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《人性的弱点》第4篇第6章 如何鼓励人们成功

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小编摘要:要改变一个人的意志;而不触犯,或是引起反感,第六项规则是:称赞最细微的进步,而且称赞每一个进步。

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.”


我很早就认识巴洛,他对狗、马的性情很了解,他把他毕生的精力,都用在马戏团,和技术表演团上。我喜欢看他训练新狗做戏。我有注意到,在那头狗动作上稍有进步时,巴洛会拍拍牠,称赞牠,还给牠肉吃。

那不是什么新鲜的事。训练动物的人,几世纪来,都运用这样的技巧。

我很奇怪,当我们想改变一个人的意志时,为什么不用训练狗那样的技巧呢?我们为什么不用肉,来替代皮鞭呢?也就是说,为什么不用称赞来替代责备呢?即使只有稍微的进步,我们也要称赞,这样可以鼓励别人继续进步。

洛斯狱长发觉,即使对星星监狱里的凶狠犯人,赞赏最微小的进步,也是有效的。我写这本书的时候,接到洛斯狱长的一封信,他信上这样说:「我发觉对于犯人们的勤劳,如果加以适度的夸奖,要比严厉的惩罚、青备他们的过失,更能得到他们的合作,更能促进他们恢复人格。

我从来没有在「星星监狱」坐过牢--至少目前还没有;可是我可以回想我过去的生活中,有若干地方因几句赞美的话,而深深改变了我整个将来……你这一生中,是否也有过同样的情形?历史上有关称赞给人神奇力量的例证,真是不胜枚举。

就有这样一个例子:五十年前,有个十岁的孩子,在「那波尔斯」一家工厂里做工,那孩子从小就怀着一个理想,希望将来成为一个歌唱家。可是,他的第一位老师,就给了他一个打击。那位老师说:「你不能唱歌,你的嗓子很坏,所发出来的声音再难听也没有了。」

可是,那孩子的母亲,一个贫苦的农家妇女,她搂着自己的孩子,称赞他……她告诉自己的儿子,说他能唱歌,她已经看出他在进步了。母亲光着脚去做工,为的是省下钱来给儿子付音乐班的学费。那位农家母亲,鼓励自己的儿子,称赞自己的儿子,而终于改变了这孩子的一生。你也许曾听过这孩子的名字,他就是当代一位杰出歌王「卡罗沙」。

许多年前,伦敦有个年轻人,他渴望自己能成为一位作家。可是他所有的遭遇,都事与愿违,处处都好象跟他作对似的……他所受到的学校教育,不到四年,他父亲因为还不起债而入狱,使这个年轻人饱尝饥饿的滋味。最后,他找到一份工作……他的工作是在一间老鼠满地跑的货仓里,黏贴墨水瓶上的签条。

夜晚,他跟另外两个来自伦敦贫民窟的骯脏顽童,住在楼顶的一小间暗房里。他对于写作的自信心很薄弱!当他第一篇稿子完成时,生怕会给人家讥笑,只得在夜间,悄悄地把稿子投入邮箱里。他接连的写稿、投稿,但他所寄出的那些稿子,也接连的都给拒绝退了回来

可是,伟大的一天来了,他的一篇稿子被录用了。其实,他连一先令的稿费也没得到。但录用他那篇稿子的编辑,赞许他的作品,这年轻人高兴极了.流着泪,漫无目的地走在街上。

由于一篇稿子刊登,所得到的称赞和承认,改变了他的终生事业。若不是那次的鼓励,这年轻人可能一辈子在那满是老鼠的货仓里工作。那年轻人的名宇,或许你知道,他就是英国大文学家「狄更斯」.

那是五十年前的事,有一个年轻人在一家店铺里工作,他每天早晨五点钟就要起来打扫店铺,一天做十四小时的苦工。这样经过了两年,年轻人实在忍受不下去了。某天早晨,等不及吃早餐,一口气走了十五哩路,去找他那替人做管家的母亲商谈。

他像是疯了似的向他母亲哭着哀求,他赌咒再也不回那家店铺工作了;如果他须再留在那店中,他就要自杀。他写了一封很长而悲惨的信,给他的老校长。说他心已破碎,不想再活下去了……他的老校长给了他一些赞美,说他是个聪明的年轻人,应该找一份更适合他去做的工作,然后给他一个教员的职位。

那个赞许,改变了那年轻人的将来,并在英国文学史上,留下一个使人无法磨灭的印象。因为那年轻人从此以后,完成了七十七部书,用他的笔,赚进了一百多万元……或许你知道他是谁了,他就是英国史学家韦尔斯」。

一九二二年,加利福尼亚有个年轻人,他连照顾妻子的生活,都感到非常困难。星期天,他去教会唱诗班卖唱;偶尔在人家婚礼中,替人家唱歌,可以赚进五块钱。他的生活贫困极了,没有能力住在城里,所以他在乡下一座葡萄园里租一间破旧的房子,每月租金只有十二元五角。

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。

他在环境逼迫之下,替房东摘葡萄,以偿还租金。他后来告诉我,那时,他在不得已情形下,穷得没有东西吃时,就拿葡萄来填饱肚子。

失望之余,他几乎想放弃歌唱这份爱好,去推销载重汽车谋生。就在这时,他的朋友休士称赞了他,休士对他说:「你的嗓音颇有发展的可能,你该去纽约学唱才是。」

那年轻人最近对我说,就是那一点称赞,那轻微的鼓励,成了他终身事业上的转折点。于是他向朋友借了二千五百元,去东部学唱。你或许也有听过他的名字,他是一位有名的歌唱家,叫「铁贝得」。

讲到如何改变一个人的意志,假如我们激励我们所接触的人,让他们知道自己潜藏着的财富,那我们所做的,不只是改变他们的意志……而是改变了他们一生的命运!

这话过份吗?现在我们看看一位已故哈佛大学名教授,也是美国最负声誉的心理学家兼哲学家「威廉.贾姆士」,所留下的名言:

「若与我们应当成就的事业相比,我们不过是、半醒着。,我们现在只利用到我们身心资源的一小部份。也可以这样说,每一个人,就这样的生活着,远在他应有的极限之内;他有各种的力量,可是却惯于不会利用。」

是的,就如前面所说的,我们具有各种潜在的能力,可是却惯于不会利用。这潜在的能力,其中一项,就是称赞别人、激励别人,让他们知道自己这股潜在的能力,所蕴藏的神奇效力。

所以,要改变一个人的意志;而不触犯,或是引起反感,第六项规则是:

称赞最细微的进步,而且称赞每一个进步。
标签:人性 弱点 鼓励
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2011-02-09 10:25 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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