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Dick Wooden

Customer Care

Rules for Straight Thinking for Successful Human Relations

If you want to get a measure of where you stand right now in your relations with other people, try this

Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 12:02

Iran across the book, Successful Human Relations: Principles and practice in business, in the home, in government (Harpercollins, 1952) while browsing older books about relationship development from William J. Reilly, who also wrote The Law of Intelligent Action (Joanna Cotler Books, 1945). His books have proved notably successful in applying in a popular way the findings of psychology to the everyday problems of business, social, and personal life. In Successful Human Relations he discusses in basic terms the attitudes that can make your relationships with others more pleasant and productive. The book is filled with concrete examples of typical problems in human relations and their solutions.

“Accept the solution which has the largest number of advantages and the fewest disadvantages.”

—William J. Reilly


“I can’t think straight,” she said.
“Try this!” he suggested.

Rules for making precise observations
Define the primary facts in connection with your observation, and separate these facts from any opinions or impressions.
Analyze the facts, as far as they will permit, from the standpoint of what, when, where, and who.

Rules for defining the real problem and considering possible solutions
Construct a precise and analytical definition of the real problem from the standpoint of what, when, where, and who.
Keeping the total situation in mind, list all possible solutions that suggest themselves.
Classify these solutions in order of preference.
Select the most promising solutions for further examination.

Rules for securing evidence on possible solutions
Expose yourself to sources of evidence on all sides of the question, rather than confine yourself to sources that give evidence only on one side.
Appraise the validity of your evidence from the standpoint of its sources and the means used for gathering it.
Guard against the formation of opinions or premature judgments while in the process of examing evidence.
Keep the mind open and hospitable to new evidence on any side of the question.

Rules for drawing conclusions
Set up a balance sheet on each possible solution, stating your evidence for and against that course of action.
Weigh the relative importance of positive and negative evidence in each case, and draw your conclusion in favor of the best course or courses of action to be taken.

Four mental levels

In the Successful Human Relationships book, Reilly outlines four mental levels in all human relations. If everyone you knew, everyone you met, believed everything you said, you could have just about anything you wanted.

The trouble is that most people’s minds are closed, so much of the time, to things you suggest. You may not have thought it in just this way, but actually you are on one of four mental levels with every person you know.

Mental Level No. 1: The Closed Mind
This the “doghouse” level in which people think “Nuts to you” or “Oh yeah?” No matter what you say, they are against it. Their minds are closed to anything you suggest. Can you think of anyone like that?

Mental Level No. 2: The Open Mind
This is the “show me” level in which people say “What makes you think so?” These people will listen to what you have to say, but you’ve got to give them plenty of evidence, you’ve got to prove your point 40 ways from Sunday before they’ll do what you say.

Mental Level No. 3: Confidence
These people have confidence in you. Their attitude toward you is cooperative and friendly. They are willing to do what you want, but they want to know the main reasons why, and these have to “make sense.”

Mental Level No. 4: Belief
This is the “anything you say is O.K. by me” level. These people do what you ask without question. They need no evidence, no proof. They believe in you.

No matter what the situation is, it makes a huge difference—this mental-level business.
For example, in the 1980s and 1990s when I would need to travel some distance for a CRM client, I would arrive home late in the evening. I may have warned my wife of the late arrival but most times I would forget to call.
As I open the front door quietly of my home, my wife would call out, “Is that you Dick?”
“Yes dear,” I’d respond.
“Where have you been?” she’d ask.
“It took longer than I thought with the client,” I’d answer; adding, “And the weather was not helpful.”
“Oh, then you must be tired, darling,” she’d say with a smile. “Don’t you want something to eat before you go to bed?” 

Now there’s a belief relationship!

Track the human relationship level in CRM

Before you can behave intelligently or effectively in your relations with anyone, you must determine exactly where you stand with that person.

If you want to get a measure of where you stand right now in your relations with other people, make a list of some of the people that you know: people you live with, work with, call on, or associate with. Your CRM system will have information on your key business contacts to populate your list.

How many believe in you?
How many have confidence in you?
How many are open-minded in relation to you?
How many of these minds are closed to you?

Update the contact relationship believe level in your CRM, so you can easily group these key people and keep informed on shared communications.

Wouldn’t you like every one of these people to believe in you? Of course you would. That’s what we all want—desperately. When others believe in us, believe what we say, we get what we want and life’s a lot more enjoyable.

First published on the Success with CRM blog.

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About The Author

Dick Wooden’s picture

Dick Wooden

Dick Wooden, founder of Success with CRM Consulting Inc., is a consultant and an entrepreneur business coach who implements tailor-made customer relationship management (CRM) systems for more productive business development in small to medium-sized businesses. Wooden has more than 35 years experience working with entrepreneurs, business management, sales, marketing, and customer service professionals.