By Phillip Chichoni
The key of the Order of the Coif looks just like any ordinary brass key. However, it is given to only the top 10% of graduates in law at the top universities. In one of the episodes of the popular television legal drama series, Suits, this pompous lawyer called Louis has the key on his desk. A younger hotshot lawyer called Mike Ross comes into Louis’ office, picks up the key and asks what door it opens. Knowing that Mike is a top of the class law graduate from Harvard University Law School, Louis laughs it off, thinking he is just joking.
Later on Mike visits Louis at his home, finds him holding the key, and asks what is so special about the key that he even brings it to work. Louis then realizes that Mike cannot recognize the key because he never went to Harvard and is therefore a fraud pretending to be a hotshot lawyer. He thus reports him to his bosses.
If you get into the office of any professional, a doctor, a business leader, an army general or a school headmaster, what do you find hanging on the wall? Diplomas, degrees and awards.
Why do people hang them on walls?
So that we can see they are brilliant and therefore important.
Everyone craves the feeling of importance. Most of our human needs, like food, shelter, good life, health and money, can be gratified. However, there is one longing – almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep – which is seldom gratified. It is what Freud calls “the desire to be great.” It is that desire to be important.
William James said: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” He did not speak of the “wish” or the “desire” or the “longing” to be appreciated. He said the “craving” to be appreciated.
Andrew Carnegie said “It is a gnawing and persistent human hunger, and the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his or her hand and “even the undertaker will be sorry when he dies.”’
That is the first secret to winning with people. Make them feel important and they will like you immediately. Once they like you, they are willing to listen to you. This is a hint to everyone who wants to succeed in business.
If you ever want to sell something, whether a product, a service or an idea to anyone, just mention something about them that makes them feel important and they will open doors for you to their offices.
Why do you think most people keep dogs? Because dogs make the owners feel important!
However, beware of flattery. Give people only genuine compliments as flattery can easily be detected and it really puts off people.
The second secret
My sister’s three year-old son, Sam, refused to go to crèche on the first day. My sister tried all she could to persuade him but he refused to budge and started wailing like a person possessed. She threatened to beat him but that only made the situation worse. Finally, she gave up and let him stay at home.
When her husband got home, my sister told him of the day’s event. Instead of getting angry with Sam, the husband just smiled and said he had a plan. He went out for a while and then came back and called Sam’s two older sisters and their mother to the kitchen.
He had brought some plastic clay, colouring pencils and colouring books. They sat in the kitchen and started playing, making toys with the plastic clay, doing some colouring, singing songs and all laughing and jovial as they did that. Sam wanted to join in but his father said he should wait his turn. After a while little Sam got impatient and started crying.
“Why are you crying Sam?” his father asked.
“Because I also want to play, please!” he screamed.
“Not yet Sam. These games are only for people who went to crèche, like your sisters. So go into your room and get into bed!”
Seeing the look on his father’s face, Sam went to his bed.
Early in the morning, everyone was surprised when they woke up. Sam was sitting in the kitchen, his little satchel on the table.
“Please hurry up, I want to go to crèche!” he screamed when the rest of the family entered the kitchen.
Did you catch the second secret to winning with people?
Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it?”
Find out what someone really wants. That is the second secret. Someone will give you want you want if you give them what they want. And if you do not know what they really want?
Harry A, Overstreet in his illuminating book Influencing Human Behavior said; “Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire … and the best piece of advice which can be given to would-be persuaders, whether in business, in the home, in the school, in politics, is: First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”