The Human Element

People are people first, period! When dealing with people we need to take time for the person first, and then take time for our request second. The old quote, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” is still true today.

If your team knows you have their best interest in mind, they will do almost anything for you. Right now I’m reading the book, 25 Ways to Win with People by John C. Maxwell and Dr. Les Parrott. The second way to win with people is what they call The 30-Second Rule. It says that within the first 30 seconds of talking with someone, say something nice and encouraging. Mention the person’s nice shirt, what a great job was done on his last project, or how funny his joke was last week. I’ve started doing this with everyone I meet and it’s so fun to see people’s faces light up when I give them a sincere and genuine compliment. This sets the tone for a great conversation or meeting and it says, “I like you and I care about you.” This is practicing The Human Element at the highest level.

There are two women I know who have trouble getting others to complete tasks for them. They are both very nice and I get along with them well, but when they need someone to do something for them they often have trouble influencing the person to complete the task. Their problem is that they don’t take time for the person before they take time for the request; they look person in the eye and tell him or her what they need done. They don’t ask how the other person is doing, they just make their request.

The person who is being asked reluctantly agrees, but doesn’t act immediately.

A great leader takes time for The Human Element. He mentions some kind of a complement within the first 30 seconds, lets the person know he cares about him, and then makes his request.

As John C. Maxwell once said, “Leaders touch the heart before they ask for a hand.”

By Christopher L. Scott

Christopher L. Scott serves as senior pastor at Lakeview Missionary Church in Moses Lake, Washington. Through his writing ministry more than 250,000 copies of his articles, devotions, and tracts are distributed each month through Christian publishers. Learn more at