《人性的弱点》第4篇第6章 如何鼓励人们成功

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Pete Barlow was an old friend of mine. He had a dog-and-pony act and spent his life traveling with circusesand vaudeville shows. I loved to watch Pete train newdogs for his act. I noticed that the moment a dog showedthe slightest improvement, Pete patted and praisedhim and gave him meat and made a great to-do aboutit.

That’s nothing new. Animal trainers have been usingthat same technique for centuries.

Why, I wonder, don’t we use the same common sensewhen trying to change people that we use when tryingto change dogs? Why don’t we use meat instead of awhip? Why don’t we use praise instead of condemnation?Let us praise even the slightest improvement. Thatinspires the other person to keep on improving.

In his book I Ain’t Much, Baby-But I’m All I Got,the psychologist Jess Lair comments: “Praise is like sunlightto the warm human spirit; we cannot flower andgrow without it. And yet, while most of us are only tooready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, weare somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshineof praise.”

Jess Lair, I Ain’t Much, Baby - But I’m All I Got (Greenwich, Conn.:Fawcett, 1976), p . 248.

I can look back at my own life and see where a fewwords of praise have sharply changed my entire future.

Can’t you say the same thing about your life? History isreplete with striking illustrations of the sheer witcheryraise.

For example, many years ago a boy of ten was workingin a factory in Naples, He longed to be a singer, but hisfirst teacher discouraged him. “You can’t sing,” he said."You haven’t any voice at all. It sounds like the wind inthe shutters.”

But his mother, a poor peasant woman, put her armsabout him and praised him and told him she knew hecould sing, she could already see an improvement, andshe went barefoot in order to save money to pay for hismusic lessons. That peasant mother’s praise and encouragementchanged that boy’s life. His name was EnricoCaruso, and he became the greatest and mostfamous opera singer of his age.

In the early nineteenth century, a young man in Londonaspired to be a writer. But everything seemed to beagainst him. He had never been able to attend schoolmore than four years. His father had been flung in jailbecause he couldn’t pay his debts, and this young manoften knew the pangs of hunger. Finally, he got a jobpasting labels on bottles of blacking in a rat-infestedwarehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic roomwith two other boys - guttersnipes from the slums ofLondon. He had so little confidence in his ability towrite that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscriptin the dead of night so nobody would laugh at him. Storyafter story was refused. Finally the great day came whenone was accepted. True, he wasn’t paid a shilling for it,but one editor had praised him. One editor had givenhim recognition. He was so thrilled that he wanderedaimlessly around the streets with tears rolling down hischeeks.

The praise, the recognition, that he received throughgetting one story in print, changed his whole life, for ifit hadn’t been for that encouragement, he might havespent his entire life working in rat-infested factories.You may have heard of that boy. His name was CharlesDickens.

Another boy in London made his living as a clerk in a dry-goods store. He had to get up at five o’clock, sweepout the store, and slave for fourteen hours a day. It wassheer drudgery and he despised it. After two years, hecould stand it no longer, so he got up one morning and,without waiting for breakfast, tramped fifteen miles totalk to his mother, who was working as a housekeeper.

He was frantic. He pleaded with her. He wept. Heswore he would kill himself if he had to remain in theshop any longer. Then he wrote a long, pathetic letter tohis old schoolmaster, declaring that he was heartbroken,that he no longer wanted to live. His old schoolmastergave him a little praise and assured him that he reallywas very intelligent and fitted for finer things and offeredhim a job as a teacher.

That praise changed the future of that boy and made alasting impression on the history of English literature.For that boy went on to write innumerable best-sellingbooks and made over a million dollars with his pen.You’ve probably heard of him. His name: H. G. Wells.

Use of praise instead of criticism is the basic conceptof B. F. Skinner’s teachings. This great contemporarypsychologist has shown by experiments with animalsand with humans that when criticism is minimized andpraise emphasized, the good things people do will bereinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack ofattention.

John Ringelspaugh of Rocky Mount, North Carolina,used this in dealing with his children. It seemed that, asin so many families, mother and dad’s chief form of communicationwith the children was yelling at them. And,as in so many cases, the children became a little worserather than better after each such session - and so didthe parents. There seemed to be no end in sight for thisproblem.

Mr. Ringelspaugh determined to use some of the principleshe was learning in our course to solve this situation.He reported: “We decided to try praise instead ofharping on their faults. It wasn’t easy when all we couldsee were the negative things they were doing; it wasreally tough to find things to praise. We managed to findsomething, and within the first day or two some of the really upsetting things they were doing quit happening.Then some of their other faults began to disappear. Theybegan capitalizing on the praise we were giving them.They even began going out of their way to do thingsright. Neither of us could believe it. Of course, it didn’tlast forever, but the norm reached after things leveledoff was so much better. It was no longer necessary toreact the way we used to. The children were doing farmore right things than wrong ones.” All of this was aresult of praising the slightest improvement in the childrenrather than condemning everything they did wrong.

This works on the job too. Keith Roper of WoodlandHills, California, applied this principle to a situation inhis company. Some material came to him in his printshop which was of exceptionally high quality. Theprinter who had done this job was a new employee whohad been having difficulty adjusting to the job. His supervisorwas upset about what he considered a negativeattitude and was seriously thinking of terminating hisservices.

When Mr. Roper was informed of this situation, hepersonally went over to the print shop and had a talkwith the young man. He told him how pleased he waswith the work he had just received and pointed out itwas the best work he had seen produced in that shop forsome time. He pointed out exactly why it was superiorand how important the young man’s contribution was tothe company,

Do you think this affected that young printer’s attitudetoward the company? Within days there was a completeturnabout. He told several of his co-workers about theconversation and how someone in the company reallyappreciated good work. And from that day on, he was aloyal and dedicated worker.

What Mr. Roper did was not just flatter the youngprinter and say “You’re good.” He specifically pointedout how his work was superior. Because he had singledout a specific accomplishment, rather than just makinggeneral flattering remarks, his praise became much moremeaningful to the person to whom it was given. Everybodylikes to be praised, but when praise is specific, itcomes across as sincere - not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good.

Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition,and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wantsinsincerity. Nobody wants flattery.

Let me repeat: The principles taught in this book willwork only when they come from the heart. I am notadvocating a bag of tricks. I am talking about a new wayof life.

Talk about changing people. If you and I will inspirethe people with whom we come in contact to a realizationof the hidden treasures they possess, we can do farmore than change people. We can literally transformthem.

Exaggeration? Then listen to these sage words fromWilliam James, one of the most distinguished psychologistsand philosophers America has ever produced:

Compared with what we ought to be, we are only halfawake. We are making use of only a small part of our physicaland mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, thehuman individual thus lives far within his limits. He possessespowers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.

Yes, you who are reading these lines possess powersof various sorts which you habitually fail to use; and oneof these powers you are probably not using to the fullestextent is your magic ability to praise people and inspirethem with a realization of their latent possibilities.

Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom underencouragement. To become a more effective leader ofpeople, apply . . .

PRINCIPLE 6Praise the slightest improvement andpraiseevery improvement. Be “hearty in yourapprobation and lavish in your praise.”
















他住的房子,虽然租金非常便宜, 可是还是无法负担,使他拖欠了人家十个月的租金。









标签:人性 弱点 鼓励
2011-02-09 10:25 编辑:kuaileyingyu