1. Think first of the other person. This is THE foundation — the first requisite — for getting along with others. And it is the one truly difficult accomplishment you must make. Gaining this, the rest will be “a breeze.”
2. Build up the other person’s sense of importance. When we make the other person seem less important, we frustrate one of their deepest urges. Allow them to feel equality or superiority, and we can easily get along.
3. Respect personality rights. Respect as something sacred the other person’s right to be different from you. No two personalities are ever molded by precisely the same forces.
4. Give sincere appreciation. If we think someone has done a thing well, we should never hesitate to let them know it. WARNING: This does not mean promiscuous use of obvious flattery. Flattery with most intelligent people gets exactly the reaction it deserves — contempt for the egotistical “phony” who stoops to it.
5. Eliminate the negative. Criticism seldom does what its user intends, for it invariably causes resentment. The tiniest bit of disapproval can sometimes cause a resentment which will rankle — to your disadvantage — for years.
6. Avoid openly trying to reform people. Everyone is imperfect, but we do not want someone else trying to correct our faults. If you want to improve a person, help them to embrace a higher working goal — a standard, an ideal — and they will do their own “making over” far more effectively than you can do it for them.
7. Try to understand the other person. How would you react to similar circumstances? When you begin to see the “whys” of them you can’t help but get along better.
8. Check first impressions. We are especially prone to dislike some people on first sight because of some vague resemblance (of which we are usually unaware) to someone else whom we have had reason to dislike. Follow Abraham Lincoln‘s famous self-instruction: “I do not like that person; therefore I shall get to know them better.”
9. Take care with the little details. Watch your smile, your tone of voice, how you use your eyes, the way you greet people, the use of nicknames and remembering faces, names and dates. Little things add polish to your skill in dealing with people. Constantly, deliberately think of them until they become a natural part of your personality.
10. Develop genuine interest in people. You cannot successfully apply the foregoing suggestions unless you have a sincere desire to like, respect and be helpful to others. Conversely, you cannot build genuine interest in people until you have experienced the pleasure of working with them in an atmosphere characterized by mutual liking and respect.
11. Keep it up. That’s all — just keep it up!
– Dave Packard, electrical engineer
HP’s 2nd Management Conference (1958)
Sonoma, California, USA