7.Give a Dog a Good Name
What do you do when a person who has been a good worker begins to turn in shoddy
work? You can fire him or her, but that really doesn’t solve anything. You can berate
the worker, but this usually causes resentment. Henry Henke, a service manager for a
large truck dealership in Lowell, Indiana, had a mechanic whose work had become less
than satisfactory. Instead of bawling him out or threatening him, Mr. Henke called him
into his office and had a heart-to-heart talk with him.
“Bill,” he said, “you are a fine mechanic. You have been in this line of work for a good
number of years. You have repaired many vehicles to the customers’ satisfaction. In fact,
we’ve had a number of compliments about the good work you have done. Yet, of late,
the time you take to complete each job has been increasing and your work has not been
up to your own old standards. Because you have been such an outstanding mechanic in
the past, I felt sure you would want to know that I am not happy with this situation,
and perhaps jointly we could find some way to correct the problem.”
Bill responded that he hadn’t realized he had been falling down in his duties and
assured his boss that the work he was getting was not out of his range of expertise and
he would try to improve in the future.
Did he do it? You can be sure he did. He once again became a fast and thorough
mechanic. With that reputation Mr. Henke had given him to live up to, how could he
do anything else but turn out work comparable to that which he had done in the past.
“The average person,” said Samuel Vauclain, then president of the Baldwin Locomotive
Works, "can be led readily if you have his or her respect and if you show that you
respect that person for some kind of ability.”
In short, if you want to improve a person in a certain aspect, act as though that