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July 25, 2005

Excerpts: 25 Ways to Win with People - Part II

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 12:18 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

PRACTICE THE 30-SECOND RULE


He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.
SAMUEL JOHNSON

LES . . . ON SEEING THE PRACTICE IN ACTION


One of the most valuable lessons in winning with people that I have ever learned from John is the 30-Second Rule: within the first thirty seconds of a conversation, say something encouraging to a person.

John is a master at it. While I was sitting in a meeting at one of his companies a short time ago, John entered the room and within just a few minutes said something encouraging to each person around the table.

David, I heard you hit it out of the park this morning on that conference call.

Larry, you are making me look so good with that consul- tation in Denver. Thank you.

Kevin, I just saw the numbers for April. Nobody else in the world sees and seizes an opportunity the way you do.

Les, Im so glad you made the trip out here to be with us today. I know youre going to add tremendous value to our discussion.

Very early on, John had genuinely encouraged each one of us. And it seemed almost effortless. Since I was trying to learn more about Johns winning ways with people, after the meeting I asked John to tell me about what he did. Thats when I first heard the term the 30-Second Rule.

I learned this from my father, John said. Years ago, he was the president of a college, and I would often walk across the campus with him. He continually stopped to say encour- aging things to the students. When I was tempted to com- plain, I would look at the students faces and realize Dad had deposited good words inside of them.

People never forget that kind of encouragement, John continued. Yesterday I talked to my dad on the phone, and he excitedly told me about his many former students who keep coming to Florida from all over the United States to see him. He was surprised that they would go out of their way to see him, but I wasnt. The 30-Second Rule that Dad had prac- ticed with everyone every day was returning to him big time.

Ive seen you do this for years, I told John, but I never knew it was something you picked up from your dad.

Ive learned a lot of great lessons from my dad. Hes an incredible leader, John replied. I practice this rule every day with everyone I meet. You see, someone once said to me, Be kind . . . everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. People everywhere need a good word, an uplifting compliment to fire their hopes and dreams. It takes very little effort to do, but it really lifts people up.but it really lifts people up.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.