Human Skills Are More Relevant Than Ever

Written by: Brady Drake

(Left to Right) Bethany Berkeley, Alison Molony, Erica Johnsrud and Katie Munion

This is the most relevant Dale Carnegie has been in 100 years, and research backs it up. With the changing marketplace, increased focus on automation and AI, and teams coming together face-to-face again, interpersonal and people skills are more vital than ever to achieve a competitive edge and build a healthy, adaptable, high-performing workforce.

Think about it. Zoom calls are being replaced with in-person lunches, conference calls are being replaced with conference rooms and there’s no longer a need to have that Tiger King themed .jpeg ready to roll as a virtual background. In the wake of all these changes, the opportunity to differentiate yourself in a world that is yearning for strong personal connection remains.

There’s no question that we as people are social creatures. To be truly happy and healthy, we need connection with friends, family, significant others and our coworkers, clients and business partners. However, over the last couple of decades, we have become increasingly cutoff from those around us; phones, tablets and televisions have served as the largest blockades and the COVID-19 pandemic greatly fortified the walls keeping us apart.

For those in the business community, unless addressed, these rising barricades and associated stressors really damage bottom lines.

The new Co-Owners of Dale Carnegie Training of ND and Northwest MN, Bethany Berkeley and Katie Munion were in the business pre-pandemic and are still here, stronger than ever to help make sure this transition back to REAL normalcy positions their clients to be more proactive, versatile, innovative, and healthy for the long-run.

Who Was Dale Carnegie?

60 years after his death, Dale Carnegie remains one of the most influential figures in the development field. His books, courses, and programs have stood the test of time. Perhaps, his most recognizable work is How to Win Friends and Influence People, which has maintained a prominent presence throughout the world and was one of the first books to make the connection between people skills and business results.

With over 100 years of success, over 200 offices and 8 million graduates around the world, today’s Dale Carnegie Trainings continue to innovate and adapt with the times, putting a new spin on the same tried and true principles and practices that propelled Carnegie to international success.

Public Prorgrams

* These programs are all open to the public, welcoming participants across industries delivered in two-day, three-day, three-week or eight-week formats multiple times per year most commonly in Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, Dickinson, Bismarck and Morris. The local team graduated nearly 30 programs during the pandemic and the courses continue to sell out – registrations are already being secured for programs starting this fall.

1. The Dale Carnegie Course: focused on building relationships, interpersonal skills, communication, confidence, selling ideas, and managing stress.

2. Leadership Training for Results: designed for executive and senior level leaders to step back from the weeds and elevate strategy and performance outcomes through their teams.

3. Develop Your Leadership Potential: for people new to leadership roles or emerging leaders to prepare them for success through enhanced self-awareness and skills to navigate the tough conversations, team toxicity, and bring out the best on their teams as influencers.

4. High Impact Presentations: focused on the art of storytelling, presence, and elevating the ability to communicate authentically in the most memorable and compelling way for any audience (think leading a meeting, presenting to clients, and even speaking on a stage).

In House Training and Customized Solutions

Even before bringing in the facilitator(s) to deliver the training, they take the time to collaborate, evaluate, and align on the vision for performance outcomes and business results.They often walk alongside learning and development departments and human resources to hit the mark – they are not replacing resources, rather enhancing capacity and results through their expertise.

The length of these programs varies from business to business; however, the majority of in-house training is built in a time-phased format to ensure teams can practice skills between sessions which are typically scheduled for a minimum of 2-hours and delivered either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The format and length of the solution is specific to each client’s current needs, investment range, and staffing demands.

“Our level of content and delivery customization for clients is versatile – in some cases, we’re facilitating the Dale Carnegie Course in-house with a team onsite at a client’s location using industry lingo and real workplace scenarios for skill development. In other cases, we’re learning the internal acronyms and language in-depth along with the cultural nuances, organizational structure, and team dynamics before we facilitate. This allows

us to become more fluent, connect more efficiently and deliver the most relevant experience,” explained Berkeley.

Live Online Options

The live online options available through Dale Carnegie are a microcosm of what makes the 21st century beautiful. Through the power of technology, Dale Carnegie Training of ND and Northwest MN allows users to participate in courses in an interactive, online setting either on demand or in the moment with a certified trainer and other participants. The majority of what can be delivered in person is also available online.

What is Dale Carnegie Training of ND and Northwest MN

Dale Carnegie Training of ND and Northwest MN is one of the 200+ locally owned franchises around the world and they’re headquartered right here in Fargo, going strong for close to 20 years.They are equipped with full and part-time team members along with contracted certified trainers located around the state.

5 Questions From The Business Community for Bethany Berkeley and Katie Munion

1. There are so many options out there for training, especially online. There are also, usually, options to fly our team elsewhere for training and conferences. What makes Dale Carnegie ND & MN different from other training providers?

Mike Dragosavich
Mike Dragosavich, Publisher, Spotlight Media

Bethany Berkeley: We are the only ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training) and ISO 9000 certified training company focused on training and development 100 percent of the time as a business. This means our programs have been vetted and approved for continuing education credits and our trainers are held to the highest standard for quality.

We don’t do anything else, we know our lane and believe if we add additional elements to our business like recruiting or EOS, our quality will be diminished and we can’t be the best at what we do if we’re focused in too many places.

2. In what ways does Dale Carnegie ND & MN prove their value? Is it measurable? So much of the training we’ve invested in hasn’t proven sustainable.

Shawn Peterson, CEO, Liberty Business Systems
Shawn Peterson, CEO, Liberty Business Systems

Kati Munion: We incorporate ROI and Innovation projects in our programs to bridge the gap between people skills and business outcomes. We leverage a rigorous feedback tool to measure voice of the customer and net promoter scores, are ranked and held accountable by Dale Carnegie & Associates and are required to get recertified every three years.

It is a requirement that all Dale Carnegie facilitators go through an intensive certification process and that they participate in the courses themselves, learn under a certified trainer, and pass each stage exceeding quality standards.

We deliver refresher sessions for annual partners to ensure the results are sustained. We are not a one-and-done training provider – we work diligently to provide real results and transformation through our unique facilitation methodology, assessments, content and expertise.

3. We’re moving toward a more automated and tech focused landscape and I am unsure if an investment in soft competencies makes sense for us, why are people skills relevant?

Sarah West
Sarah West, Owner, Light Consulting & Coaching

Bethany Berkeley: According to Deloitte Global’s 2020 Readiness Report, The Fourth Industrial Revolution: At the intersection of readiness and responsibility, preparing workers to meet the demands of Industry 4.0 continues to be a fundamental business challenge. While many human skills are often considered to be innate traits, these vital skills can actually be taught. According to a Harvard research study, for example, social-emotional, non- cognitive skills are malleable into adulthood and can be developed with the right resources, environment, and incentives.

Based on the global research from Dale Carnegie and Associates, we know relationships are THE factor to create the competitive advantage in the marketplace. In fact, our research indicates about 70 percent of consumers make purchasing decisions based on who they like, respect and trust. Client experience is everything. In addition, research consistently demonstrates when a workforce feels confident, connected, and valued retention rates increase, performance elevates, and profitability goes up.

4. Often, employees check-out during presentations and training. What is a Dale Carnegie experience like and how does a program keep people engaged?

Kurt McSparron
Kurt McSparron, Founder and Director, The Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead

Katie Munion: Let me tell you, there is no ‘checking-out’ during a Dale Carnegie experience! We expand comfort zones with intention. Our certified trainers combine facilitated exercises, individual presentations, situational coaching, real-time feedback and peer recognition in each program.

We work to ensure a real measurable outcome is achieved for our partners and trainers are selected for projects and programs based on their unique talents and industry expertise. Our training programs, on any platform, are not presentational. Participants practice skills in the moment, unplug, think on their feet, and collaborate with one another in a dynamic, challenging, and psychologically safe environment.

5. Dale Carnegie seems like it could be an ‘out of the box’ training and dated. How have you continued to evolve with the times?

Barry Gruchow
Barry Gruchow, Owner, Halberstadt’s on Broadway

Bethany Berkeley: We have a strong brand and history of success behind us. We continue to leverage content and research proven to drive results and while many franchises are considered ‘out of the box’ and disconnected across industries, we aren’t. The recipe for success looks different for each client and we have the capacity and ingredients to make it happen.

What the Clients Think

The thing that I loved about Dale Carnegie the most was they’re right there with you. There’s no, ‘here is the information, go practice it on your own.’ There’s structure to everything and they’re very intentional with the way they walk you through things.

Jay Evans, Founder and CEO of Off Color Media and Participant in The High Impact Presentations Program

It really flips your way of thinking… It’s a good experience and a good learning experience that helps you build yourself professionally and personally.

The Great Plains Transport team after participating in a in-house session

How do you know you can trust the Dale Carnegie team members?

They’ve been through the programs themselves, use tested and proven content, and are the only training company dedicated to facilitating business results through people 100 percent of the time. The majority owner, Bethany, says there are no competitors locally. Why? Because each provider has a different focus and in our development space, no one can match the rigorous certification standards for trainers, proven deliverables, and time-tested results.

However, Berkeley and Munion found themselves greatly impacted by Dale Carnegie Trainings long before employment or ownership.

Munion’s first exposure came when she was working at Eide Bailly Technology Consulting. Luck would have it her boss moved her around a corner at the office and next to the two women who owned Dale Carnegie at the time.

“That proximity really helped pique my interest in helping to develop people in the things that they are passionate about,” said Munion. “I thought, ‘I should do this someday,’ and it really prompted me to start taking the Dale Carnegie courses and going through the certification process.”

Eventually she did and found herself working on the team as a contract certified trainer, leveraging past experiences in recruiting and professional services to make a translatable impact and truly found her passion.

Berkeley’s first exposure also came by chance. She was exposed to the power of Dale Carnegie during her participation in the United Way’s 35 Under 35 training program after relocating to Fargo, ND from Austin, TX.

Both of the previous owners, Tonya Stende and Tamara Anderson, were guest speakers,” said Berkeley.

“They made us go through all of these crazy interactive exercises. I was uncomfortable, but, pushed in the right ways and it really resonated with me. I worked with Tonya on a campaign for the United Way when she was the Chair. She gave me some seriously eye-opening 1:1 coaching on speaking before I took stage in front of over 700 people at the United Way Cass Clay’s annual campaign kickoff. I was more confident, prepared, and authentic as a result….and then recruited me shortly thereafter. She practiced Dale Carnegie’s principles and influenced me right on the spot.”

Erica Johnrud
“Shortly before I joined the Dale Carnegie team, I was able to participate in the High Impact Presentations Course, and while I thought I was an experienced presenter coming from the nonprofit development world, this opportunity blew me away! In just two days, I could see the difference in how I presented myself physically, I sounded more confident, and knew how to respond in high-pressure situations! Just over three months in, Bethany and Katie continue to motivate me in becoming my best self – I am really in my element feeling more confident than ever. Each Dale Carnegie Course gives individuals an opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and find a piece of themselves they never knew possible.”
-Erica Johnsrud, Client Experience and Brand Champion

Alison Molony
“The certification process takes over a year and it isn’t for the faint of heart because quality is everything for Dale Carnegie Training – that’s their deliverable. It was worth it – I recently facilitated an eight-week Dale Carnegie program in Morris, MN and really saw the methodology and art of training come to life as well as my own talents. It was a privilege to learn from Katie, on of the most talented and highest rated trainers in the network. Bethany and Katie are great employers and do whatever it takes to empower their team and deliver for their clients.”
-Alison Molony, Dale Carnegie Trainer

Katie Munion. Their passion and commitment was worth it and they went for the the middle of a pandemic.

“It was pretty crazy buying a people business in the middle of a pandemic,” said majority owner, Berkeley. “What’s more, Katie was in Utah when the opportunity first came for her to join us to lead training and quality. We just had a great connection when we were working together and complement each other in the best of ways. Katie demonstrates the standard of Dale Carnegie and I am in awe of her talents. Ultimately, after she joined us pre-pandemic full-time, I essentially ‘proposed’ for her to join me in a business marriage”, Bethany laughed.

Our hands were shaking as we wrote the checks at the bank to open our business accounts, knowing we may not be successful with all factors at play working against us. We really believe in what we do and the transformational outcomes we witness firsthand, time and time again, and were compelled to go all-in to keep Dale Carnegie training alive in our communities and for our clients.

They should, Dale Carnegie Training is more relevant than ever.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.