Day 119. A trip to Walmart during the graveyard shift is a great opportunity to use a Dale Carnegie principle….


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!”

Favorite snack

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.

 

Day 76. How to transform a day from crummy to yummy.


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

 Day 76.  Thursday, June 9, 2011
As I finished placing my order for a #1 combo meal at Chick-fil-A, Karen the cashier, asked me for my name.  I told her “Smiling Daffodil”. 

While she was filling my cup with sweet tea, I told her that this Chick-fil-A restaurant is the only one I have encountered that asks for customers’ names.

She replied, “thank you for the feedback—we continue to do it—hoping we don’t frustrate customers as we try to learn their names.  I think it’s nice to take the time to learn names.”

I replied, “It’s such a nice touch.  It makes the transaction human.”

Karen smiled at me. 

As she handed me my meal, she said, “here’s your meal “Smiling Daffodil.”

I replied, “Thank you Karen!”

What other fast food restaurant takes the time to learn your name?

Karen gave me a big 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. 

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Create happiness for others.

Most of my day was stressful.  I went to Chick-fil-A for dinner hoping I could create happiness for someone else. 

As the story shows—I had a simple, quick conversation with Karen but it brought a smile to our faces because it was sincere. 

My lesson to you—don’t go through life oblivious of other people.  Take the time to learn people’s names and make them feel important.  Do what you can to create happiness for others.  When you get into this habit you will enjoy a richer life and these small moments have a way of transforming your outlook on an entire day. 

Housekeeping / Notes
Don’t forget to read this week’s guest blog post:  Guest Blogger Elijah found an opportunity to use a Dale Carnegie principle while at a stop sign.

Step up to the plate!  All are invited to become an official guest blogger.  The first Dale Carnegie principle in How to Win Friends and Influence People  is “don’t criticize, condemn or complain”.  This means this is a very friendly, safe, non-critical blog where even non-writers are welcome!  No criticism is allowed by design!

Catch up on blogs you’ve missed.  All blogs are available on a fun pictorial page.

Day 17. Starbucks on NW Highway in Dallas uses Dale Carnegie principles


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 17.  April 11, 2011 
It was 11:30 am on a typical busy Monday.  I had a number of emails to go through—some were pleasant and some were not.  Various tasks I left from Friday were still left undone.  I was working hard to stick to the Dale Carnegie principles of not worrying and living in day tight compartments as individuals seemed to get under my skin.  I just kept smiling and repeating the name, ‘Dale Carnegie.’  ‘Dale Carnegie’. 

Eager for a break, I escaped to my favorite place—the Starbucks on Northwest Highway in Dallas.  As I walked in, I was greeted not by one but by all four of the employees—David, Robyn, Dominic and Sam. 

By greeted—I don’t mean a casual ‘Hello Ma’am’—or ‘Hello Miss.’  They don’t ask what I want to order. 

Each one of them greeted me by name with a friendly smile.  They also know my drink—my beloved Java Chip Frappuccino—and they know the particular way I like it prepared… with extra chocolate.

The sound of a person's name is even sweeter than a Java Chip Frappuccino...

It is these details that keep me coming back every single day.  I am valued and appreciated by my Starbucks on Northwest Highway. 

The Dale Carnegie Principles David, Robyn, Dominic and Sam practiced today are from the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:

Principle 2.  Give honest, sincere appreciation.
Principle 5.  Smile.
Principle 6.  Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Thank you David, Robyn, Dominic and Sam for turning my Monday into a better day by using Dale Carnegie’s principles on me!

Remember, no matter how mundane your daily activities might be– look for opportunities to use the Dale Carnegie principles wherever you go.  It will give your day greater value and purpose.  And don’t forget to recognize when individuals you encounter throughout the day are also using the Dale Carnegie principles.

Day 8. Ode to the rotting fish and my name sure sounds sweet to the ear…


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 8.  April 2, 2011 
Preface:  I was concerned I wouldn’t find an opportunity to exercise the principles.  By the day’s end I have two stories to share.

Story 1.
I was at Chick-fil-A, ordering a chicken sandwich combo meal.  The cashier asked my name which I thought was odd—because they serve the food immediately after you pay.  I handed her the money and she said, “’Smiling Daffodil’, here’s your meal.  Thank you.” 

Admittedly, they are trained to add this personal touch, but I have to say, I was reminded of Dale Carnegie’s principle 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.

The effect of calling someone by their name humanizes the relationship—no matter how brief or seemingly insignificant the moment.  Yes, this was just a meal at a fast food restaurant.  But as I sat eating, I was also observing the manager:  Cody Northern, working hard—talking to the customers, cleaning the tables, asking customers if they want refills on their drinks.  I heard him gently advising a young employee to train his eye to make sure the tables are in order… etc, etc.  You could really see that the manager takes great pride in his restaurant—as he should.  He was creating a very friendly atmosphere with a focus on serving his customers. 

I would never have bothered to observe any of this had the cashier not called me by name to humanize my visit to Chick-fil-A. 

So, next time you meet a stranger—take the time to learn their name. It makes the person feel important and it indicates to that person that you value human relationships. 

In my case—odds are very high I will be loyal to this particular Chick-fil-A restaurant by visiting again and again—because they proved they value my business.

Story 2.
Preface:  I remember with strange fondness the foul odor of a rotting fish in my backyard a week ago today.  That rotting fish was the inspiration for me to begin this blog.  Thank goodness for that fish. 

Swedish Fish to celebrate 1 week anniversary of this blog

I was returning home, about to drive up my driveway into the garage.  Except I couldn’t because there was a car parked horizontally, blocking most of my driveway. 

This was the last straw for me.  First the mysterious rotting fish in my backyard last week.  Now this?  I got out of the car, refused to take a deep breath and approached the neighbor’s house, pretty steamed.  I thought about Dale Carnegie’s Principle 10:  The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.  (From How to Win Friends and Influence People) But that principle went out the window—because I was knocking at the neighbor’s door and I wasn’t leaving until I confronted the neighbors.

I had no idea what I was going to say and despite being steamed I knew I needed to use the Dale Carnegie principles.  Somehow I managed to come up with:

Hi—I’m your neighbor next door.  I’m afraid I’m not a very good driver and I don’t want to hit your car as I try to squeeze through up my driveway.  Is there anyway you could move the car?

They apologized profusely.  I said—oh no problem.  And I’m sorry to interrupt your Saturday night movie.  We ended up talking for a few minutes—catching up on each other’s lives—it turned out to be a very pleasant experience. 

There are multiple principles I used from Dale Carnegie. 

From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 8.  Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. 
Principle 13.  Begin in a friendly way.
Principle 20.  Dramatize your ideas.

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Don’t worry about the past.

I began in a friendly way, dramatizing the idea that given my poor driving skills I will likely hit their car—so they probably want to move it out of harm’s way.  By having a friendly conversation—the moment was humanized—these are people just like me.  They have faces and names.  There was no need to worry about last week’s mysterious rotting fish that was at the side of my house.  It could have been anyone that tossed it into my yard.

So remember—if you find yourself in a position that you need to confront someone—take a deep breath, remember they are human and approach them in the same courteous way you would like to be treated.  Most people will respond in a reasonable way with this approach and you will avoid an unnecessary battle or feud.