What graduating from Dale Carnegie means to me

December 1, 2010

So that’s it. I’m done. El fin. No more. Finished.

I’m officially a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course, A-440. And I can hardly believe it.

A whopping 12 weeks ago, I walked into my very first class with Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan and stared at 40-plus people who looked just about as terrified as I was to be there. Some of us knew very little about Dale Carnegie going into this class, and our imaginations had run wild as to what we might be asked to do. I wondered how much we could accomplish in a group of 40 people, and I didn’t really have any expectations for taking away lasting relationships as a result of the course.

I was naïve. But I think that’s the nature of the beast. I think until you jump headfirst into the experience, until you spend 40 hours with a group of people who have the same fears and apprehensions that you do, it’s hard to fully grasp the impact they’ll have on you.

I also didn’t anticipate how thankful I’d be. Thankful for my bosses, who gave me the opportunity to take the class. Thankful for my primary instructor, Susan Dooley, whose poise, encouragement and strong leadership shaped uncertain attendees into confident classmates and friends. Thankful for my classmates, who every week brought an unreal level of enthusiasm to class, sharing their most exciting triumphs and their deepest sorrows. It was because of their courage that I was able to share my own challenges and be vulnerable.

The Dale Carnegie Principles have begun to weave themselves into my everyday life, whether I intended them to or not. Just today, I talked about a time when I made a similar mistake, after a co-worker had been informed about a misstep in one of her duties. Talking about our own mistakes before criticizing others not only prevents the problem from happening again because you’ve confronted it, but it also prevents others from feeling ostracized as a result.

So if I’ve piqued your curiosity at all, if my journey has made you look at Dale Carnegie a little differently, then maybe it’s time to find out a little bit more about how you might benefit from it. In the top right-hand corner of your screen, you’ll see a very short form. Fill it out, and you automatically receive a free copy of Dale Carnegie’s classic Golden Book, which will help you begin to integrate some of the principles into your everyday life. Then, if you wish, you can talk to a Dale Carnegie associate about your goals, both personal and professional, and how the course can help you achieve them.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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3 Responses to What graduating from Dale Carnegie means to me

  1. Corey on December 2, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Beautifully written Erica – thanks so much for being so open and eager to take on a new challenge that can seem so daunting at first. Not only are you a Dale Carnegie Graduate, but you also have a group of raving fans at the Michigan Dale Carnegie office and that means the world to me.


  2. Susan on December 3, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Awww… thanks Erica! YOU made the class special by sharing your talents – and your heart – with us week after week. I am eager for the next chapter!

  3. Erica Finley on December 7, 2010 at 1:40 am

    @Susan: I’m eager for the next chapter, too! Thank you again.

    @Corey: I appreciate the kind words. I never want to be that person that lets fear prevent them from doing great things. I’m very proud to be a graduate!

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