The people factor
Carnegieâs principles are so simple that itâs sometimes difficult to believe that such simplicity can have a profound impact on people and a leaderâs ability to achieve organizational objectives. Young leaders taking the helm must reshape the way leaders operate. The impact of the authoritarian style, which is deeply rooted in a heritage of slavery, still dominates the workplace. Some workplace leaders think that the best way to lead is with fear and belittling tactics, as that was the behaviour modelled to them. Sadly, years of such behaviour have even conditioned some workers to hold that as a standard of good leadership and new thinking leaders may get dismissed as being “softâ and “ineffective.â
This destructive mould must be broken. Employees are the most valuable asset in an organization, and the leader who is most able to affect the attitude of employees and motivate them to perform at their best will be most successful. The recent organizational restructuring in a few major companies in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the introduction of global companies as competitors should serve as a wake-up call to all businesses. In order to stay competitive, companies are being forced to restructure, downsize the staff, cut costs, and inevitably, employees will be asked to do more with less. That cannot be achieved if leaders are not in touch with the simple principles of how to get the most from employees in a positive way.
Carnegieâs recommendations, though simple, have been proven for over 50 years since the book was written and are still being utilized today. People skills take time to develop; begin now with nine of Carnegieâs principles and start to develop your people skills even before you become a leader.
1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2. Call attention to peopleâs mistakes indirectly.
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
5. Let the other person save face.
6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.â
7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.â For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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