Have I mentioned I'm enrolled in a 10-week Dale Carnegie class? I had a friend who went through the training. His speaking ability was already strong before he entered the class but he just zoomed to a new level after the training. So much so that I decided to sign up myself.
We're halfway through the training and I have to say, I'm not getting so much out of it. But to be fair, I know I'm not putting much in it. In hindsight, I shouldn't have signed up for this training period. Life is just crazy and the course has become less of a learning experience and more of just another "to do" to cross off my list. I'm sure I'd be taking much more away if I approached it with a more positive, inquisitive, open attitude. (The first night we were encouraged to not "condemn, complain, or criticize." I'm sitting in class thinking, "Uh-huh. I'm going to need some new friends.")
I do think the course has value. There are several people in my class who are just blossoming--coming out of their shell, gaining confidence, and really putting forth effort. One big guy came in and reported that people at his work told him "charm school is working." So now we all refer to the training as charm school.
Two things I've really gotten out of the experience:
1) The reading. Surprisingly, I find the D.C. books to be engaging and well written. Lots of great real-life examples and even though a lot of the information is stuff most of us already know, it's a gentle nudge to put the theory into practice.
2) We were asked to name one area or task in our life that we could commit to with 10x more enthusiasm. Many people chose exercising, for example. I chose the phone. I loath the phone. I'd rather type out a 10-minute e-mail or drive 40 minutes for a 10-minute face-to-face meeting than I would pick up the phone and call someone. So I've committed to using the phone with 10x more enthusiasm and I have to say, it's made a huge difference. I make a call and get the information I need or knock out a task that normally would have me waiting for an e-mail response. I've also had a huge project this month that requires over 30 phone interviews and this commitment has made me approach the work with a positive vs. "I dread doing this" attitude.
Is the course worth the money? I'll wait until week 10 to make that call. Until then, this is me--not condemning, criticizing, or complaining.