I was reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie the other day. That book has a chapter on why not to criticise people and show them respect. Here’s a passage I will allow myself to cite:
Bob Hoover, a famous test pilot and frequent per-former at air
shows, was returning to his home in Los Angeles from an air show in
San Diego. As described in the magazine Flight Operations, at three
hundred feet in the air, both engines suddenly stopped. By deft
maneuvering he managed to land the plane, but it was badly
damaged although nobody was hurt.
Hoover’s first act after the emergency landing was to inspect the
airplane’s fuel. Just as he suspected, the World War II propeller
plane he had been flying had been fueled with jet fuel rather than
Upon returning to the airport, he asked to see the mechanic who had
serviced his airplane. The young man was sick with the agony of his
mistake. Tears streamed down his face as Hoover approached. He
had just caused the loss of a very expensive plane and could have
caused the loss of three lives as well.
You can imagine Hoover’s anger. One could anticipate the tonguelashing
that this proud and precise pilot would unleash for that
carelessness. But Hoover didn’t scold the mechanic; he didn’t even
criticize him. Instead, he put his big arm around the man’s shoulder
and said, "To show you I’m sure that you’ll never do this again, I
want you to service my F-51 tomorrow."
So next time you’re not happy with someone and want to express your anger, think about what would change if you do and what if you don’t. This book is a golden mine, read it!