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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Frisoli

Social Engineering as a Leadership Strategy

When was the last time you took time to think about the “why” behind your communication or interaction style at work? And what if doing so could help you become the ultimate social engineer - like, the good kind - for your teams and among your peers?

What is a social engineer?

Out of context, some might have a negative perception of what it means to be a social engineer - someone who manipulates or deceives to get their way. But when used for the power of good, social engineering can instill confidence, excitement, and optimism in the workplace and among teams. And that’s the kind of social engineering I can get behind.

In the context of a healthy workplace, a social engineer can drive change across workplace culture, productivity levels, employee satisfaction, and more all through intentional communication and mindful interactions. By encouraging connections across teams, facilitating open discussions about conflict or change, and grounding teams through mission-minded activities, social engineers have the power to make a real difference for employees and entire organizations.

Social Engineering 101

It doesn’t take a leader to step into a social engineering role. In fact, your team likely already has a number of social engineers at the wheel. If not done intentionally or left unsupervised, however, unofficial social engineers have the power to both uplift and wreak havoc on the dynamic of a team, depending on their style.

Unofficial social engineers - people who are naturally charismatic and are able to influence others - might incite a gossipy workplace, inject teams with optimism, contribute to low productivity, or spearhead new and bold ideas. But since these impacts and results could go either way, it’s best not to leave it up to chance.

By stepping into the role of social engineer among your teams, you can ensure that your peers are engaged through positive traits - like optimism, productivity, and encouragement. Start by asking yourself what kind of support, guidance, and communication has helped your teams grow and thrive in the past. By focusing on creating a consistent approach to communication and collaboration, you can begin to engineer a more cohesive workplace through work style and culture.

The very best social engineers prioritize the wellbeing of their teams over all else. Stepping into their shoes and seeing the work, the connection, and the process through their eyes is a great way to create a social engineering plan that considers all aspects of the employee experience. The intended result? Happy, healthy, thriving, connected employees!

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