When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”
– Henri Nouwen.

What does it mean to begin in a friendly way? Does this mean that we should only begin in a friendly way to our friends, or does it mean something more? Riding up the elevator this morning, I found myself in a crowd of strange people. I said good morning and started a conversation about last night’s football game. By the time we stopped at the 11th floor, I knew two people’s names. I am sure I brightened their day.

Open up the conversation with strangers when you are in a safe environment. You may be surprised at the new friends you make. At the very least, you brighten someone’s day.  Albert Camus said: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Recently, I did a lot of air traveling. There were a lot of annoyed travelers at the airport – most notably the flight attendants. I went out of my way to be nice and began every conversation in a friendly way. I complimented each employee with whom I came into contact. My husband asked why I acted extremely friendly. I explained to him that I can get more sugar with honey than I can with vinegar. If I allowed myself to become aggravated with the airport employees, they likely would have responded with greater irritation.

To access more tips like “Begin in a Friendly Way”, click here to download Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book! 

Posted by Mary Kuniski

Mary Kuniski is a catalyst for business and individual change. Throughout her career, she has consistently led corporate businesses into the future, often achieving process improvement and change that others could not. Mary’s enthusiastic attitude and tenacious ability to keep moving forward is why she identifies with this quote from Dale Carnegie: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Passionate about problem resolution and committed to coaching and leading others, Mary is driven to ensure that everything she does provides lasting value. At a young age, her leadership and public speaking skills were recognized and nurtured through her ten-year participation in 4-H. She has also fostered change for businesses such as Parkinson Voice Project, where she directed the implementation of their website and online learning management system, and Overhead Door Corporation, where she created and launched a successful core data process improvement strategy. During her tenure with The Michaels Companies, Mary held five Director positions and three Vice President roles, and pioneered the company’s expansion into Quebec. Her efforts to lead the transformation of over 40,000 craft items to three languages resulted in Michaels becoming the first international retailer to acquire language certification from Quebec on the initial attempt. This meant Michaels successfully adherred to strict French-language laws. Mary has over 20 years in executive leadership in the retail industry and for 10 years led supply chain shipment improvement and savings and reduction efforts at Michaels. Mary is a Dale Carnegie graduate, certified trainer, and consultant for Dale Carnegie DFW's Executive Leadership training. She holds an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a degree in Human Development, Clothing Studies from Pennsylvania State University.

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