People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.
—Dale Carnegie from How to Win Friends and Influence People
What Sets a Leader Apart from a Boss?
When Mohammad Odat, President of Dale Carnegie Jordan, thinks about leadership, he says there is one thing that sets a leader apart from a boss. “Being a boss is easy, to be honest,” he says. “Being a leader is totally different. Being a leader means [being] chosen by others to be a leader.” When people have a say in choosing their leader, they may show increased loyalty and agreeableness while working harder and more efficiently.
But being a leader can be difficult. “When it comes to implementing that or applying it, here come the challenges. The lack of tools leaders have today is the problem.” It’s true; leaders are lacking not always in their abilities, but in the structure that supports them and allows them to lead effectively. But this is where Dale Carnegie comes in.
Dale Carnegie Leadership Programs
“That’s why our leadership program in Dale Carnegie is so effective because it provides you with tools to apply right after the class,” shares Mohammad. Implementing what you learn in Dale Carnegie’s leadership courses means you can “gain the trust of the team, so they choose you to be their leader. The difference is so huge, and I think always the leader will win.”
If you want to be chosen as a leader in today’s workplace, then you need to be ready to take command of your life and actions and gain the tools necessary to succeed. And that’s exactly what Take Command, the new book from Dale Carnegie & Associates, tells us how to achieve.
Joe Hart and Michael Crom write: “As adults, we often take our relationships for granted, which makes it easy to believe we’ve got this skill mastered. But in truth, the world evolves so quickly that the way we connect with others has to adapt, too.”
Dale Carnegie’s Principles for Leadership
Dale Carnegie’s principles for becoming a better leader still hold true today:
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing others
- Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
- Let the other person save face
- Praise the slightest improvement and every improvement
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
- Use encouragement
- Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest
How to Build Relationships & Become a Great Leader
But Take Command builds on Dale Carnegie’s original principles and applies them to the modern workplace. Overall, there are five important ways to build great relationships so others choose you as their leader.
No, don’t turn the heat up in your office. Being warm means starting with a friendly attitude and being open and caring to others. “Building relationships isn’t just about being credible—it’s about showing that you are emotionally safe and trustworthy,” Take Command tells us.
From listening to someone’s name as they introduce themselves to listening to their deepest work crisis, the act of being present and paying attention will endear people to you. As Dale wrote, “intent and focused listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay someone.” Pay attention and listen for what’s going on below the surface.
Find Common Ground
Do you ever come across another golfer or scuba diver or sports fan who roots for your team and think, “I like this person,” without knowing them? That’s how powerful finding common ground can be. We can also apply this to finding common ground in work disagreements. “When we struggle, we can ask ourselves what we still have in common with that person and in what ways we still see eye to eye,” Take Command says.
Show Genuine Care
Displaying empathy and emotional intelligence is important when dealing with others. Take Command tells us that “our ability to be vulnerable impacts our authenticity, believability, and our reliability.” By opening up and showing genuine care, we can become a leader to others.
Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation
Employee recognition is critical in today’s workforce. When you tell people they matter and make a difference in your life, “you reaffirm their inherent value.” When people feel valued, it can raise their self-esteem, increase loyalty, and produce an efficient worker who is internally motivated.
Building great relationships is powerful when it comes to having others choose and enthusiastically accept you as a leader. But How to Win Friends and Influence People reminds us: “Nothing will work in all cases—and nothing will work with all people. If you are satisfied with the results you are now getting, why change? If you are not satisfied, why not experiment?”
If you’re not satisfied with your skills and knowledge as a leader, then explore how you can progress and succeed with a Dale Carnegie Course.