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Don’t Forget to Say…

by Kevin D. Crone

October 24, 2016

I was reminded of how important it is to say important things to people you care about when I lost two of my best buddies over the last couple of years. I think of them often, as well as my deceased brother and sisters. I have some things to tell them all but I can’t.

The best moments in life are usually with family and friends where we appreciate their support and “ear”.

Sadly, we all have some regrets about not telling those people enough about how much we appreciated them until they’re gone. We just never got around to it. What the heck is wrong with us? Yet, every day, our kids, spouses, associates at work, employees, friends, neighbours, and customers who are alive and important, don’t get much of it either.

When we do get around to it, it’s good for them and us. Expressing our feelings takes a little courage and a genuine interest in others. When we do get around to it, we become more confident and a better influencer of others. Our team becomes stronger.  Growth, improvement and business results have a chance.  We grow in stature, gain respect and have greater, long -lasting friendships. We become builders of others.

Dale Carnegie said to his coaches, “Be sensitive to people. Talk to them as if their heart is broken for there is a good chance it is.” All the important people in your life need encouragement, praise and a little recognition from time to time.  It’s so easy to forget that fact and be caught up with ourselves and all the ridiculous details of life. We forget that people are emotional creatures and not just logical. And it’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong, our differences and on other’s weaknesses. Try changing people by nagging or by perpetually pointing out what’s wrong… it doesn’t work very well.

For years, I watched the power of focusing on strengths observing coaches in the wonderful, life-building, Dale Carnegie Course. To me, the program was like a metaphor of life. Everyone is concerned about how they look, are coming across, their performance, and dread looking bad or being embarrassed, especially when they’re trying a new skill in front of peers. They compare themselves to others as if that should matter. But it does. This inner-focus restricts their growth. By focusing on strengths and what they do well and giving strength building coaching, we watched literal miracles in how people behave with new skills and attitudes. The inward focus on how they look, that seemed to restrict progress. People became their best self and freed from these self imposed restrictions.

Focusing on other people’s strengths works at work and at home too. We all want respect and don’t handle criticism well. We all have some fears and doubts. We all worry about how we’re doing in comparison to others. And, we’re all stymied by our inner focus. So I suggest that we stop thinking of ourselves so much and become even better at building others and, in so doing, build ourselves.

I know, I know, most of us are uncomfortable or too worried about being too forward in giving appreciation, encouragement, praise or recognition. For many of my male buddies it might appear to be a soft thing to do.  Or some might think its phoney.  But from the many years of building our coaches to build others, I can testify how these coaches became marvellous, genuine, confident leaders of others. They impact lives and results. There is nothing soft about these coaches. It’s not easy to be focused on others, to say the important things….. but it becomes easier with practice.




If you get in the habit of looking for the strengths in others, you will find them. Then, with no sarcasm, just sincerity, tell those important people what you like, admire, or appreciate. You never know just how important or timely your words are. I remember Father Dan at Assumption High School telling me how he loved my sense of humour, or Bud Hogburg predicting I would be successful in business. How Eddie and Lee, my deceased buddies, were always pointing out my strengths as we fought through recessions. Life just flies by and sometimes we never get around to it. They did and it meant the world to me especially during difficult times when it’s easy to doubt ourselves.

How about this week you start off with a short list of those you want to get around to telling. Beside each name write down a strength, something you appreciate, how they helped you, or a little recognition they deserve. Then call or email them and tell them. Nothing you do will have more impact than this.

I’m going to do it… join me. I’ll bet if we do this, we will have one great week.

Have a great week!

Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
(905) 826-7300

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