Now that I’m halfway through my Dale Carnegie Course with Dale Carnegie Training of Southeast Michigan, I’ve taken some time to reflect on both what I hoped to accomplish by taking the course and also what I’ve succeeded in improving upon thus far.
Many of the Dale Carnegie Principles include skills that I’ll continue to perfect and chip away at throughout my entire life. And for me there’s one that will be 10 times harder than the rest.
For those familiar with Dale Carnegie, you know them simply as The Three Cs. For those not familiar, the first Dale Carnegie Principle states: “Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.” Not easy, huh?
Mr. Carnegie says that criticizing another person not only damages that person’s reputation, but puts a dent in our own. But personally, I find it’s so much easier to point out flaws or mistakes or problems than it is to highlight the positive. Not all of the time, but sometimes. My biggest downfall is when I’m driving, where I often take every opportunity to complain, albeit to myself, about the actions of others.
But where does it get me? I feel a little better after I rant, but it certainly doesn’t improve the situation. If I put myself in the other person’s shoes for even a second, it might prevent me from flying off the handle about something as trivial as traffic. If I take a second to consider why the other person is behaving the way they are, maybe I can alter my behavior, too.
So I am trying. And I think that’s the point of the Dale Carnegie Course. You’re not expected to magically become a more well-balanced individual overnight. It’s a work-in-progress, but the journey there makes it all worthwhile.