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 an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 35 years of success across the retail, finance, non-profit, and manufacturing industries. She has leveraged her extensive experience in change management, executive coaching, and project management to develop capable and productive leaders. She is a valuable asset for organizations in the process of training employees on operational improvements and leadership skills. Her broad areas of expertise include vendor management, project management, change management, event planning, financial analysis, relationship building, problem-solving and Oracle ERP solution implementations. Mary’s professional​ career has been defined by her ability to obtain increasing positions of seniority and deliver results to diverse clients and companies. She has held leadership positions for organizations including Michaels, Overhead Door Corporation, and Parkinson Voice Project. She currently works as an Independent Consultant and Executive Coach for Golden Professional Coaching, LLC, where she dedicates herself to coaching high-potential executives, executives in transition, and mid-level executives seeking to improve their skills. She also works with small to medium size companies to develop long-term business plans and identify and overcome complex challenges. During her tenure with Michaels, she drove the company’s expansion into Quebec and led the conversion of over 60,000 packages to appear in three languages while successfully adhering to French-language laws. Mary received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Pennsylvania State University and her Master of Business Administration in Global Management from the University of Phoenix. She received her Certification in Training from Dale Carnegie Training and became a Certified Executive Coach through Marshall Goldsmith. She is affiliated with the National Association of Female Executives and the Network of Executive Women. While working for Michaels, Mary initiated a Woman in Leadership group that grew to over 200 members and maintained a 30% promotion rate for regular attendees.

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