Dale Carnegie was a pioneer when it came to self-improvement. Not only was he a best-selling author with over 50 million copies sold, books like How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, he was at the forefront of helping people live more fulfilling lives both personally and professionally. Through his courses, Dale Carnegie taught people the importance of:
- Being considerate
- Showing sincere interest in others
- Being a good listener
- Considering other points of view
- Being positive
- Avoiding harsh criticism and much much more
Carnegie grew up in poverty on a farm in Missouri. Although teased as a young boy for his shabby clothes and lack of athleticism, he was a gifted public speaker. He participated in the high school debate team and eventually taught courses on public speaking. Noticing that the most enthusiastic speakers drew the biggest crowd while on a trip to London watching orators at the famous Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, he began to incorporate such techniques into his courses that I, and many others around the world have had the privilege to take.
In fact, forty OTA employees graduated last month from one of Dale Carnegie’s courses, and forty more graduated this month from Dale Carnegie’s Foundational Leadership Series:
An 8-week course that sets teams in motion and helps entire organizations reach new heights, powered by the unique talents of the individuals that work there.
Sam (on the far left), our outgoing, outstanding, and entertaining instructor provided us with not only foundational Carnegie vocabulary, concepts, and frameworks, but stories that made us laugh, think, sigh, and deeply reflect on where we are at and where we want to go in our personal lives, our professional lives, and as an organization. Topics such as emotional intelligence, different communication and personality styles, values, cooperation, and problem-solving skills were just a few of the many subjects we explored.
Sometimes we were pushed outside our comfort zones to speak in front of the group and give a Lion’s speech. Other times we got to be observers. No matter what our role or perspective, whether standing in front of the class or sitting at our desks, we all had a chance not only to see what we are capable of, we got to see all the other many talented people at OTA and what they are capable of as well. In fact, engaging in this manner and getting to know your colleagues on this level was the highlight of my experience.
On the last day of the series, Sam handed out small pocket size pamphlets—Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book—which serves as a small daily reminder of the Dale Carnegie’s principals from How to win Friends and Influence People.
Here are a few of those principals on how to become a friendlier person:
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Give honest, sincere appreciation (eg. Duckonomy)
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Smile (an easy one for me).
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
I am grateful not only to Dale Carnegie and his pioneering spirit; I am thankful to OTA for bringing Dale Carnegie’s pioneering spirit to their employees. Thank you, OTA!