365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 124. Thursday, July 28, 2011
My office phone rang this afternoon. I looked at the Caller ID. I decided to answer the phone in a very friendly way. Typically when I answer the phone—I’m very serious and perhaps a little too grave.
It was my boss calling in to check on how things were going at the office. He has been out of town all week for a business meeting and this is the first communication I’ve received from him all week.
Cole: “How are things going Smiling Daffodil?”
Typically I respond to these questions with a simple statement like, “things are fine.”
And usually the conversation crumbles at this point because Cole never knows how to follow up with my very short answer.
But today was different. I responded with my usual “things are fine” statement and then proceeded to give bullet point highlights from the week in an upbeat tone of voice. Cole responded favorably and even mentioned some emails that I sent him this week and thanked me for the updates.
Cole gave me an update on how his meeting was going and we wrapped up the conversation in a positive tone.
The Dale Carnegie principle I used in this very short story is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 13. Begin in a friendly way.
On the surface this story sounds very simple and hardly worth mentioning. But I really am a very quiet, serious individual. It’s not that I’m upset—it’s just that I’m not generally bubbly. Because of my serious demeanor I tend to have a reputation of being unapproachable—which is understandable given my very short responses to questions. So going out of my way to be friendly with my boss on the phone was indeed very important.
My lesson to you is similar to yesterday’s story. If you want people to be friendly to you—you have to be friendly to them. And to do this effectively you must be sincere in your approach—you cannot be fake or flatter the other person because they will see right through your behavior. When you take the sincere, friendly approach you’ll discover other people will have a more positive perception of you, they’ll be less critical and you’ll have fewer reasons to grumble about at the end of the day.
Housekeeping / Notes:
The Smiling Daffodil’s blog has moved into a bigger home! This will be the last post on this blog hosted by WordPress. Please visit this very same blog at the new location: