I’ve been sporadically listening to How to Win Friends and Influence People for a couple months. I listen to it whenever I drive and am not listening to the radio. The thing is, though, is that I walk to work, walk to get groceries, and I live with my girlfriend. So I don’t do a lot of driving.
But, I really like what I’ve heard so far from this book. So this month I’m going to do a principle each day.
P1C1Pr1 means Part 1, Chapter 1, Principle 1. I don’t know if that is useful information or not yet, but we’ll see. The important part is that I just remember the principles and apply them daily and ideally consecutively. For this project, though, I think I should go for one principle per day and just focus on that principle.
Today I should have neither criticized, condemned, nor complained. I’m solid on not complaining. If I say something, I know that in my head it makes it more real. So if I don’t complain, then whatever I would be complaining about is not as bad. An example is work being super busy. If I get home to my girlfriend and say “Work sucked, we were sooooo busy” then it hurts me that much more by reliving it via complaining about it. So I tend to not complain.
Condemning is a different story. Apparently the difference in condemning and criticizing is that condemning is publicly or behind-their-back, whereas criticizing is to their face. I tend to condemn rarely, and usually heavily dosed with “This person is awesome, but they just need to work on this one specific thing…” Today I did precisely that. More on that later.
I try to rarely criticize. Chipotle, where I work, uses the term “elevation”, meaning helping a person do something the by-the-Chipotle-book way. Is it criticism? What is the border of criticizing and teaching? Carnegie writes about positive reinforcement being the way to go. I try to do that as much as possible, but if someone is just off the mark, what do you do? Is it different if a person asks for help?
My favorite quote from this principle was: “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be under-standing and forgiving.” I definitely understand this. It’s my immediate reaction to correct somebody when they don’t ask to be corrected, when the utility of them being right is not relevant to the task/conversation at hand. I need to work on that.
I definitely need to work more on all this at Chipotle. I need to find out how to teach without criticizing and condemning.
At home, I should never criticize, complain, or condemn. I don’t think I did tonight. But I’ll keep an eye out next time. I’ll also just do better tomorrow at focusing on the next principle. And that principle will be:
“Give honest and sincere appreciation”