Almost a year ago, I wrote this post on preaching, teaching and reaching. I still stand by it and wholeheartedly recommend a read and review again and now.
I say this after sitting back and reflecting on what I far too often see in the arenas of public and social media discourse. We believe that we can win arguments by arguing; by forcing or preaching. We are confounded and frustrated when we do not win the conversion. Indeed there are “trolls” who seek not to convince but simply to aggravate. That is another story. But so many of us expect people to change their minds through our forceful opinions and assertion of our own perspectives; and we find ourselves frustrated when the opposite happens.
This is my first attempt cartooning, using computer tech. Gulp. 🙂 But the message is that teaching requires reaching, not preaching.
Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Better yet, take a Dale Carnegie Course®. Carnegie referenced 30 principles for working with people and 30 principles for dealing with worry… both core components of Emotional Intelligence. He spoke to and addressed some 30 behaviours that can truly influence in the healthiest of manners… if we truly want to have constructive influence. It is an art, a skill and something that requires application and practice.
Investigate and invest in our work. We examine same from the aspect of character; where all consistent and constructive behaviour is manifested, grown and sustained.
Either way, I humbly (our virtue for the week) suggest that we all rethink the art of dialogue and influence. “Telling it like it is” assumes our perception is truth. It is, to us. But true influence understands that it is about building bridges… whether the dialogue is about budgets or behaviours. That requires Humility.
Consider that. Disagreements are not “won”. You may win the battle of the argument but the war rages on because we create ongoing feels of hurt, estrangement and more. Thus, the cycle continues.
This is not about being politically correct. It is about wisdom as a leader. If you ever get a chance, read Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie… a biography on Abraham Lincoln. You begin to understand the wisdom of the man as a leader and it had nothing to do with beating down the enemy.
Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? — Abraham Lincoln
So, consider the effectiveness of arguing or lack thereof. Check out the aforementioned material and consider the power of real influence. Great leadership in times of trial, tribulation and triumph demands it. At the very least, you may not be nearly as frustrated with the futility of public discourse these days.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
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