Leaders communicate to influence and persuade through speech, body language, and by being a role model, exhibiting the characteristics they hope to see in others. Rational speech will probably only work if others need information. During argument, at least briefly give the opposing viewpoint, but an appeal to emotion also tends to persuade. Credentials may help, but the biggest credential is to behave as you tell others to behave. If people see that you understand them, you will have more influence. For example, “I need people to work on this project tonight. I know you have families to attend to. So phone them before we get started. Also, since you’ll be missing dinner, we’ll order pizza, my treat.” Then listen to what they may have to add before stating your final case. Find something in it for them (overtime pay or additional time off?). Try to add a little humor and you should be successful.
Senator Bernie Sanders, currently running for President, is skilled in persuasion. He has less money than the others, a disadvantage in terms of media reach but an advantage in terms of showing his willingness to battle the wealthy over income inequality. He is also credible because the issues he stands for today are issues he has always stood for. He listens to people who provide feedback. For example, when Black Lives Matter protesters pointed out that economic equality would not necessarily result in better treatment by police, he acknowledged this and more emphatically discussed his support for civil rights. He leans in when he speaks, and he gets angry when discussing unfairness. He knows what and how he wants to communicate, having many times insisted that interviewers stick to the issues. People respond to his perceived down-to-earth genuineness.

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To communicate nonverbally with my team to create trust and teamwork, I would first, as mentioned before, try to be that person I want them to be. There is no substitute for “walking the walk”. Some say “never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself,” and while I would not go quite that far (I will not clean public restrooms, but I have great respect for those who do), it is a consideration (if I asked a team to stay late, I would stay late with them). I would lean forward as Bernie Sanders tends to do. I would make eye contact. I would share a laugh. I would try to delegate work fairly, and provide an appropriate level of supervision. I have had managers who have disappeared once work was assigned so they were not available for questions; and I have had managers literally look over my shoulder and micromanage. Neither distancing nor crowding is appropriate.

The advantages of virtual and global teams are that you have a wider variety of people, can add short-term experts, people are able to work at hours and in places of their choosing. Ideally, with more independence, people will better take ownership of their piece of the task. Also globally, familiarity with different cultures allows companies to address global issues. For example, I remember reading about the horror of Africans when Gerber baby foods were introduced. Locally, whatever was in the food was pictured on the label. So locals thought that Gerber wanted them to eat babies, not feed babies. Ugh! An African liaison would have avoided this rocky product introduction.

The disadvantages include potential difficulty in creating adequate collaboration on some projects. The goal, then, is to have clear and frequent communication. However, taking advantage of email, phones, texts, instant messaging, remote computer access, drop boxes, Skype, group conferencing, and so on, there really is no reason not to communicate effectively.

My style of handling conflict has been mostly avoidance, but I am working on it. I do not like conflict. I would rather let things go if I can. I probably accommodate others too much. Both of these styles sometimes are reasonable; there are probably enough things that go wrong during a typical day that if you tried to dominate every situation, you would spend all your time fighting. However, I am learning to successfully compromise or even collaborate to achieve win-win solutions. For instance, at one place I worked, they used antique computer equipment that made productivity drag. I assumed they did not have money to upgrade, but I did not ask. I hate being bored, so I left in frustration. But obviously, they would be a more competitive company on several levels if they upgraded their computers, and I might have been able to help them choose new systems and get people trained.