|This post was originally published on OPEN Forum.|
The digital age has made it easier to connect with a mass audience, but it’s also more of a challenge to truly persuade people to believe in your mission.
For example, how do you influence your employees and promote enthusiasm throughout the company when you don’t have as much direct contact with individuals because of technology?
Dale Carnegie Training has trained presidents, leaders and business executives—including Warren Buffett and Lee Iacocca—in the past 100 years, but the company’s most recently published book "How to Win Friends & Influence People in the Digital Age" focuses on leadership in the current time.
“We live in a driven, digital world where the full value of human communication is often traded for transactional proficiency,” the associates at Dale Carnegie say in the book. But “by relying so heavily on digital communication,” you lose out on influencing people in the most effective way.
According to the program at Dale Carnegie Training, the highest level of influence is reached through trust. Below are some tips from the book on how to win that trust from your employees:
1. Avoid arguments. In order to truly influence people, you need to learn how to persuade them — not argue with them. How will they trust you if you’re constantly provoking them?
“Arguing with another person will rarely get you anywhere; they usually end with each person more firmly convinced of his rightness. You may be right, dead right, but arguing is just as futile as if you were dead wrong,” the book says.
So how do you deal with others who disagree with your vision? Leaders need to learn how to “prevent a tactful discussion from becoming an aggressive argument.”
“In the end you must value interdependence higher than independence and understand that deferential negotiation is more effective in the long run than a noncompliant crusade.”
Even when you absolutely know that the other person is wrong, you need to refrain from saying it aloud.
2. Admit your faults quickly. Most of us have a hard time admitting when we’re wrong—this is especially true if you’re a manager or in a senior position at your company. But if you can readily admit when you’re wrong, you are communicating to your team that you care about them and that you understand how your behavior affects everyone in the organization.
“Negative news spreads faster than ever. If you’ve made a mistake, it is far better that you control the news being spread. Come clean quickly and convincingly,” the authors write.
3. Give others the credit. You want others to know that you’re a great leader, so it can become a habit to claim all the credit for yourself, but doing so will never win you any friends, or faithful employees.
“What is the worst quality in a leader? Ask the followers and they would tell you it is the quality of taking credit when things go well and dishing out blame when things go wrong…few messages send people scurrying in the other direction faster.”
Surrendering this credit shows your team that you’re grateful for them and will encourage them to work harder for you, hence, you will achieve even greater success in the long run.
4. Be personable. It may be intimidating to share your personal story with others, but in order to gain the highest trust, make others feel like they know you even if you don’t interact with them often.
Allow people to connect with you.
“Our digital age provides so many opportunities to give people an authentic view of who you are or what your company strives to be, thus creating points of commonality that draw you into closer friendship with others.”
Basically, “when your journey is our journey, we are both compelled to see where it goes.”
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