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May 9, 2017

For years people have been saying that the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is such a great read. Ignoring them, I kept to my usual and only read trashy novels that were totally for entertainment. But recently I cleaned out the desk and there were five books there that were on the “Good for You” read list.

Last week traveling to the National Main Street Conference, I packed the book, “How to Win Friends …” by Dale Carnegie. The famous Carnegie family comes from Pennsylvania. My conference was in Pennsylvania. Seemed like fate.

Reluctantly I picked up the book. Soon I couldn’t put it down and read on and on. Devoured it in two days and even attended the conference classes! Such sensible statements in that book, which was first published in 1936. I cannot help but share some of the tidbits with you. It isn’t that you need more friends, it’s just interesting conversation.

Carnegie says that the only knowledge that sticks in your mind is that you use. So, yes, that means I need to start practicing some of this grand advice. Great. But getting new friends and influencing people should be fun.

“It is much easier to criticize and condemn than it is to try to understand the other person’s viewpoint; it is frequently easier to find fault than to find praise; it is more natural to talk about what you want than to talk about what the other person wants; and so on.” Yep, he says it straight out in the beginning of the book that these are not the sort of habits that garner favor for you from other people. That if these are your norm, it is time to form new habits.

“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.” Certainly not the way to a person’s heart. Even if you think you’re doing it for “their own good”.

One of his explanations on this topic was a favorite. “George of Enid, Oklahoma, is the safety coordinator for a company. One of his responsibilities is to see that employees wear their hard hats whenever they are on the job in the field. He reported that whenever he came across workers who were not wearing hard hats, he would tell them with a lot of authority of the regulation and that they must comply. As a result he would sullen acceptance, and often after he left, the workers would remove the hats.

“He decided to try a different approach. The next time he found some of the workers not wearing their hard hat, he asked if the hats were uncomfortable or did not fit properly. Then he reminded the men in a pleasant tone of voice that the hat was designed to protect them from injury and suggested that it always be worn on the job. The result was increased compliance with the regulation with no resentment or emotional upset.”

Good thoughts to consider in how we deal with people.

Other good thoughts about what’s going on in Guymon to share today too! The Guymon High School Powerlifting team is looking for odd jobs to help pay for their state championship rings. Then strong young men are available to help you with any odd jobs you might have. Call Head Coach John Richmond to schedule an athlete. His numbers are 806-893-2278 or 580-338-4350 or email John.Richmond@GuymonTigers.com.

Garrett Martinez won the Best Overall Pioneer Day Beard. Congrats to him! The traditional contest was brought back by Brown and Associates Insurance. Great idea!

The Panhandle State Rodeo Team (men and women) broch home the team titles from the recent OPSU Rodeo and the last one of their season. I’m thinking these guys may be bringing home another national title this year. Keep watching because good stuff is happening with these teams. They’re impressive.

See you all on the bricks!