《人性的弱点》第4篇第8章 使错误看起来容易改正

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A bachelor friend of mine, about forty years old, becameengaged, and his fiancée persuaded him to take somebelated dancing lessons. “The Lord knows I neededdancing lessons,” he confessed as he told me the story,“for I danced just as I did when I first started twentyyears ago. The first teacher I engaged probably told methe truth. She said I was all wrong; I would just have toforget everything and begin all over again. But that tookthe heart out of me. I had no incentive to go on. So I quither.

“The next teacher may have been lying, but I liked it.She said nonchalantly that my dancing was a bit old-fashionedperhaps, but the fundamentals were all right,and she assured me I wouldn’t have any trouble learninga few new steps. The first teacher had discouraged meby emphasizing my mistakes. This new teacher did theopposite. She kept praising the things I did right andminimizing my errors. ‘You have a natural sense ofrhythm,’ she assured me. ‘You really are a natural-borndancer.’ Now my common sense tells me that I alwayshave been and always will be a fourth-rate dancer; yet,deep in my heart, I still like to think that maybe shemeant it. To be sure, I was paying her to say it; but whybring that up?

“At any rate, I know I am a better dancer than I wouldhave been if she hadn’t told me I had a naturalsense ofrhythm. That encouraged me. That gave me hope. Thatmade me want to improve.”

Tell your child, your spouse, or your employee that heor she is stupid or dumb at a certain thing, has no gift forit, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyedalmost every incentive to try to improve. But use theopposite technique - be liberal with your encouragement,make the thing seem easy to do, let the other personknow that you have faith in his ability to do it, thathe has an undeveloped flair for it - and he will practiceuntil the dawn comes in the window in order to excel.

Lowell Thomas, a superb artist in human relations,used this technique, He gave you confidence, inspiredyou with courage and faith. For example, I spent a weekendwith Mr. and Mrs. Thomas; and on Saturday night,I was asked to sit in on a friendly bridge game before aroaring fire. Bridge? Oh, no! No! No! Not me. I knewnothing about it. The game had always been a blackmystery to me, No! No! Impossible!

“Why, Dale, it is no trick at all,” Lowell replied.“There is nothing to bridge except memory and judgment.You’ve written articles on memory. Bridge will bea cinch for you. It’s right up your alley.”

And presto, almost before I realized what I was doing,I found myself for the first time at a bridge table. Allbecause I was told I had a natural flair for it and thegame was made to seem easy.

Speaking of bridge reminds me of Ely Culbertson,whose books on bridge have been translated into adozen languages and have sold more than a million copies.Yet he told me he never would have made a professionout of the game if a certain young woman hadn’tassured him he had a flair for it.

When he came to America in 1922, he tried to get a jobteaching in philosophy and sociology, but he couldn’t.Then he tried selling coal, and he failed at that.Then he tried selling coffee, and he failed at that, too.

He had played some bridge, but it had never occurredto him in those days that someday he would teach it. Hewas not only a poor card player, but he was also verystubborn. He asked so many questions and held so manypost-mortem examinations that no one wanted to playwith him.

Then he met a pretty bridge teacher, Josephine Dillon,fell in love and married her. She noticed how carefully he analyzed his cards and persuaded him that hewas a potential genius at the card table. It was that encouragementand that alone, Culbertson told me, thatcaused him to make a profession of bridge.

Clarence M. Jones, one of the instructors of our coursein Cincinnati, Ohio, told how encouragement and makingfaults seem easy to correct completely changed thelife of his son.

“In 1970 my son David, who was then fifteen yearsold, came to live with me in Cincinnati. He had led arough life. In 1958 his head was cut open in a car accident,leaving a very bad scar on his forehead. In 1960his mother and I were divorced and he moved to Dallas,Texas, with his mother. Until he was fifteen he had spentmost of his school years in special classes for slow learnersin the Dallas school system. Possibly because of thescar, school administrators had decided he was brain-injuredand could not function at a normal level. He wastwo years behind his age group, so he was only in theseventh grade. Yet he did not know his multiplicationtables, added on his fingers and could barely read.

“There was one positive point. He loved to work onradio and TV sets. He wanted to become a TV technician.I encouraged this and pointed out that he neededmath to qualify for the training. I decided to help himbecome proficient in this subject. We obtained four setsof flash cards: multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.As we went through the cards, we put the correctanswers in a discard stack. When David missed one,I gave him the correct answer and then put the card inthe repeat stack until there were no cards left. I made abig deal out of each card he got right, particularly if hehad missed it previously. Each night we would gothrough the repeat stack until there were no cards left.

Each night we timed the exercise with a stop watch. Ipromised him that when he could get all the cards correctin eight minutes with no incorrect answers, wewould quit doing it every night. This seemed an impossiblegoal to David. The first night it took 52 minutes,the second night, 48, then 45, 44, 41 then under 40 minutes.We celebrated each reduction. I’d call in my wife,and we would both hug him and we’d all dance a jig. At the end of the month he was doing all the cards perfectlyin less than eight minutes. When he made a small improvementhe would ask to do it again. He had made thefantastic discovery that learning was easy and fun.

“Naturally his grades in algebra took a jump. It isamazing how much easier algebra is when you can multiply.He astonished himself by bringing home a B inmath. That had never happened before. Other changescame with almost unbelievable rapidity. His reading improvedrapidly, and he began to use his natural talentsin drawing. Later in the school year his science teacherassigned him to develop an exhibit. He chose to developa highly complex series of models to demonstrate theeffect of levers. It required skill not only in drawing andmodel making but in applied mathematics. The exhibittook first prize in his school’s science fair and was enteredin the city competition and won third prize for theentire city of Cincinnati.

“That did it. Here was a kid who had flunked twogrades, who had been told he was ‘brain-damaged,’ whohad been called ‘Frankenstein’ by hisclassmates andtold his brains must have leaked out of the cut on hishead. Suddenly he discovered he could really learn andaccomplish things. The result? From the last quarter ofthe eighth grade all the way through high school, henever failed to make the honor roll; in high school hewas elected to the national honor society. Once he foundlearning was easy, his whole life changed.”

If you want to help others to improve, remember . . .

PRINCIPLE 8 Use encouragement. Make the fault seeme asy to correct.





















标签:人性 弱点 错误
2011-02-11 09:34 编辑:kuaileyingyu