Last week I attended an employee service award banquet at High Point Regional Health System. As I greeted people entering the High Point Country Club by saying, “Hello! Welcome! You can check your coat or take it with you, whichever you prefer with a BIG smile.” (I have a future at Wal-mart being a greeter for sure!) One person walked through the door that I threw my arms around, jumped up and gave him a HUGE hug….it was Nigel Alston. I said, “Hey Nigel!” His smile is infectious, demeanor cool and easy and the spark in his eyes is always encouraging. I was home. Standing in the middle of the entrance looking at a man who had made such a positive difference in my life 13 years ago made me happy. When Jeff Miller, our president asked if Nigel knew me, he responded, “Well, yes, we’re brother and sister, we just have different mothers.” I laughed and laughed.

To become a certified Dale Carnegie instructor requires that you… 1-Graduate from the 12 week Dale Carnegie Course 2-Graduate coach the 12 week program two times 3-Participate in a week long endorsement program 4-Tandum with a senior instructor (Gotta make it past Nigel) two times 5-Participate in a corporate endorsement program to become certified. My master’s degree took longer because I went to school part-time, but I feel my Carnegie instructor license was more difficult to obtain. Why? Because it caused me to push my comfort zone in multiple ways, I had to let go of old habits and learn to communicate and relate to people on a higher level, I learned how to help people transform their lives through the power of Dale Carnegie’s principles.

Nigel made a positive difference in my career and he made a positive difference that night to an audience of dedicated healthcare professionals.

Nigel D. Alston of Nigel D. Alston & Associates, Inc.

Nigel D. Alston

Nigel closed our banquet with these final thoughts:

Make it a great day
Enjoy the journey
Look for the bright spots

So where do you need to push your comfort zone? What habits do you need to create or break? How can you improve your communication and ability to relate to people? Here’s to new beginnings!