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Dale Carnegie Online Professional Development Blog

Virtual meetings: Relationship Is Still the Most Important Element

Posted by Charlie Walker

Jun 24, 2014 4:48:00 PM

The rules of running meetings have changed! Organizations and teams are spread out more than ever. Online, or virtual meetings, save costs; help bring busy, dispersed employees together, and are convenient for everyone.

One thing that hasn’t changed: The relationships managers establish, bonds they build, and bridges they create still form the foundation for productive engagement. Relationships are necessary for success – no matter where meeting participants are located or how they’re reached.

With that in mind, there are 5 of sensible steps that make virtual meetings extremely beneficial for everyone – including the manager.


  • Create the meeting room (link), confirm the room is ready
  • Email attendees with purpose in subject line; provide link, duration and technical details
  • Rehearse; learn the tools and click on everything!
  • Show attendees their tools and how to participate
  • Keep it lively: a web site share, a poll, or whiteboard activity

2. GREAT BEGINNINGBrowse All Sales Effectiveness Online Courses

  • Promise to start and end on time
  • Open with the purpose and time frame
  • Clarify the key issues and goals
  • Encourage an open environment and participation


  • Frequently summarize discussion
  • Remind yourself digital messages are still received on an individual level.
  • Resist telling others what you want; instead express a genuine interest in what they want
  • Work to attract others to your point of view rather than push them. As Dale Carnegie puts it: Show you’re genuinely interested in other people
  • Examine the purpose of communications. People are more likely to embrace messages that offer mutual benefit
  • Show respect for the opinions of others and disagree in an agreeable way
  • People will detect your smile, even on social networks. Your voice is your smile. Attend to your words, tone and display of emotion
  • Know and remember other peoples’ names as a key to your success. Hearing their name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language, Dale Carnegies points out
  • When you hear a name, fix it in your mind with the person you have met. Write it down, concentrate and focus on its visual impression


  • Make digital messages meaningful by removing a personal agenda; do this by talking in terms of other people’s interests
  • Resist agreeing with someone else’s critical message. The object of that criticism could someday be linked to your success
  • Remember people feel that written words are permanent. Avoid writing reactionary emails, tweets, texts or posts. If you feel upset or frustrated, calm yourself before communicating to anyone. Digital media creates a permanent record

5. GREAT ENDINGBrowse All Presentation Effectiveness Online Courses

  • Give people what they want most —to be heard and understood. Listen effectively and consistently to build your personal power to change the hearts and minds of others
  • Listening builds a solid bridge for lasting connections; let the others do most of the talking
  • Remember it’s not about you – it’s about them. One way: Let someone else feel an idea or solution is theirs
  • Action springs from what we fundamentally desire. When we understand the core desires of others, we have the heart to influence them to action


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Topics: Virtual Training, Personal Influence, leadership, Effective Meetings

How to Keep your LinkedIn Network Relevant, and Still Foster New Relationships

Posted by Adam Gogolski

May 15, 2014 1:41:00 PM

vivekaThis article was contributed by Viveka von Rosen: Author, Speaker, LinkedIn Consultant and owner of Linked Into Business.

LinkedIn has established itself as a reliable source for sharing knowledge and provides countless opportunities for friendly managers to make new contacts. It’s a two-way street, though.

When you receive an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, it’s relatively easy to click on the name and check out the other party’s profile.

Accepting an invitation from a customer, co-worker or known source to connect on LinkedIn usually is a snap decision. Savvy managers know immediately they’ll use their new contact to build or extend a sturdy business structure and look ahead to situations where the friendship will pay off down the road.

The other direction on that street has potholes: Unsolicited invitations to connect on LinkedIn from unknown people, or contacts that could have no bearing on your career or business strategy. When this happens, how to refuse the contact request from someone without leaving a sour taste?

Managers who decline an invite want to do it tactfully -- without burning bridges – and perhaps even leave the door open a crack for future business contact.  Sample wording for managers who want to respectfully say no:

“I really appreciate your invitation to connect on LinkedIn, but I make it a practice to only connect to people I know well. If you have a reason for wanting to connect, please let me know. And always feel free to follow my company page at this link: www.LinkedIn.com/company/companyname"

When someone sends you an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, you can always look at their profile to determine if they’re someone you want to connect to or not just by clicking on their name.

If you are still unsure whether you want to connect, click on the drop down to the right of the big blue Accept button and click “Reply (don’t accept yet).  As the link implies, you can, without connecting, ask the person why they want to connect.  I find most spammers don’t reply and then I delete them.  But occasionally I will get a very thoughtful response and add that person to my profile.


To accept? Or not to accept

Browse Live Online  Leadership Programs But there’s a gray area managers navigate between declining and accepting LinkedIn invitations.

LinkedIn itself contributes to this haziness: Businesses are cautioned on one hand to accept and approve invitations to join networks only from familiar and trusted people. (LinkedIn feels strongly enough about this to make it part of LinkedIn’s end user agreement, which advises people not to connect to anyone they don’t know.)

At the same time, the LinkedIn site posts pages that nudge members to connect with “people you may know" – encouraging them to reach out to once- or twice-removed potential connections.

All Invitations Accepted

Some people sidestep the issue altogether and accept every invitation that lands in their lap.

Workplace expert Dan Schawbel explains the rationale behind sifting through the whole stack of blind bids for connections:

  • Referrals. More first-degree contacts equals more access to out-of-network managers
  • Research. A professional research directory -- white pages for professionals
  • Branding. A business network can show other businesses it has up to 500 contacts.

A standard reason to accept invitations from unfamiliar sources is that it improves search success. Visibility in LinkedIn increases with the relative size of that company’s network.

Bigger is better, in other words, and this prompts businesses to welcome unfamiliar invites. It helps businesses beef up and boost visibility. At the same time, the source of the unexpected invitation comes with the potential to become a prospect or help a business grow its network in the long run.

Another reason not to throw the baby out with the bathwater: Surprise invitations commonly come from someone already familiar with the business.

That can mean the source asking to join your LinkedIn network could be either:

  • A friend of a friend
  • A fellow member of a shared group typically joined by managers, or
  • Someone who has a tangential relationship with company/locations/industry/visitors in common

If a LinkedIn invitation is offensive or if a contact sours, a business can block the source, or block and report the source. LinkedIn’s restrictions bar most people (with the exception of those shelling out for a premium account) from making random solicitations for connections.


What if managers accept an invitation, but have second thoughts and don’t want to connect with someone after all? There’s a painless way out.  Businesses can block the source as a connection by clicking on the drop down to the right of the blue Message button and then clicking on the Remove link.

LinkedIn is only as useful as the size of your network (so don't be afraid to connect to some people you don't know, as long as you have good reason) and it's perfectly okay not to accept invitations as well.  In the end, as with all things social media, only do what you are comfortable doing!  And happy linking!

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Topics: Personal Influence, Sales Development, Corporate Training

Emotional Leadership Influence

Posted by Dan Heffernan

Nov 4, 2013 4:43:21 PM

Any self-made billionaire can teach a few lessons. Here's one you can’t afford to pass up!
A home-town entrepreneur used his credit card to build his idea into a hugely successful payroll and HR outsourcing enterprise, Paychex. I’d been hired to lead the e-learning team and the first task was to build a new online course whose goal was to teach sales reps how to sell retirement plans through the use of typical client scenarios.
We were asked to present a demo of the course beta to our founder and CEO, Tom Golisano. It was my first interaction with him and was anxious to know his thoughts as he watched the laptop images we were projecting on the otherwise sterile conference room wall.
I didn’t have to wait long. Tom quickly asked to see how we intended to present the benefits of retirement plans to business owners. We displayed the part of the course that covered features and benefits, where he saw the phrase "maximize your retirement income." He then asked a question that my team later told me had them shaking in their boots.
"Where did you get the information you included in the course?" We told him we had interviewed top performing sales reps and managers. He asked for names, which we provided. He nodded his approval as he heard names of people who had helped build the business. He pondered a moment. Then he asked another question, "Do you really think people buy retirement plans to maximize their retirement income?"
At this point I had to take one for the team. "Yes, Tom, I do think so, but what are we missing here?" His response will stay with me always. "I think people invest in retirement plans so they can buy gifts for their grandchildren."
He had instantly humanized our environment and our purpose, and the room grew silent. "Makes sense, Tom, so you’re saying we should appeal to emotion rather than logic here?" He answered with another question, "Don’t you think that’s how we make most of our buying decisions?"
I got to know quite a bit about Tom that day. I found him patient, considerate, thoughtful, and, as usual, demanding of a high standard. It was a fine example of the principled leadership that had contributed to his success.
Dale Carnegie said influence is about "arousing in the other person an eager want." If doing that well eludes you most of the time, remember to make an authentic appeal to emotion. We tend to rely on logical considerations in our effort to persuade, but the decision to buy is propelled by emotion. So it’s my turn to ask you a question. When was the last time something you said made a group of grown men and women in a conference room choke back misty eyes? 
Dale Carnegie Digital brings the time-tested Dale Carnegie training method right to your desk, with Live Online events so engaging you'll forget you're not in a classroom! Sign up for virtual events when it's most convenient for you, and start building your personal influence, one relationship at a time.
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Topics: Emotional Intelligence, Virtual Training, Personal Influence, leadership

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The Dale Carnegie Digital blog explores all topics related to online learning, dispersed workforces, virtual presentations, sales training and leadership in the digital age.

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