The Power of Giving Unconditional Support to Your Co-Workers, Friends, and Loved Ones

By on in Personal Development

Over the years I’ve read the bookHow to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie several times.

It’s a legendary book and if your heart beats and you haven’t read the book you should.

Last night I was reading the book on my iPad and came across a passage that really struck me….so I highlighted it and sent myself an email reminder to share my thoughts on it @ KrisJones.com….

Here’s the passage:

“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.” – Dale Carnegie

Carnegie goes on to say “By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment…”

Later in the book Carnegie quotes Psychologist Hans Seyle as saying “The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.”

I don’t know about you, but reading the above statements (literally) is a wake up call to me personally on at least two fronts.

First, I’m guilty of criticizing people from time to time (especially the people I care about and love the most) and from time to time is too often.

Second, the inverse of the above suggests the amazing power we have as individuals to provide our co-workers, friends, and loved ones with unconditional support and understanding.

I’m not talking about shallow compliments here.

I’m talking about working hard to genuinely understand that “criticism is futile” on the one hand and on the other hand working hard to take a sincere interest in others perspectives and supporting them unconditionally.

If we can do this consistently I bet it can change our life…and it will undoubtedly positively affect the life of the person you are supporting.

As yourself:

Am I critical?

Do I often criticize in an attempt to “prove” I’m right?

Is it possible that I can become more aware of my criticalness and replace it with support and understanding?

If your answers to any of the above questions is yes…..you are likely (like me) in a perfect position to take action to make your life better….and along the way win the love and influence of others.

Next time you are about to criticize your significant other, a friend, a co-worker, or anyone for that matter…..take a deep breath……step back for a moment….and approach the same situation with a desire to provide unconditional support and understanding.

I’ll make a deal with you to work hard to do the same thing.

Criticism is futile.

Let’s work together to win more friends and influence people in a more positive, meaningful way!

15 Responses to “The Power of Giving Unconditional Support to Your Co-Workers, Friends, and Loved Ones”

  1. Dwight Zahringer

    Good points and a fresh perspective on feedback. Something I will consider at the office. However it’s tough when you have deliverables to a person, client etc. and key motivation is profit, revenue or a direct Connection to revenue. Sometimes it’s tough love. It’s business, not church.

    Reply
  2. Marty Wolff

    Kris: Your comments have more power than many business leaders realize. For our personal and professional improvement and happiness,we need to first become very aware of our own emotions, like anger, fear, anxiety. When we are aware of our emotions we can then become more aware of how they can impact others when we speak or act without thinking. Practice awareness first, then as you recommend slow down and think how this can impact those around you. It’s a process, I work on it everyday.

    Reply
    • krisjonescom

      Marty – Hallelujah! Your thoughts here as an expert on emotional intelligence definitely radiate w/ me.

      Thanks!

      Kris

    • krisjonescom

      Brad – Thanks pal! Let\’s make some time to catch up.

      Kris

  3. krisjonescom

    Dwight – in grad school I studied interpersonal reciprocity in communication – basically, love begets love and hostility begets hostility…the same is true in business….

    Reply
    • krisjonescom

      Thanks Dino! If you haven\’t you should definitely read the book. Granted it was written in the early 1900\’s and many of the people Carnegie refers to are long deceased…..but the message remains true!

      Kris

  4. Marty Wolff

    Dwight: You are on the mark that daily pressures to “produce” sometimes challenges our ability to think first. Been there trust me. With that said, organizations like American Express, Met Life Insurance,and the US Air Force are applying the principles Kris is describing to improve their productivity and profitability. This knowledge in high stress jobs “produces” results.

    Reply
    • krisjonescom

      Marty – you are right on.

      The real message here seems counterintuitive since virtually every one (including myself) falls into terrible cycles of auto responding to others. For instance, it is completely natural that when someone calls you a bad name (i.e. you are a jerk!!!) you emotionally (and automatically) respond to them with the same behavior (ie. I\’ma jerk! No way – you are a jerk!!!!.

      Ironically, the same type of auto responsive behavior happens when someone says something nice to you. For instance, if someone tells you that they love you, respect you, and admire your hard work……..it is quite natural to respond by complimenting the person in a similar way.

      The above understanding of how virtually all relationships work is powerful.

      Dale Carnegie\’s book suggests that it is futile to expect to get what you want and influence people by criticizing them – he\’s dead on.

      Kris

  5. Dale Nat

    Kris,

    It is amazing the fresh perspective we getting from revisiting a great book or movie. Great message in this post, it it reminds me that with all our education, training and skills developed of the years, it is ALWAYS the human interaction or connection that determines the quality of our success, but more importantly the quality of our life as we connect with the people around us whether it is with our co-workers or clients, but more importantly our freinds and family.
    I also appreciate you sharing your work methods, re-reading book on Ipad, use ighlighter, and send a reminder to yourself to post this “nugget” to your blog to share with us! Thank you!!

    Reply
    • krisjonescom

      Dale – thanks for your comment!

      Life is as joyous and spectacular as we want it to be, but it is also a process of continual self improvement.

      We are human and therefore we are emotional creatures. Our emotions dictate more about the direction we go in life and who we become than anything else – the more we can become aware of how we treat people, how we treat ourselves, and the power of our emotions…the more successful and enriched our lives will be.

      Kris

  6. Judy Zavislak

    Kris, this has more than just implications in the business world. Interestingly enough, I just finished watching a documentary on Netflix called “Lord Save Us from Your Followers”. I’m a Christian, and I thought this was going to be an assault on Christians, but it wasn’t that at all.

    The author (Dan Merchant) traveled around trying to see what people thought about Christians and how we can open a dialogue that wasn’t just one side trying to get the other side see things their way.

    Christians believe that we are all sinners and the only way we can achieve eternal life in heaven is to accept that Jesus is our personal savior. We are called to love others. That creates a problem. If we truly love others, we need to CONVINCE them to accept Jesus as their savior so that they too can go to heaven. At least that is what a lot of Christians believe.

    But does it EVER work to say to an atheist “You’re wrong” or to slap a bumper sticker or a Jesus fish on your bumper? Maybe in a VERY small percentage of cases when someone is ripe for change, then seeing a bumper sticker will cause someone to think differently, but I seriously doubt that it ever makes much difference.

    What does? The kind of things that work are things like organizations like World Vision do in Ethiopia. They are there helping people with the most basic of needs. They are living out their faith, and not just talking about it, arguing with others, and trying to get others to agree with them.

    One of the BEST quotes in this documentary was from St. Francis of Assisi “Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words”.

    Action speaks so much louder than words, and when we do use words, they should be words of love and respect, not criticism.

    Thanks for the reminder Kris!

    Reply
    • krisjonescom

      Judy,

      Thanks for sharing your insights from the documentary!

      Kris

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