My “Absolutely Amazing” Dale Carnegie Experience
by Yolanda K.
I was an HR Generalist at Altec when I first heard about Dale Carnegie Training. Working very hands on with the manufacturing plant, I was facilitating weekly meetings and doing a lot of “public speaking.” There was a time when I was very afraid of public speaking. I had little confidence in my abilities… I didn’t feel like I was any good at it. Little did I know, Dale Carnegie Training was about to change all that.
I went into the first week of class very enthusiastic. I met my instructor, Robert Daniel, who by week 2 was calling us all by name. It stuck with me that he knew my name right away. I immediately learned first hand how important that one small gesture made me feel as an individual.
Over the course of 8 weeks, I began to feel more comfortable and confident. I started to own the room when I gave my talks. I went from being completely afraid to feeling unstoppable. I embraced each session and took on the challenges with as much enthusiasm as possible. And by week 6, I was able to put my new confidence and communication skills to the test. I walked in to an interview for a promotion with a confidence I had never known before. I had developed into a trusted leader and I got the promotion!
I learned a lot about myself over those 8 weeks. I walked away a better communicator who was equipped to deal with stress and anxiety with greater ease. I found that even when things get tough, you should never criticize, condemn, or complain (Dale Carnegie’s 1st Human Relations Principle). I’ve become better at recognizing and acknowledging when I, as a leader, make a mistake and the impact that can have on others.
I started this process thinking that the Dale Carnegie Course was a public speaking course. I learned that it’s so much more than that. You learn to look at things differently. You learn to compliment each other. You learn valuable principles about managing stress. I would recommend this course to anyone. It changed my life! If I had to boil down my Dale Carnegie experience into 3 words, they would be this: “Absolutely amazing course.”
It was an AWESOME experience! - By Odis Moore
As safety manager for Montgomery Transport, one of the leading flatbed carriers in the nation, I am responsible for making sure our customers, drivers and the general public can rest assured that we have equipped our trucks to be the safest flatbeds on the road. These features coupled with our experienced, professional and well qualified drivers further supports our efforts to maintain our on-going commitment to safety.
In this role, it is critical that my communication and management skills are top notch. I had always considered myself a likable and approachable guy whom my co-workers could relate to. I’ve also been pretty confident in my role as safety manager. So, when I was first approached about taking the Dale Carnegie Course, I wasn’t overly excited about it. I figured it was just another training course that I’d go through and come out of with few skills that I could actually apply to my profession.
I’ll be honest, after the first session, my opinion of the course didn’t change much. I learned that there were books we’d need to read and exercises we’d participate in. I found myself going through the motions. With a little “encouragement” from my wife, I started to dig deeper into the material and by session 3, I realized something very important. Maybe I was the problem. In my eyes, I was a very approachable person. I realized I was coming across as a jerk. Do it my way or hit the highway. I started to become more open to the training and started working on me. What can I do to make me a better manager, a better person, a better problem solver? And the transformation began.
As I started absorbing the training, focusing on ME, it opened up opportunities at home with my children and my wife. I began to accomplish things that I had been putting off. The result was a very happy home life. All this time I thought I was a happy person and everybody loved me. In reality, I was seen as the enforcer. I’ve learned to take a different approach with both my family and my co-workers. I’m more understanding, more focused. I’m able to focus on one project at a time before moving on to the next. The Dale Carnegie Course has helped me work better with other folks and has improved my ability to delegate.
Looking back over my time in the Dale Carnegie Course, if there is one principle that resonates the most with me, it would have to be Principle #2: Give honest, sincere appreciation. Showing gratitude to other folks, showing them that they mean something to you, makes everything run more smoothly, personally and professionally. From the project side, there will always the projects that you need the expertise of others. Gratitude helps. The people in my life are important to me. Showing them gratitude is my way of making sure they know that.
Taking the Dale Carnegie Course was an AWESOME experience. I would do it again. In fact, I am. I’ll be a coach in the next session. If you’ve ever considered taking this course, I would encourage you to take the leap. It’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made!
It's all About Building Relationships: A Testimonial by Eric Atkins
As the career development manager for Brasfield & Gorrie, one of the largest privately-held general contractor/construction firms in the nation, I oversee the company’s Learning & Professional Development program. In that role, I am responsible for training development and delivery.
Our company’s mission is focused on strengthening relationships by honoring commitments, exceeding expectations, and living our values every day. At our company, we stress that we build more than exceptional buildings, we build relationships. As a result, we are frequently recognized for excellence in our industry and we continually try to identify areas for improvement. What we learned was that we needed help with promoting employee engagement.
I initially learned about Dale Carnegie Training through my boss, who is also a graduate of the program. When I signed up to take the course, I wasn’t sure about what to expect. I was actually “blown away” by the experience! It was powerful and nothing like I had ever experienced before.
Our class was comprised of a very diverse group of individuals from various backgrounds and businesses. I can still remember many of the stories that we shared with each other. It was amazing to watch everyone grow week after week. I was definitely impacted by the participants, as well as the trainers.
The Dale Carnegie program has dramatically improved my professional life by helping me to become a more skilled and intentional leader. I have become a better listener and am earning the trust of staff. In addition, I have allowed myself to be approachable. Above all, I realized it’s not just about being open and honest with the people around you, but being open and honest with yourself.
When I was asked about what out of the 30 Dale Carnegie human relations principles has made the most difference in my life, it’s: “Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.” I believe this to be the best opportunity to engage employees and ultimately build better and more meaningful relationships.
I intend to continue the journey I started with Dale Carnegie Training. Just like anything else worthwhile, I believe that it is one that should never end.
Taking a Giant Leap of Faith: A Testimonial by Shane Phillips
I have to admit that I have never been much of a classroom person. That is the first thing I thought about when my manager approached me with the idea of taking the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers course. I wasn’t very excited about the idea at first. After all, I never really cared for school. But since he threw down the challenge, I reluctantly accepted.
Currently, I serve as the regional manager for northeast Alabama for Golden Flake, a snack food company headquartered in Birmingham. The company began more than 91 years ago and has expanded into 15 states. Its attention to detail, commitment to quality, customer service and to its staff and stockholders are its trademark. Although I did not know it at the time, I would soon learn that those same attributes are all directly related to many of the Dale Carnegie principles.
When I walked into the training room that first day, I still had my doubts. I felt a little intimidated, especially not knowing anyone. I consider myself to be somewhat of a shy person, which I believe has been holding me back. After attending a couple of sessions, it was as if a light went on and I began to feel more comfortable. I began to use the Dale Carnegie principles every day and set personal goals for myself. I wanted to think and do things outside the box. I also wanted to become a skilled communicator to effectively deal with people on a more professional level. I hoped to be able to see a side of things from different points of view. And I wanted to learn how to cope with stress and to not worry about the “small stuff.”
If I were to describe my Dale Carnegie experience, it would be to “expect the unexpected.” I never imagined to be chosen as the class recipient of the Innovation Award. The award is given to a participant who creatively combines ideas into new and useful concepts for their organization. The assignment was rigorous and the process demanding. But this was one more important step that helped set the stage for my long-awaited transition. It was an honor and a privilege to be recognized by my peers.
As you may have already guessed, there is no ending to this story. I must continue to live and practice the Dale Carnegie principles every day. Looking back on it all, I guess you could say that I took my own personal leap of faith. I can honestly say that it was well worth the effort. Not only have I become a better manager but a better person as a whole. My only question now is: When is the next class?!!!
My Life-Changing Experience: A Testimonial by Wells Cooner
If you want to learn more about yourself, I recommend taking the Dale Carnegie course. I found it to be a very fulfilling and, yes, life-changing experience. So much so, that since taking the class, I have served as a class coach several times. My future ambition is to become a Dale Carnegie instructor.
In my professional life, I am a disaster recovery analyst for Southern Company Services in Birmingham. The company’s regulated electric utilities serve a 120,000 square-mile territory, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. Its competitive generation business extends to markets in six southeastern states.
I was introduced to the Dale Carnegie program through my employer. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure how or if it was going to be something that would have an impact on my professional life. Looking back on it, I realized that the course was instrumental in helping me overcome my fears and showed me how to get along and work with others. I learned so much about who I was both as a team member and in my personal life. The Dale Carnegie course went above and beyond my expectations.
As a result of Dale Carnegie training, I am a better listener and I try to focus more on other people’s interests and not just my own. The experience taught me how to build and improve my relationships. I went into the class not knowing what to expect and came out a better person. The key to success is to go into the course with the intention of improving your life. It’s all about attitude.
After being asked to describe one Dale Carnegie principle that has made the most difference in my life, it didn’t take me long to respond “smile.” When I began the course, there was a lot of turmoil going on at work. During a team meeting one day, I remembered that principle and put on smile when I walked into the room. When one of my co-workers asked if I was okay because he noted that I hadn’t smiled in weeks, I smiled again and said that I just had a change in attitude. From that day on, it has made a huge impact on my team. Now, I always begin the day at the office by walking in with a smile. It helps set the tone for the rest of the day.
Becoming a class coach has given me the opportunity to share what I have learned. There hasn’t been an instance where I have not seen the program help participants make major changes to their lives.