Alumni Chronicles: My Life-Changing Experience

May 22, 2015
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By Wells Cooner

coonerIf you want to learn more about yourself, I recommend taking the Dale Carnegie course. I found it to be a very fulfilling and, yes, life-changing experience. So much so, that since taking the class, I have served as a class coach several times. My future ambition is to become a Dale Carnegie instructor.

In my professional life, I am a disaster recovery analyst for Southern Company Services in Birmingham. The company’s regulated electric utilities serve a 120,000 square-mile territory, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. Its competitive generation business extends to markets in six southeastern states.

I was introduced to the Dale Carnegie program through my employer.  At the time, I wasn’t quite sure how or if it was going to be something that would have an impact on my professional life. Looking back on it, I realized that the course was instrumental in helping me overcome my fears and showed me how to get along and work with others.  I learned so much about who I was both as a team member and in my personal life.  The Dale Carnegie course went above and beyond my expectations.

As a result of Dale Carnegie training, I am a better listener and I try to focus more on other people’s interests and not just my own.  The experience taught me how to build and improve my relationships. I went into the class not knowing what to expect and came out a better person. The key to success is to go into the course with the intention of improving your life. It’s all about attitude.

After being asked to describe one Dale Carnegie principle that has made the most difference in my life, it didn’t take me long to respond “smile.”  When I began the course, there was a lot of turmoil going on at work.  During a team meeting one day, I remembered that principle and put on smile when I walked into the room. When one of my co-workers asked if I was okay because he noted that I hadn’t smiled in weeks, I smiled again and said that I just had a change in attitude.  From that day on, it has made a huge impact on my team.  Now, I always begin the day at the office by walking in with a smile. It helps set the tone for the rest of the day.

Becoming a class coach has given me the opportunity to share what I have learned. There hasn’t been an instance where I have not seen the program help participants make major changes to their lives.

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