It inevitably happens in every one of my classes.
At some point in the Dale Carnegie Course, at least one participant will ask me, “So, now I got these ‘tools’ that I can use when I’m working with people. So what? What can I do with them?”
Sometimes I hear, “My boss sent me to this Dale Carnegie Course because he thought it might help. But I never meet anybody. I sit behind a desk all of the time looking at a computer.”
And of course, there is my personal favorite I hear when I sell the program, “Dale Carnegie Course is old school. It’s outdated. It worked in the last century. We need something new for today’s challenges.”
I find this last one is particularly interesting because I firmly believe it’s a monster of our own making.
Yes, Dale Carnegie the man started doing his classes back in 1912. And yes the book How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1936. Over one hundred years and still going strong. That’s a run to be proud of, for sure. But when I see catalogs that say, “It’s time to replace screen time with face time” it underscores the mistaken belief that we are in a battle against the inexorable march of progress.
Technology Magnifies Your Communication Power
Today, people use all sorts of technology to communicate with each other, including computers. But the computer of the 80’s and 90’s is not the same computer we use today, if it can truly be called a computer at all. Back then, people used computers to write programs that crunched numbers. It isolated the user from everyone and everything else.
Today, people use laptops. And they use their laptops to:
- make phone calls
- play music
- create and watch movies
- watch television
- go shopping
- create photo albums
- read books and online newspapers
- send and receive mail
- instant message their friends
- join social networks
- share music
- sell their stuff
- conduct presentations
- hold meetings
- attend classes…
Oh, and sometimes they may even write a program to crunch numbers.
Today, the laptop is one of our primary tools for connecting with other people. However, we still need to understand how to communicate and navigate human relationships. And we need to do this in addition to being skillful in using the technology.
The Dale Carnegie Course Builds Your Communication Abilities
The principles we teach in the Dale Carnegie Course address how people interact and communicate with each other. Of course, back in the early 1900s, the only way to do this was in a face-to-face meeting. Today, however, we have a variety of ways to get our message to other people in addition to face to face meetings, and tomorrow, there will be even more.
Personally, I’m holding out for the holographic generator. I think I’ll be waiting a few years!
We are human beings. We communicate with each other. It’s our nature.
Today’s technology is a fantastic enabler allowing us to do what we do over vast distances, almost instantaneously.
We don’t have to make a trade off, especially with the tech that we have today.
So, to think that the Dale Carnegie principles are outdated or have no place in today’s tech-obsessed society is a misconception. These principles and this training are just as applicable today as they were back in the early 1900s, 1800s, and before. For anyone to conclude that we have to sacrifice one to use the other is an indication that we in the training industry have not done our job. We need to integrate the two, giving our knowledge workers of today a chance to be more productive tomorrow.