At times in our lives we all have a chance to talk to and be around people who are much wiser than we are. Sometimes acknowledging and noticing this, and then trying to use this information to your advantage, can lead to more success for you. You just have to be aware when you see this.
I recently had this opportunity. As the manager of Dale Carnegie Training for Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Southern Ohio (Cincinnati), it is my job to insure we have a pipeline of people interested in attending our programs. Recently I sent out an email promoting our programs and I received this response back. With this response, I had to know more, so I asked the gentlemen if he would meet with me over the phone and allow me to ask him a few questions.
Here is his response to my email:
I have been most interested in the recent emails I have received from Dale Carnegie. About 45 years ago I was a graduate of your “general” course, which was 12 or 14 weekly courses in length, and was based on Dale Carnegie’s book “How To Win Friends and Influence People”. I attended these sessions at your offices on Paddock Rd. in Cincinnati, OH. I found the entire course a great eye-opener, and it influenced me so greatly that I often divide my life into Pre-Dale Carnegie and Post-Dale Carnegie eras. I gained so much, and – even to this day in my retirement years – I find myself, conscientiously or not, applying many of Dale’s principles.
I have a granddaughter, recently graduated from college, who I think would benefit greatly from such a course. and I would like to forward this email to her, but first I would like to ascertain three things:
1. Is this type of course still available from your Institute? (I can’t help but think that it must be.)
2. Does this introduction session described below cover such a course and its benefit?
3. What is the cost of this course? I would like to assist in sharing that cost, but have no idea how much this is currently.
Thank you. I look forward to your response.
Donald G. Engelhard
Come on. After reading this email you would have to call and ask him further questions, Right? So I did.
Here is our conversation.
Me: Mr. Engelhard tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Your profession? And anything else personal.
Mr. Engelhard: I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. I attended and graduated from the University of Illinois as an Architectural Engineer. After I graduated, I got a job offer from a company in Cincinnati, Ohio. So my wife and I moved to Ohio.
Me: What prompted you to take the Dale Carnegie course?
Mr. Engelhard: The firm I was working for. Everyone in the company, including the partners, had to take the course and suggested that I take the course as well. So in 1969, or 1970, I took the course.
Me: What did you think about the course from what you can remember?
Mr. Engelhard: I found it to be very beneficial immediately. The stuff we were learning and practicing weren’t things that were taught in college. In college you learn technical things, but you don’t really learn how to treat people and how to talk to people. I am sure in some college classes it may be an effect of the course, but no college course has a main objective in doing so.
Me: What specifically were you learning that made you a better communicator and a better person as a whole?
Mr. Engelhard: I learned the art of listening to people. To keep my mouth shut and to genuinely care about others, which means allow the other person to talk about themselves and their problems. You impress people more, when you allow them to impress you.
Me: You impress people more, when you allow them to impress you. Mr. Engelhard, you know that is tweetable.
Mr. Engelhard: What?
Me: What else did you learn in this course?
Mr. Engelhard: Get out of yourself, work around, and learn about someone else’s needs.
Me: How did this help you to be more successful in your job?
Mr. Engelhard: When I talked to our clients, and they wanted to build a new building. I would just let them tell me exactly what they wanted, instead of me talking, I would just let them do all of the talking. This is what allowed me to build good rapport with them, and this, in turn, allowed me to know exactly what they wanted. Then we would deliver what they wanted.
Me: You said in your email that you break your life in to two parts: Pre Dale Carnegie and Post Dale Carnegie.
Mr. Engelhard: I may be overstating a little. However, the course taught me the principles from the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Those Human Relation Principles helped me in the job as well as in my personal life. Re-reading the book and other books over time really ingrained the principles in my life.
Me: Could you place a value on the course?
Mr. Engelhard: That is hard to do. I do know it allowed me to be more successful in life and on the job, and whatever the course costs is well worth it. You just don’t get this information in school.
Me: Some people think this a public speaking course. What do you think?
Mr. Engelhard: I believe that is a secondary benefit in the course. The primary objective and benefit of the course, and what I got out of it the most, was the confidence in myself to do what I know needed to be done. I also learned to enjoy people more. And this is what makes you successful in life.
Me: Why do you want your granddaughter to take the course?
Mr. Engelhard: I just know how valuable it was to me. She is a recent college graduate, and she doesn’t know what she really wants to do just yet. It could provide her with some clarity on what she wants to do in her life and where she wants to go. I am willing to pay part of it for her, but I also want her to pay for some of it herself.
Me: Well, Mr. Engelhard thank you for your time. I really appreciate your testimonial. Do I have permission to use your name and share this story with your name?
Mr. Engelhard: Absolutely.
Dale Carnegie and the methodology we use in our courses have been delivering these kinds of testimonials for over 100 years. For me, they never get old.
How many people can remember a math course, english course, or any other kind of course they took over 45 years ago? The answer is probably not very many.
Contact me if you want to have results individually or in your company, just like Mr. Engelhard.
To your success and your future.