The biggest secret of dealing with people is revealed by Dale Carnegie in his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. He relates that the only way to get people to do something is to make them want to do it. Dr. John Dewey, a famous American philosopher said that the deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important.” Freud calls it “the desire to be great.” (18) William James said the deepest principle in human nature was a craving to be appreciated. It is as important as food, health, sleep, money and sexual gratification. (18) Carnegie says that “If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are.”
Famous people struggle with this. George Washington wanted to be called, “His Mightiness, the President of the United States.” Columbus: “Admiral of the Ocean and Viceroy of India.”
Charles Schwab, president of U.S. Steel, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people to be the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. . . . I am anxious to praise and loath to find fault.” (23)
We need to nourish the self-esteem of family members and co-workers. Flattery is insincere. Appreciation comes from the heart.
Carnegie has this old saying posted on his bathroom mirror:
“I shall not pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (28)
Emerson said, “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
The trial lawyers’ takeaway is to be humble in the courtroom. Arrogance has no place in it and will never be rewarded. In order to win in the courtroom, you must speak from the heart to persuade.