Dave Packard’s 11 Simple Rules

The founders of Hewlett-Packard were Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. They created a culture which permiated the whole business. It placed the individual of whatever creed or colour at the very heart the success of the venture. Hewlett-Packard are the founders of Silicon Valley, and as recently as 2006 were the biggest. (measured by revenue)

Here are the 11 simple rules, use them and you won’t go far wrong.

1. I first think of the other person. This is the key – the first requirement – to getting on well with others. It is the most difficult thing to do. If you succeed, the rest is a piece of cake.

2. Reinforce the other person’s feeling of importance. When we make someone else feel less important we frustrate one of their deepest instincts. Make the other person feel equal or superior and you will get on well with them.

3. Respect the other person’s individuality. Respect the other person’s right to be different from you. No two people are molded by the same forces.

4. Offer sincere recognition. If we believe someone has done something well, we should not hesitate in telling them. Warning: this does not imply the immoral use of flattery. For intelligent people, flattery produces exactly the response that it deserves, disdain that someone has lowered themselves.

5. Eliminate anything negative. Criticism rarely achieves what we intend, since it invariably causes resentment. The smallest suggestion of disapproval may cause resentment – to your own detriment – for years.

6. Avoid any attempt to change people. Everyone knows they are imperfect, but they don’t want other people to try to correct their faults. If you want someone to improve, help them to embrace a higher goal, a standard, an ideal, and this will work much more effectively for them than you can.

7. Try to understand the other person. How would you react in similar circumstances? When you see the other person’s “whys” you can’t help but get on well with them.

8. Check your first impressions. We are inclined not to like someone at first sight as a result of some vague similarity (of which we are not usually aware) with another person whom we have a reason to dislike. Follow the advice that Abraham Lincoln gave himself: “If I don’t like this man, I have to get to known him better”.

9. Take care of the small details. Watch your smile, your tone of voice, the way you look at people, the way you greet them, the use of nicknames, a memory for faces, names and dates. These small things will refine your ability to get on with others. Always be aware that these things form part of your personality.

10. Develop a genuine interest in people. You cannot apply the foregoing advice unless you want to like other people, respect them and be useful to them. By contrast, you can’t develop a genuine interest in people until you have experienced the pleasure of working with them in an environment of mutual appreciation and respect.

11. Persevere. That’s all, persevere!

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