Elizabeth Haberberger on Curiously Making Connections
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Dale Carnegie Missouri
In this episode, Elizabeth Haberberger, President of Dale Carnegie Missouri, joins host Alana Muller to share how she grows her professional network by showing genuine interest in others rather than directing attention to herself. Tune in to hear how Elizabeth builds relationships by building trust and intentionally seeking out opportunities to get to know other professionals. “If I'm trying to get people interested in me, it's never going to happen. (Instead) I truly go into every situation, just thinking, how can I serve this person? How can I make their day a little bit better?”
Alana Muller: Welcome to Enterprise.ing, a podcast from Enterprise Bank and Trust that's empowering business leaders one conversation at a time. We'll hear from different business leaders about how they found success in cultivating their professional networks and keeping them healthy and strong. I'm your host, Alana Muller, an entrepreneurial executive leader whose primary focus is to connect, inspire, and empower community. We, Enterprise Bank and Trust, thank you for tuning in to another episode.
Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of Enterprise.ing podcast. Delighted to have you here as usual. Today's guest, Elizabeth Haberberger, is President of Dale Carnegie Missouri, where she consults with clients in a variety of industries and sizes from Fortune 500 companies to local family owned businesses. Known for bringing energy to any room and her boundless enthusiasm and passion, Liz's number one rule of life is to have fun. So we are going to have some fun today. Liz, welcome to Enterprise.ing.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Alana Muller: We are so glad to hear from you. I want to start with the first things first. Tell us about the work of Dale Carnegie, and please include what would Dale Carnegie say about the importance of networking and building relationships?
Elizabeth Haberberger: I'll give you a Dale Carnegie quote that I think will sum it up. Dale Carnegie says, you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you. I think that's what he would say about networking. And that really sums up the work that we do. The work that we do is really focused on those critical business skills, how do we connect with other people, build trust so that we can lead, sell, influence whatever it is that we want to do more effectively.
Alana Muller: Yeah. Gosh, isn't it the case that by building trust, anything is really possible. And I think that, that's almost like the thing that we all have to remember in everything we do, no matter what our industry, our business, whatever the case, building trust is almost the first thing we must engage in.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yeah. Google did a big study called Project Aristotle, and they found that trust, or they called it “psychological safety,” was the number one trait of a high performing team. And you know how most people, they get all the technical training they need in order to be successful in their role. Well, what Dale Carnegie found out is that about 85% of what makes someone successful isn't the knowledge they have, but it's the skills and the attitudes that we develop. And trust is absolutely one of those. And if we're not intentional or consistent or proactive about developing those types of skills, they fall by the wayside and we try to rely on those things that we know, our technical knowledge, and then we wonder why it's not working.
Alana Muller: So true. And that intentionality I think is so critical really to anything we do. And especially in business and building relationships, being intentional about it in an authentic way, of course, I think it makes all the difference. Tell us a little bit more about Dale Carnegie Missouri. What do you do at Dale Carnegie Missouri? What does that cover, and you have partners throughout the country?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yes. So we have partners across the world. So Dale Carnegie is present in over 80 countries. I say in the US, pretty much every major city is going to have a Dale Carnegie territory or Dale Carnegie office. So I lead both St. Louis and Kansas City, so pretty much anything down Highway 70 there connects us. And our business today, we work with individuals. So we'll have individuals come to us and say, "Hey, I want to be a better leader. I want to get into sales." We'll also work with teams and organizations. So we'll have organizations partner with us and say, "Hey, we're really trying to build a certain culture," or "We've got a team of high potential leaders we really want to develop and invest in for them." And so we'll go in and create custom programs and work specifically with them too.
Alana Muller: So cool. Well, let's talk about you a little bit. How do you actively manage your own network?
Elizabeth Haberberger: That's a good question, isn't it? I manage my network lots of different ways. So I'm very active on social media. So that's one way that I try to stay in touch with a lot of people is the more connections I have gotten, I find the harder it is to stay in touch and to manage that network. So social media for me or LinkedIn. I do a lot on Instagram, but that's more like I do some of my personal stuff there. And then LinkedIn is really my professional network, but it's a great way for me to connect with them, even if I'm not physically like a one to one coffee or an email. But they're constantly seeing me, I'm engaging on their posts. So I do a lot through LinkedIn.
I also try to just stay really engaged in different organizations or networks in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. We're constantly going to networking events and then just making the time to reach out to those people who I do want to have that more personal connection with, and setting up coffees or Zoom calls or whatever the appropriate mode of communication is at the time.
Alana Muller: And so it's interesting that you said it on Zoom calls also that you're including that. Things have certainly changed as a result of the pandemic, where networking has taken on a much broader meaning that yes, in my vernacular coffee, lunch, coffee, I love it when people can connect. It doesn't have to be over a meal or coffee, but just connect in again, in an intentional way. But you're adding this new component that we've all become experts in without even intending to, and that is through virtual media. So talk a little bit more about that. Have you embraced Zoom or whatever virtual platform or has that been a challenge for you personally and or for Dale Carnegie?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Girl, I am loving all things virtual. There's a lot too in person, and getting to actually sit down with someone and have a coffee or have lunch. The plus of virtual is that I can schedule five virtual meetings in a day. Whereas in person, I might have only been able to do two or three. So the quantity of meetings or of connections that I've been able to make has gone up and the quality really hasn't dropped at all. There's all kinds of research out there on virtual meetings and Zooms and Zoom fatigue, especially when you do a more intimate Zoom, like a one-on-one, or a really small group of people just spending the time to really connect on a personal level and not just a, "Hey, here's what I need from you," and I'm going to look at seven other screens while I'm typing. But there's some simple things that you can do to connect just as effectively so you can increase your quantity and you can have the same or increased quality online too.
Alana Muller: Yeah. And I'm famous now for saying there's no drive time between Zoom meetings. We really can beef up the number of interactions that we have. And I agree with you. For me personally, from just a mental health perspective and a wellness perspective, actually, I think Zoom saved my life during the pandemic because you could still see human beings. And right, there's no replacement for that face to face, in person human interaction, but in the absence of that, Zoom was pretty amazing. So I'm a big fan. I'm a big fan. And when we start talking about all the accouterments, so the ring lights and the cool cameras and the microphones, blah, blah, blah. I think there are things that can really enhance that experience. But I'm with you, I think it's a great thing.
I want to go back to something you said before, you were talking about one of the ways that you are able to stay connected to people is through social media. And so for you, whether it be LinkedIn for professional purposes or Instagram for primarily personal purposes, but maybe some profess as well, one of the things that I've been hearing a lot lately is people sort of acknowledging that they feel like they are staying in touch with more people because they're seeing more on social media. So to me, this is the really great news story about social media that we often talk about the negative wah, wah sort of news. And yeah, it's a wonderful way to at least feel like you have a sense of connection.
And in fact, I ran into a grade school friend of mine last week. He knew exactly who I was immediately. And I said, "How did you recognize me?" And he chuckled and he said, "Well, you're wearing a name tag, first of all." And so I felt a little embarrassed about that. But he said, "But you know what?" He's like, "In all honesty, I follow you on social media. So I feel like I know what's going on with you, even though we haven't seen each other in a number of years." So the fact that you've been able to do that effectively through LinkedIn or through Instagram, I think is really special and meaningful.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yeah. They say, especially in sales, that the person who communicates the best is not always the one who wins. It's the one who can communicate the clearest, the fastest, that's the person who wins. And so by no means am I the best at anything, but I try to really communicate clearly and consistently with people so that when they do think of something or when they do have a question, they're like, "Oh, I know exactly who I need to call, or I know exactly who I should talk to. I need to call Liz."
Alana Muller: So great. So great. Liz, I know that you have a family and you're very involved with them as well as deeply ingrained in your business, which you continue to expand. So how do you make time for all of the components of your life while still honoring your own rule, as you say, is to always have fun?
Elizabeth Haberberger: So someone in our office probably, I don't know, maybe three, four months ago said something about time that really stuck with me because we all get in the habit of, I don't have time for that. I can't go to the gym or I don't have time to do this extra meeting or whatever it is. And she said, whenever you say, "I don't have time for that," what you're really saying is, "That's not a priority for me right now." And so when she said that, it put it in perspective for me, that's like, that's like a different kind of harsher way sometimes to look at it, like, "Oh gosh, but my health really is a priority for me, but I'm saying that it's not a priority for me right now." So number one thing that I do to get it all in is that I have an incredible husband who is a true partner in every sense of the word - who does a lot of mornings of school drop off and does taking one to hockey practice and school pickups.
And so we've always had this like whatever needs to get done and whoever can do it, they're going to be the one and to go do it. He also really supports me and what I love to do in the business and what I love to do in going to the gym. And I really support him. He loves to go hunting and play softball. And so we've always just prioritized getting done the things that make us happy and then the things we do to make each other happy. And it's always worked, not to say that every second is fun. But at the end of the day, it works.
Alana Muller: And that notion of priorities, that can be useful for all of us, that we really do have to prioritize. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we choose how to fill them up. And what you're saying is yes, and prioritize them appropriately and you can make it work. So not that something's not important, but maybe it's not important right now. And for you, you're sort of in that moment where you're kind of prioritizing based on family life stage. So it seems that that's worked really well for you.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yeah. The Tyranny of the Urgent says things are either important, or is it important and urgent? Is this important, but not urgent? And it's oftentimes those things that are really important, but they're not urgent that we push to the side because something more urgent comes in its place. And maybe it's even something that it feels like it's important, but it's not important for me, it's important for somebody else. So I'm constantly trying to evaluate, making sure that I'm spending the most time on those things that are important to me, because if I spend the most time on those things that are important, but maybe not urgent, it helps me to deal with those things that are important and urgent and get them done because I know I'm getting to work on lots of important things too.
Alana Muller: I'm imagining this four square graph where you're plotting out important, unimportant, urgent, not urgent. And that makes sense. I get that, I get that. So that's actually really helpful. Talking about this idea of important and urgent, I'm thinking about how you engage with other people. What are some ways that you're able to make your interactions mutually beneficial? How do you give back and show that mutual appreciation?
Elizabeth Haberberger: So if there's one thing that Dale Carnegie is really, really good at, it's realizing that in anything, I don't care if it's a selling relationship, a leadership relationship, a client relationship, an internal peer to peer relationship, it's not about you, it's about the other person. And so it goes back to that quote, right? If I'm trying to get people interested in me, it's never going to happen. But if I can truly go into every situation, just the thinking, how can I serve this person? How can I make their day a little bit better? If I leave a conversation and I feel like, "Oh my God, they don't know anything about me. They told me their whole life story. They told me all this stuff. They don't know anything about me." I know that was a good conversation because they're probably going to leave and be like, "I really liked her. I don't know much about her, but I liked her." It's because I let them do a lot of the talking and I was just genuinely interested.
Yeah. When I leave those conversations, it's like, "God, I did way too much talking." Those are the conversations where then it becomes not mutually beneficial and it ends up benefiting no one in the long run.
Alana Muller: That's true. That's so true. Can you talk about an interaction with one person that resulted in a breakthrough for you either personally and or professionally?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yes. So when I first got into this business, this was one of our first big clients and I wasn't leading the engagement. I was this kind of lowly helper at the time. And I was so petrified. I was probably 27 at the time, didn't know what I was doing yet, but I was kind of there. And I'm in this room full of all these senior leaders. They had about 70 of their senior leaders in the room. And I'm sitting in the back thinking, "Oh my God, what in the world am I doing in this room? I don't belong in this room. There's no way." And so I'm like sitting back, I'm like, "God, I work at Dale Carnegie. I have to go talk to somebody." So I found this guy, who looked like he would be nice. And I walked up to him and I probably had a five minute conversation with him.
And at the end of those five minutes, I was like, "Oh my God, that was a regular person. He was very nice to me. He didn't make me feel stupid or like I didn't belong. He was just a regular person." I had asked him some questions. He answered them. He didn't say anything negatively about me. And that taught me I don't care who you are, you're just a person. It doesn't matter what your role is, how much experience you have, at the end of the day, you're a person. And so if you just take a genuine interest in someone, they're usually more than happy to talk to you. So that has really stuck with me. And now whenever I go anywhere, I'm like, I'll go talk to anyone because of that experience.
Alana Muller: I love that. And I love that it was almost like you learned by doing. You trusted yourself. I know you were scared and it felt uncomfortable or outside of the comfort zone, outside your box. But the fact that you did it and you survived and thrived as a result, how cool is that? That's a great example. Great example.
Elizabeth Haberberger: I know. I'm going to have to send this podcast to him and say, "Don, take a listen. [crosstalk 00:15:55] I told a story about you that you never knew happened."
Alana Muller: That's actually a great idea. I love that. I hope you will. I hope you will. Well, talk a little bit more about how networking has impacted your business. Surely, this story about Don is a good start. What other ways has networking benefited, changed or helped you to grow your own business?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Networking has been huge for me. So I came into Dale Carnegie in 2015 and I was in education prior to that. So when I got into Dale Carnegie, my professional network was like, zilch. I didn't even have a LinkedIn page. I had no idea what a big business versus a small, I had no idea about businesses in St. Louis, let alone Kansas City, let alone where I would even go to meet people. So I just slowly but surely, I started reaching out to anyone that I could find that would just sit down and have coffee with me. And I would just ask them questions. And then they would say, "Oh, you check out this group" or, "Oh, you should meet so and so." And I just kept saying yes, like, "Sure, I'll go there." And so I'd go to this event and then I'd sit down with this person and then I'd go to another event.
And then they would introduce me to somebody else. And it definitely didn't happen overnight by any means. I'm still doing a lot of that. I love to go out and meet people and network, but it took several years to feel like it finally is like, it's like, oh wow. Once you build a network, I'll have people call me and say, "Hey, so and so recommended I reach out to you" or "Hey, I've got someone I think you should meet." It's kind of that flywheel, the Jim Collins's flywheel-
Alana Muller: Absolutely.
Elizabeth Haberberger: You just keep saying yes. And the more you say yes, the more opportunities you're going to get.
Alana Muller: Yeah. 100%. Yes, that is the story of my own life. So I completely agree with you. And the fact that now people are contacting you and you're the one that they want to connect with, it means that you've gotten in almost that state where you're part of an active network that it's consistently as dynamic as it may be and constantly changing, it's still going. So Bravo to you. I think that that is fabulous. What advice would you share with someone who wants to grow or cultivate their own network?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Say yes.
Alana Muller: Say yes.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yeah. You've got to say yes. And it can't be about you. You have to take a genuine interest in the people that you want to go connect with. Because quite frankly, nobody wants to listen to me talk. They just don't. And nobody wants to listen to you talk, but as soon as they feel like it's valuable for them, or they feel like they're brought into it, they're going to listen. And so say yes to opportunities and then go into opportunities with this mindset of not “how can I sell?” or “how can I get people to like me?” Just go into there thinking, “gosh, who can I go connect with? I want to get to know so and so. I want to be genuinely curious.” That would be my best advice.
Alana Muller: Yeah. And that curiosity, it's a winning thing, showing that genuine constant curiosity, continuous personal growth. I think that that is so important for all of us. And it's not about what bureaucratic position you're in, but it certainly is about how successful we become, I think in business and in life. So I agree with you completely. I love to ask a question really, to every one of my guests, the dream networking opportunity. If you could meet with one person, who would it be and why?
Elizabeth Haberberger: This one of those, does it have to be an alive person or can this be in general, in history, who would I want to meet?
Alana Muller: It could be in general, in history. It could be a real person, it could be a fictitious person, you pick.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Fictitious person, I've never really thought about that. I would say Abraham Lincoln, for two reasons. One, I'm actually related to him.
Alana Muller: Is that right?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yes. He's like my great, great, great, great uncle.
Alana Muller: Oh my gosh. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty.
Elizabeth Haberberger: I know I've got like the lineage and everything to prove it. So that would just be cool in general, because I'm related to him. But two, because I think he was an incredible leader. Dale Carnegie was very inspired by Abraham Lincoln and one of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes is he says, "I don't like that man very much. I must get to know him better." I know, right? So just like his perspective, even back then to have the foresight to realize that it's about so much more than just what you do, but it's about how you do it and it's about bringing people with you. He would be someone that I would love to talk to about how he did everything that he did seemingly forever ago.
Alana Muller: Yeah. And I won't ask you who, but have you thought about that quotation where there's somebody that you didn't like and you made an extra effort to get to know them so that maybe you would begin to like them or at least understand them?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Thank you for not making me say any names.
Alana Muller: Yeah. I won't make you say a name for sure.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yeah, absolutely. And honestly, every time it turns out to be true. So often, we see someone and we'll judge them based on something they say or something we see them do. And usually that's a sign that I just don't know them well enough. I have yet to find someone that when I truly get to know them, that you just hate or you really don't like. There might be a couple out there, but it's really hard once you truly get to know someone to not like them in some way.
Alana Muller: And I always think if you can break bread with someone, you've already got something in common and so many of us, myself included, we hang out with people just like us. And so, especially in these polarized times, if we have any impetus to at least try to bridge some of that divide, I really think that seeking to understand someone, you don't have to like them or change their mind or change your own mind, but just understand them, I think can be a huge breakthrough.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Yep. So Dale Carnegie has 30 principles in how to win friends and influence people, and that's principle number 17. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
Alana Muller: Love it. I love it. So great. Liz Haberberger from Dale Carnegie Missouri. Loved having you on Enterprise.ing. Will you tell us how to learn more about you and your company?
Elizabeth Haberberger: Of course. So you can find me on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active there, either Elizabeth Haberberger or Liz Haberberger. If you'd like to follow, I do ninja stuff and funny things with my kids. If you want to find me on Instagram, @EHaberberger. You can also check out if you just go to DaleCarnegie.com, you can find St. Louis or Kansas City on there as well.
Alana Muller: Terrific, Liz. Loved having you on. Hope that we'll hear from you again sometime soon and wishing you the very best of luck.
Elizabeth Haberberger: Thank you so much.
Alana Muller: Thanks for joining us this week on Enterprise.ing. Be sure to visit our website, enterprisebank.com/podcast, to subscribe so you'll never miss an episode. If you found value in today's program, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or telling a friend about us. Enterprise.ing, powering business leaders one conversation at a time.
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