand Wilhelm’s superiority - not by intimating thatthe Kaiser was a half-wit in need of a guardian.

If a few sentences humbling oneself and praising theother party can turn a haughty, insulted Kaiser into astaunch friend, imagine what humility and praise can do

for you and me in our daily contacts. Rightfully used,they will work veritable miracles in human relations.

Admitting one’s own mistakes - even when one hasn’tcorrected them - can help convince somebody to changehis behavior. This was illustrated more recently by ClarenceZerhusen of Timonium, Maryland, when he discoveredhis fifteen-year-old son was experimenting withcigarettes.

“Naturally, I didn’t want David to smoke,” Mr. Zerhusentold us, “but his mother and I smoked cigarettes;we were giving him a bad example all the time. I explainedto Dave how I started smoking at about his ageand how the nicotine had gotten the best of me and nowit was nearly impossible for me to stop. I reminded himhow irritating my cough was and how he had been afterme to give up cigarettes not many years before.

"I didn’t exhort him to stop or make threats or warnhim about their dangers. All I did was point out how Iwas hooked on cigarettes and what it had meant to me.

“He thought about it for a while and decided hewouldn’t smoke until he had graduated from highschool. As the years went by David never did start smokingand has no intention of ever doing so.

“As a result of that conversation I made the decisionto stop smoking cigarettes myself, and with the supportof my family, I have succeeded.”

A good leader follows this principle:

PRINCIPLE 3 Talk about your own mistakes beforecriticizing the other person.








于是,一件惊人的事情发生了了! 德皇说了一些令人难以置信的话,震撼整个欧洲,甚至影响到世界各地。最糟的是,德皇把这些可笑、自傲、荒谬的言论,就在他作客英国时,当着群众前发表出来。他还允许「每日电讯」,照原意在报上发表出来。















标签:人性 批评
2011-01-28 13:47 编辑:kuaileyingyu