A recent episode of The Big Bang Theory struck a chord with me. Having attended a Dale Carnegie (who wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People) course I found it interesting how the character Kripke handled a difficult situation in the show.
Kripke and Sheldon were working on the same project and the university required them to work together. Regular viewers of the show know that Sheldon is very difficult to work with. After reluctantly exchanging notes on their theories, Sheldon was stunned to find out Kripke’s theories were better. What I really liked was how Kripke handled the situation. If he gloated, Sheldon would be resistant and the project would suffer.
Kripke, whether intentionally or not, gave Sheldon a way to save face by attributing his less-than-stellar performance to his preoccupation with his girlfriend. Then Kripke followed up with a compliment by telling Sheldon that he had some great ideas. He then challenged Sheldon to work harder.
In other words, Kripke applied Dale Carnegie principles to turn a difficult person into a willing team member. I have no idea if that was what the show’s writers we’re going for but I enjoyed the episode.