I’m really excited. Over the next three Tuesdays I’ll attend the Dale Carnegie Course. I hope to learn about social flows and interpersonal skills, and improve my own. And, I expect, I’ll learn about Influence, as Carnegie wrote the book on it in 1936.
This started a few years ago when I first read How to Win Friends and Influence People. I had a budding interest in persuasion at the time and this seemed like a good, classic foundation to start with.
Fast forward a two years and I’m now trying to take the course with the help of my employer. After months of discussing this with my boss, who had encouraged me to find additional leadership training, the training was finally shot down by his superior. It wasn’t in the budget.
I knew better than that. After years of reading about persuasion, I knew that “No” just meant I hadn’t yet found the right lever, the right mechanism to make this happen. There had to be a way. Aim high and just keep pushing, right?
I met with my boss again. We met with the HR department. I pushed and talked and pushed. In coordination with HR, I was able to get the course partially covered with the company’s Continuing Education budget. I would still need to cover half the tuition, and I was willing to do that.
Last week, a representative from the Dale Carnegie Institute came to my office. I had filled out a brief questionnaire about the priorities I had in the class. We reviewed the questionnaire with my boss and we discussed the reasons for my interest in the course. Leadership and Influence! Also, self confidence, because who didn’t want more of that?
I’ll attend the class from 8 to 5 in a nearby suburb for three Tuesdays. After each session, I’ll have the week ahead to practice what I’ve learned, and we’ll discuss the results in the following class.
I love the idea that I’ll have strategies to test and refine.
I did have the option to take eight night classes instead. I feared that after work, however, I wouldn’t have my full attention focused on the class. It’s not a cheap class and I wanted to get the most from this experience. Taking some time off to make this happen seemed like the right move. Now, knowing I could practice the strategies, maybe spanning more time would have been good. Oh well — it’ll be a great class either way.
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