The role of a positive leader is to coach, guide and inspire others.

To perform this role excellently, a leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior. And there are mistakes you must avoid in performing this role of positively influencing people for good.

Positive Leader

Positive Leader: Avoid These Mistakes to Truly Change People for Good

These suggestions being shared are from the book – How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide, and even recommended by Warren Buffet. Carnegie’s book is full of timeless wisdom and insights that you can use to bring out the best in your relationships.

Now, here are the mistakes you must avoid in exhibiting positive leadership:

MISTAKE #1: Starting with the criticism and fault-finding.

To be a positive leader, you must avoid criticizing the people who look up to you.

If you must find faults, begin with praise and honest appreciation. It is always easier to listen to unpleasant things after we have heard some praises of our good points. This makes your leadership more friendly and constructive to those around you.

Avoid the mistake of starting with condemnation and destructive criticism.

MISTAKE #2: Directly calling attention to the mistakes of others.

To be a positive leader, you must call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word ‘but’ and ending with a critical statement. You can easily overcome this by changing the word ‘but’ to ‘and’. This is a more effective way to correct mistakes of other people.

By doing this, you can constructively criticize others and not get hated for it.

MISTAKE #3: Not talking about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

You can expect anybody to instantly understand your perspectives, your judgment, your initiative on specific matters.

This is why you must first share your lessons learned when you found yourself in similar situations It is easier to listen to a list of your shortcomings if the one giving you criticism starts off by genuinely admitting that they are far from perfect as well.

Talk about your own mistakes first.

MISTAKE #4: Giving direct orders instead of giving suggestions.

Most leaders make the mistake of giving the people the opportunity to do things in their own way.

Always give suggestions, not orders. Ask them questions to get their perspectives on how they can perform the stated tasks. Not only does asking questions eventually make your order more appealing, but it also frequently encourages the creative thinking of the people you ask. If they were involved in the decision that led to the issuance of the order, they are more likely to obey it.

Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

MISTAKE #5: Making the other person feel foolish and ashamed.

Do not say or do anything that diminishes someone in their own eyes.

Even if you are right and the other person is wrong, you only destroy their dignity and self-esteem when you humiliate and publicly embarrass people. This in turn negatively influences how people will view your leadership and impact you want to make. Don’t be a sadist.

Always let the other person maintain their social standing and reputation in the eyes of others.

MISTAKE #6: Refusing to celebrate the improvements of others.

The abilities of people wither under criticism and blossom under encouragement.

Make people feel seen and appreciated. Everybody likes to be praised, and when the praise is specific, it comes across as sincere – not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good. This is how you inspire others to achieve success.

Praise the slightest improvement and celebrate every improvement.

MISTAKE #7:  Assuming people will always have a bad reputation.

As a leader looking to influence people positively, seek to give everyone a good name.

If you want to improve a person in a certain aspect, act as though that particular trait was already one of their outstanding characteristics. Declare this to them openly and they will double their effectiveness because of your positive belief in them.

Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

MISTAKE #8: Making it difficult for people to correct their mistakes.

Encourage people freely.

Express your belief that the other person can make the necessary corrections. Remind them time and time again that they have a natural gift for this quality. When you do this, that person will practice continually to excel.

Use encouragement and make the fault seem easy to correct.

MISTAKE #9: Forcing the other person to do what you suggest.

Make people glad to do what you want.

Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person. When doing this, don’t promise anything that you cannot deliver. Be sincere.

Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

That’s all.

It is important to note that these suggestions shared in this article will work only when they come from your heart. This is not a bag of tricks. It’s a new way of life.

If you will inspire and positively influence people with whom you come in contact to a realization of the hidden treasures they possess, you can do far more than change people.

You can literally transform them.