365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 119. Saturday, July 23, 2011
Before going to the gym this evening I stopped at Walmart to buy some toothpaste.
I was standing in line to pay—and I noticed the cashier was the usual young woman that works the late night shift. We’ve never spoken on familiar or friendly terms. I’m just another face among the customers that shop during the graveyard shift.
She rang me up, I paid and I asked her name. “Jennifer” she said. I replied—‘ah, Jennifer—I see you regularly, I figure I might as well learn your name!”
I went to the gym—had a great workout and was quite hungry. All I could think about was how good Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal would taste. I made a second stop to Walmart to buy my cereal. I wondered if Jennifer would remember that I was just there about two hours ago.
Sure enough she did.
She looked at me and said “you’re back!”
I explained my strange night owl habit of going to the gym. Then I said—“and I remember your name is Jennifer!” This really made her smile.
The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
These Dale Carnegie principles get easier the more often you use them. I used to worry that asking a complete stranger’s name would seem a bit creepy and that the person would get the wrong impression. But now it’s pretty simple to do and the reward is a more human experience wherever I go—yes, even at a Walmart.
The lesson I hope you have gathered—no matter the station in life—we are all human and respond pretty much the same way. Ask a person his/her name and that person’s demeanor toward you will change for the better. It takes little effort for your part but yields positive results.