At one of my first jobs, I had the opportunity to undertake my first true professional development experience. I was in sales, and my supervisor wanted me to take a Dale Carnegie Training course.
If you haven’t heard of Dale Carnegie, he was one of the first self-empowerment authors, writing the bestselling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book features principles that, even if partially applied, will change how you approach your life. Amazingly, it was written in 1936 but is still applicable today. In my training course, I had the opportunity to learn how to apply those skills to my job and see them in action.
Flash-forward to a few months ago.
I recently switched to a new optometrist, who I had already heard was the nicest person on the planet Earth. People look forward to their annual eye exams in order to have the opportunity to spend time with Clyde.
My visit to the optometrist did not disappoint.
Perhaps Clyde has taken the Dale Carnegie course or his mom read him How to Win Friends and Influence People every night before bed, but he truly exemplifies the following six Dale Carnegie principles:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important--and do it sincerely.
If you want to win at life, try focusing on honing one of these skills each week.
I have to confess these skills don’t come naturally to me, but after my time with Clyde, I am inspired to once again seek to be someone that is a master at developing human relationships. Even if I fall off the wagon, I know that I have my annual eye exam already scheduled. That visit may also double as my annual check-in with Dale Carnegie’s relationship-building principles.
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