Four Business Lessons to Garner from the 2017 Oscars

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Some are calling Sunday night’s 2017 Academy Award for Best Picture mistake a mix-up of epic proportions.  Here are four lessons that extend beyond show business worth incorporating into your daily routine.


Smile– Whether the nominees were ultimately winners or losers, every single one smiled during practically the entire Academy Awards show.  It’s certainly an immense honor to be nominated for an Oscar, making it easy for them to smile.  How about for you—how easy is it for you to smile even if you aren’t 100% satisfied with what is happening around you? 

To ‘smile,’ is such a simple act and also Dale Carnegie’s 5th Human Relations principle.  A genuine smile says, “I am confident and approachable,” or “I accept your apology.”  Studies show that people think that they know someone if that person smiles at them, even if it’s an absolute stranger.  Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time, or sharing constructive criticism with an employee, be sure to smile.  It helps them feel more comfortable because you appear more approachable. 

Dress for success– Fortunately, the paparazzi aren’t climbing over each other to photograph what we chose to wear work on any particular day.  While most people make an effort to look their best for an interview or sales pitch, other days they simply don’t care—and it shows.  Dressing up, or at least looking as though you put some thought into your outfit and appearance, has many benefits.  First, looking good helps improve our overall mood.  Secondly, dressing for success makes a good impression on others and in some cases, causes them to respect us more than if we threw on whatever was clean that day.  Lastly, you never know who you will bump into, so why not dress to impress every day?

Give thanks– Every Academy Award winner proudly held their Oscar while thanking a long list of people who had a positive impact on their careers and lives.  We naturally would expect them to do so.  Dale Carnegie’s 2ndprinciple, Give honest, sincere appreciation,’ is a reminder to give thanks in all situations.  When a colleague or manager provides you with constructive criticism, recognize that it is because they want you to improve and grow in your role.  When a prospect outlines her reasons for not choosing to buy your product or service, it’s because she respects you enough to give an honest, comprehensive rationale for not buying.  Both cases warrant showing honest appreciation even though you may not like everything you heard.

Say sorry– Warren Beatty and Emma Stone had no intention of stating the wrong film when announcing the Best Picture winner; they simply read the card.  Although it was not their fault, as soon as they realized that a mistake was made, they apologized.  Dale Carnegie’s 12th principle, ‘When you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically,’ is a reminder to apologize as soon as you realize you’ve made a mistake.  Doing so demonstrates accountability and humility. 

Image: Pixabay

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