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Rus Slater

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the pulling power of a smile! and a flower!

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Two things happened last week that, by coincidence, floated together in my mind.....the first was the couple fo hours I spent in the rain with a box of poppies hanging round my neck, collecting for the Royal British Legion and the second was a write up I saw about "How to Make Friends and Influence People".  Carnegie's book is 75 this year and the poppy appeal is 90, so perhaps they are sharing a birthday, makes it somehow significant. 

As I took up my appointed position at Fleet Service Station on the M3 I noticed how glum everyone looked and so I determined to make eyecontact with everyone and to smile like a thing possessed.

I was amazed by the results. 

No one stared at the ground and shuffled past looking sheepish as has happened in the past.

Folk either came and donated (many put in money but didn't take a poppy declaring either that they already had one or that they would only lose it anyway), or, and this is the big new effect of the smile.....they offered an explanation about their decision not to donate!  Why?  There is no obligation to donate, it is free choice.  Instead I had people actually pointing out the poppy on their lapel; one elderly chap actually "flashed me" by hauling up his jumper to show me the poppy stck to his shirt underneath.  People also told me that they had left theirs in the car/on their other coat/ or in their shopping bag.

Carnegie strongly recommends being happy and smiling as a way of influencing people and it certainly did.....whether I actually got more money this year I don't yet know but the event was actually very different from the past years when I've tended to look sober and respectful.

Rus

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Rus Slater

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Read more from Rus Slater
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