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Give honest and sincere appreciation

June 27th, 2008 / 5 Comments

When I am shopping, I like to give a compliment to the clerks.

I look hard for something to give a sincere compliment. “That’s a nice necklace you have on” or “I like that color of nail polish on you.”

My ulterior motive is, if I am nice to them, they will give me better service!

Dale Carnegie’s Principle #2 in How To Win Friends and Influence People is “Give honest and sincere appreciation.”

Imagine applying that principle to win our children. How would your children’s behavior change?

Carnegie tells the story of Pamela Dunham of New Fairfiled, Connecticut. One of the responsibilities of her job is to supervise a janitor who was doing a very poor job. Without success, Pam tried various ways to motivate this person. She noticed that occasionally he did a particularly good piece of work. She made a point to praise him for it in front of other people. Each day the job he did all around got better, and pretty soon he started doing all his work efficiently. Honest appreciation got results where criticism and ridicule failed.

Nagging does not work. Really.

Dale Carnegie quoted Charles Schwab as saying, “I consider my  ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”

Do we want to win and influence our children? Let’s be quick with our praise.

Everyday, I am giving each member of my family, including my husband, a word of appreciation. And it’s not hard to find something you appreciate about people you love.

Read Principle #1 here.

Photo by aussiegall

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  1. It’s so true! It’s easy to forget during the course of the day, but I try, try, try to “catch” my kids being good.

    Like when Jacob finishes ALL his dinner and asks to be excused from the table (instead of whining or complaining that he’s not in the mood for –)

    Or when Joel kicks off his underpants, quite literally, to take himself potty without help from me.

    lol – great post. Thanks for the reminder!!

  2. Dette: Give your boys a big hug! Good job. I love hearing about your boys.

  3. I’m finding living the Five Love Languages helps me build business, make friends and influence people, and genuinely care about others. It’s funny how your actions create thoughts and feelings.

  4. Pete: That is an excellent book, and I definitely recommend it. Here it is:
    The Five Love Languages of Children

  5. […] honest praise and affirmation often. “I’m proud of you.” “I love having you […]


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