365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 20. April 14, 2011
It was 5:15 pm as I walked into Church’s Fried Chicken in a rough part of the city. I looked at the cashier and hesitated—waiting for her to greet me— or at least speak to me. I found myself getting irritated by the lack of enthusiasm for my business.
I proceeded to order a chicken strip combo meal. She behaved completely disinterested in the transaction.
As I was filling my cup with ice—the cashier sighed heavily. I thought to myself—here’s my opportunity to practice the Dale Carnegie principles.
I said to the cashier, “has it been a long day?”
Her demeanor softened and she said, “yes.”
She explained that while her shift started an hour ago—she has a 5 month old baby at home that’s keeping her very busy. Not to mention three other little children. I proceeded to ask questions here and there—showing interest.
I asked, “do you at least live nearby?”
“Yes, about 10 -20 minutes from here,” she replied.
“Ah, that must be nice—I live about 30 miles from here.”
We talked for several minutes as my chicken strips were getting fried. She asked where I worked and what I do.
As she was bagging the food she asked with particular care if I wanted any hot sauce or ketchup. She handed me my food and said warmly—“see you next time!”
As I walked to my car I thought to myself—using the Dale Carnegie principles is like taking candy from a baby. It doesn’t get any easier than this to change an indifferent moment or even a negative experience into something positive. You just have to put the effort into taking action. Everything else will fall into place.
The Dale Carnegie principle I used today is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
Principle 7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Principle 8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
When you encounter an individual who is grumpy, negative or indifferent—you’ll find it takes very little effort to transform their demeanor simply by showing them genuine interest. When you take this approach—you will experience the similar pleasure I did—of knowing you caused that transformation.