Influence Through Appreciation, Not Condemnation


When the leadership team I’m on decided to read, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” I knew it was about time.

Over the years, I can’t tell you how many Affiliates have noted the book as one of their top recommendations for self-improvement resources, but I just never got around to picking it up. So thank goodness for company book clubs!

After finally picking up the book by Dale Carnegie and beginning to read it, I now understand why it’s essential to so many owners of Boxes. I’m only a few chapters in and I’m already learning!

For example, the first chapter dives into criticism and condemnation. As humans we tend to revert to critiquing and condemning when it comes to responding to people in various situations. But Carnegie explains such a response typically leads to undesirable results. And I have personally seen that to be true.

At work, I realize if I continually criticize my coworkers for something they aren’t doing or failing at, but never give them a single taste of appreciation, I’m feeding the resentment beast. How many people do you know take condemnation to heart and change their ways? They may try, but it’s typically begrudgingly. So why wouldn’t you and I build up our coworkers, our employees, our friends through praise and appreciation?

And that idea flows into the second chapter of the book. Carnegie discusses what appreciation is and what it means to be honest when giving it. He explains that as human beings, we crave the feeling of being appreciated. I know my day can be made by a simple word or phrase spoken in praise over something I’ve done. “Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips,” wrote Carnegie. “You will be surprised how they will set small flames of friendships that will be rose beacons on your next visit.”

Affiliate, do you find yourself critiquing or appreciating? Condemning or praising? Does your staff seem to be flourishing or fading? If you’re continually telling your Coaches what they’re doing wrong or educating your front desk manager on how to correctly call people, you might need to take a step back and evaluate the true impact you’re having. Maybe it’s time to try highlighting what the Coaches are doing right or the fact the front desk manager is always on time for his job. You might be surprised how a little praise can go a long way to fixing your critiques without you ever saying a word.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at