Discover the Great High Road to Reason

November 10, 2011

Abraham Lincoln once said:

“It is an old and true maxim that ‘a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.’ So with men, if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to his reason.”

In his book, “How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” Dale Carnegie provides an example of Lincoln’s words by telling the story of twenty-five hundred employees in the White Motor Company’s plant who went on strike for higher wages and a union shop. Robert F. Black, president of the company, didn’t lose his temper and condemn the striking workers; instead, he praised them. He published an advertisement in the Cleveland papers, complimenting them on “the peaceful way in which they laid down their tools.” He even purchased a couple dozen baseball bats and gloves and invited them to play ball on vacant lots. For those who preferred bowling, he rented a bowling alley.

The friendliness displayed by Mr. Black did what friendliness always does: it begot friendliness. The strikers responded by borrowing brooms, shovels, and rubbish carts, and began picking up matches, papers, cigarette butts, and other trash around the factory. Such an event had never been heard of before in the long, often volatile, history of American labor wars. The strike ended with a compromised settlement within a week without any ill feeling or animosity.

Remember that if your temper is aroused and you tell the person you’re dealing with a thing or two, you’ll have a fine time unloading your feelings, but it will only bring about a hostile attitude in the other person and resolve them to fight fire with fire. Here’s an example of discovering the high road to reason from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana:

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo credit: Ambro

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