Soft Power Counts
…Engaging Ways to Build Trust

Coercion rarely works as a bargaining chip, especially in this COVID 19 online world. However, soft power – a term that was coined to describe diplomacy – can be useful in people relations, too. Briefly, it focuses on the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction, in order to gain voluntary actions and positive exchanges.

100s of stones stacked in a pile

Adopting engaging ways is not only wise – it’s respectful, too. Begin here:

  • Schedule difficult conversations when you have the energy to actively listen
  • Affirm what is going well
  • Ask questions to clarity
  • Encourage initiative
  • Maintain a calm demeanor
  • Use words and mannerisms that do not offend
  • Use “I” statements
  • Treat each other with dignity
  • Understand what success means to others
  • Invoke gentle humor, when appropriate
  • Agree on next steps and consequences as much as possible
  • Congratulate each other on a productive session

Building trust begins with acts of kindness. When you create a spirit of cooperation, the best of intentions are known and felt. Creative problem solving and innovation grow and evolve as you plant the seeks for fruitful dialogue.