Exercise 41 Skillful People Handling

Even though change is constant in the universe, and people are changing constantly every day, there is nevertheless a dogged determination by most people to resist the idea of change. Many good ideas are representative of change, and often take a great deal of time to become accepted. When Louis Pasteur connected germs to infection in 1862, it was a concept that was slow to be accepted by medical men. Consequently, when James A. Garfield (U.S. 20th President) was shot in 1881, he died of septic poisoning from U.S. doctors probing for the assassin's bullet with unsterilized instruments!

Whatever you think about and talk about will grow. Realize the power of your words and even your thoughts about others. You can greatly assist people by not emphasizing in your words or thoughts their weaknesses, but instead emphasize positive, successful working patterns you might want to establish - as if they were already established. People will respond by moving in the direction you emphasize. Instead of criticizing mistakes, praise whatever good or productive points they made.

If you are introducing an idea or viewpoint that is representative of a drastic change, then make the idea seem like it originated with whatever opposers there are to it. Start out by saying, "Your idea the other day was a good one," or "You're right, I think your method is correct," or in a group situation, "To summarize what everyone has said ... " Then proceed with your own idea.

If you want someone to adopt your method, say something to congratulate the person as if he had already adopted it. His basking in the praise will prevent him from denying the fact that he has done it, and he will immediately adopt your methodology to fulfill the credit given to him.

To impress people with your discernment, refrain from complimenting them on something they are already proud of. Look for something unusual or unexpected in their personality, home or possessions and create a skillful compliment.

You can side step the need to control, judge or dominate others altogether by helping them to do or see something for themselves instead! This gives them a sense of empowerment. Rather than giving someone an order or instructing them on how to do something, try asking them, "What would it take to prove that you can do this for yourself?" Then say, "Let's work together to see if we can make it happen." The offer of your assistance, instead of just taking over or giving an order, will suffuse both of you with power. This process circumvents conflict that can otherwise arise out of a need to control or prove you are right and another person is wrong. Master ing this ability enables you to empower others to take control of their own lives.

As a daily exercise, practice these techniques for more skillful handling of people. With practice and with time, you'll get very good at it.

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