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Blog > How to Build Influence: 15 Carnegie-Inspired Tactics for Success

How to Build Influence: 15 Carnegie-Inspired Tactics for Success

Our top 15 picks from Dale Carnegie’s principles of influence
Influential leader standing in front of a crowd

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Whether you’ve been in leadership for a decade or you’ve recently taken on your first leadership position, you’ve probably heard of Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie was a writer, lecturer, and self-improvement expert best known for his myriad of books on influence and leadership, including “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Carnegie’s work became so popular that, in the 1930s, he began offering courses dedicated to his teachings. A wide range of prominent businesspeople (such as Warren Buffett) have claimed that Carnegie’s words changed their lives — and it’s no surprise why; influencing others is an integral part of leadership. Impactful leaders use their influence to drive their teams to success, build a more harmonious work environment, and increase productivity.

If you don’t have time to take an entire course on building influence, however, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’re sharing our top 15 favorite Carnegie-approved principles for building influence — plus how you can put these principles into action in your workplace.

1. Express Gratitude

Carnegie famously advised his readers not to expect gratitude for their work, but he also reminds us to cultivate gratitude for what we do have, saying, “Rememberhappiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. So start each day thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for.” Embracing a genuine sense of gratitude not only empowers you to forge strong connections with your team members but also cultivates a positive and harmonious work environment. Foster a culture in which you recognize and honor the contributions of others by developing a habit of expressing your appreciation to your team on a daily basis.

2. Spark Enthusiasm and Desire

Your team needs your enthusiasm. In one article, Dale Carnegie is quoted as saying “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” Research has shown that when a manager expresses enthusiasm for a project, they also demonstrate their willingness to take ownership over its outcomes. This enthusiasm can influence others to take ownership of the project as well.

3. Show Interest

Just like your team members need to feel appreciated for their contributions, they also need to know that you’re genuinely interested in their goals and needs. When you demonstrate an authentic interest in helping them succeed, they’ll be much more enthusiastic about helping you succeed.

4. Make it a Point to Remember Names

One effortless way to enhance your influence? Remember your team members’ names! Remembering their names reminds them that you care about them as people, not just as members of your team.

5. Master the Art of Active Listening

Active listening is critical in helping you build influence in the workplace. Active listening involves posing thoughtful questions, providing input, staying focused on the topic, and using receptive body language that conveys your attentiveness to the speaker. When you demonstrate your willingness to understand their point of view, your employees will want to understand your point of view.

6. Engage in Conversations Focused on the Other Person’s Interests

While diligently honing your active listening skills, it’s equally important to engage in conversations that center around your team members’ unique interests to foster deeper connections with them. As Carnegie writes, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

7. Demonstrate Respect

Another simple way to build influence in the workplace? Demonstrate respect for others’ opinions, even when they differ from your own. While this is sometimes easier said than done, it’s a crucial skill that will help you earn the respect of your teammates.

8. Embrace Humility

As you expand your influence over others, openly acknowledge your mistakes as they occur. Although it may initially feel uncomfortable, doing so will help your team identify their own mistakes and amend them as quickly as possible.

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9. Encourage Dialogue

Foster a healthy culture of communication and encourage others to voice their unique opinions. When everyone is encouraged to contribute, it fosters diversity of thought. Rather than assuming you know everything, consult your team and engage them in meaningful discussions.

10. Foster Ownership

The ability to influence others also involves sharing ownership of ideas, rather than taking credit for all of them. This guarantees not only the support of your team but also ensures the successful achievement of your ultimate objectives.

11. Embrace Empathy

In addition to demonstrating respect for your team members, it’s essential to embrace empathy. By placing yourself in another person’s shoes, you cultivate the mindset needed to address their concerns effectively. This practice not only enhances your influence but also makes your team members feel heard and valued.

12. Inspire Growth

While demonstrating empathy for your team members, it’s also important to continuously propel them towards greater success. Nurture their growth by presenting them with challenges in a constructive and encouraging manner.

13. Practice Self-Awareness

In conjunction with remaining humble in your leadership role, demonstrate self-awareness by consistently addressing your own mistakes before criticizing others.

14. Promote Dignity

A leader who avoids blaming team members in challenging situations earns respect and expands their influence. By consistently providing opportunities for others to save face, you cultivate an environment of trust and understanding.

15. Bolster Confidence

And, finally, build influence in the workplace by bolstering your team’s confidence by giving them a commendable reputation to uphold.

The Bottom Line

The ability to influence others is an invaluable leadership skill that benefits both your team and your company as a whole. By employing Dale Carnegie’s tools for influence in your workplace, you’ll develop your leadership capabilities while opening doors to new opportunities in your relationships with others.

To determine how you rank as an influencer in your workplace (and to pinpoint areas for improvement), take our free leadership assessment now.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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