10 Ways to Build Allies, Not Adversaries

10 Ways to Build Allies, Not Adversaries

1-Don't Confuse Don’t Confuse “Alliance Building” With “Playing Nice”

Yes, positive interpersonal skills matter. But that means making those around you feel like valued winners, instead of trying too hard to be nice.

2-Embrace CompromiseEmbrace Compromise

Too many senior leaders view compromise as a sign of weakness. But it isn’t a weakness when it keeps initiatives moving and benefits the organization as a whole.

3-Set Set “Calm” as Your Default Setting

When would-be adversaries get under your skin, that’s when they start to win. Don’t let them.

4-Persuade, Don't ManipulatePersuade, Don’t Manipulate

Persuasion aims to serve. Manipulation is about control, not cooperation, and it doesn’t work in the long term.

5-Appeal to One’s EgoAppeal to One’s Ego

Good leaders are savvy enough to take advantage of a large ego’s positive qualities (energy, motivation) and minimize the negative ones (selfishness, arrogance).

6-Say Say “No” Without Alienating

Declining a request with “I’m sorry, but I really can’t. But I really do appreciate you’re asking me …” will make the potential adversary feel valued.

7-First, Understand the IssueFirst, Understand the Issue

… then come up with the words to frame your thoughts. Resentments brew when executives speak first, and think second.

8-Praise Opposing PerspectivesPraise Opposing Perspectives

Abraham Lincoln earned a reputation as a skilled lawyer by highlighting the merits of the other side’s case—before presenting his side.

9-Don't Play the Don’t Play the “Shame” Game

When you overtly embarrass someone to appear right at that colleague’s expense, you’ve likely made yourself a future adversary. No one needs an enemy.

10-Send Handwritten Notes of AppreciationSend Handwritten Notes of Appreciation

It’s a sure way to build alliances: “Thank you” emails are deleted. Handwritten ones are kept.

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

Latest Articles