Projects rarely move forward and new initiatives are rarely successful if you do not have “buy in” from your team. A great technique to build “buy in” is to help your team better understand why and how the project or initiative can positively effect them. One way to do that is to get your team saying, “yes, yes” immediately. By beginning in a way that is agreeable to your team, you can reduce resistance and increase engagement.
In his legendary book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie calls this the “Socratic Method.” Socrates, he explains, would ask questions with which his opponents would have to agree. He kept on winning one admission after another until he had an armful of yeses. He kept on asking questions until finally, almost without realizing it, his opponents found themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly denied a few minutes previously.
Carnegie says the Chinese, who have spent five thousand years studying human nature, have a proverb with the age-old wisdom of the orient that embodies this principle: “He who treads softly goes far.”
Here’s an example of this principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio:
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