Day 14. April 8, 2011
Before taking the Dale Carnegie course, I would have approached this day differently. To me this day has two tasks that must be completed. Absolutely everything else is trivial because I don’t go home until these two tasks are finished. Period.
But having taken the Dale Carnegie course, I am more aware of my surroundings and the effect my attitude and behavior has on the people in it. Grumble. This is a horse pill to swallow and without water. You see, having focus gets the job done—but it doesn’t often endear you to other people if you come off cold. Plus people tend to fear their heads will get bitten off as they tip-toe around you.
I prepared myself for this day by skipping the gym the night before and trying to get to bed a bit earlier than usual. On the drive to work I prayed then I listened to a CD on personal development. You would think given these precautions it’s easy for me to be a ray of sunshine in the morning. Ha.
Cautiously my coworker—Marcella suggested I go get my Java Chip Frappuccino before we begin working on a project together. (That’s code for you’re probably going to be crabby until you have your precious drink). I smile and say I’m ready to begin the project without the drink.
As we begin to work on the project together I decided to try to see things from Marcella’s perspective. I decided to point out specific elements of Marcella’s work that I really liked. I was sincere in my words—I really cannot swing flattery and I’d rather say nothing at all if it comes off fake or insincere.
The result of my actions towards Marcella created a positive, relaxed and dare I say it—fun atmosphere—and it was done without the help of a Java Chip Frappuccino—which I have to say probably startled us both. All it took was a firm resolve to change.
The Dale Carnegie principles I used this morning:
From Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 1. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Principle 13. Begin in a friendly way.
From Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Do the very best you can.
Protect your health and appearance by relaxing at home.
I rested the night before, mentally prepared myself this morning by praying. By putting myself in Marcella’s shoes of being stuck with a grouch (me) I was more willing to surprise her and me by choosing to be a friendlier individual. I even found reasons to praise her sincerely.
Not only did I get my two main tasks complete today but no one’s heads were bitten off.
So, remember, as stressful as a day might be—try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to see what it would be like to have to work with a cold, head-biting individual (even if that individual is a hard worker). Instead of biting their heads off, surprise them by beginning in a friendly way. I guarantee you’ll enjoy the reaction.