No one likes to be told what to do; it removes the feeling of independence and our pride will want to resist. How we instruct or ask people to do things will determine if they do them with resentment or a willingness to contribute. I’m a big fan of Dale Carnegie; I make a point to listen to his audiobook How to Win Friends & Influence People at least once a year. In it, he lays out the importance and different ways when approaching people that increase participation of those around us.
However, I have never witnessed a more beautiful example than from King Solomon. He was to build the temple, but needed help from nearby King Hiram to provide the cedars from Lebanon. In Solomon’s message request he stated, “Let my men work alongside yours, and I will pay your men whatever wages you ask. As you know, there is no one among us who can cut timber like you Sidonians!” And of course King Hiram was very pleased and said, “I have received your message, and I will supply all the Cedar in Cyprus timber you need” (1 Kings 5:6&8).
I suspect with all of King Solomon’s resources he could’ve instructed Hiram to cut and supply cedars until further notice. (Washington take note) But he didn’t. Solomon humbled himself and sincerely gave a compliment while setting an expectation for Hiram to live up to. As Dale Carnegie would say, Solomon appealed to Hiram’s nobler side. Who could turn such a request down? Better yet, who would want to?
What say you?