Carnegie 25.4.4: How to Win Friends and Influence People – PRINCIPLE 4 Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. “No One Likes to Take Orders”
Pages 254 – 256
When a decision is required and urgency rules the day – generals give orders. How should leaders act when there isn’t a clear field of battle? Groups make the best decisions when there is a broad range of input from a diverse team. They make the best decisions because such a group fields a broader range of ideas, and then with that diversity, there is better dialog leading to the best decisions. Often time those best decisions are combinations or derivatives of ideas where many people are the owner.
Carnegie is laying the ground for this style of participatory group leadership. As with all of the other examples, his focus is on 1-on-1 examples. Teams do the best when everyone is excited to share their opinion.
Shouting out orders without the input of those around you is a great way to create resentment and prevent good feedback. Barking orders is not ‘beginning in a friendly way‘, and it is certainly not encouraging the other person to talk about themselves!
“Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the persons whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.” Page 255
Page by Page
“He always gave people the opportunity to do things themselves; he never told his assistants to do things; he let them do them, let them learn from their mistakes.”
“A technique like that makes it easy for a person to correct errors. A technique like that saves a person’s pride and gives him or her a feeling of importance. It encourages cooperation instead of rebellion.”
“Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the persons whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.”
“Is there anything we can do to handle this order?” “Can anyone think of different ways to process it through the shop that will make it possible to take the order?” “Is there any way to adjust our hours or personnel assignments that would help?”
PRINCIPLE 4 Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.