Persuasion is the gentle art of control.

Please reflect and share. How does this play out for you?

There are reasons to believe others should do as we wish them to do. We may think we understand what is best for them more clearly than they do. Or it may benefit us to have them do as we desire. In some way, we’re invested in them behaving as we want them to.

There may be legitimate reasons for us to attempt this sort of influence. As parent of young children, we may understand consequences more fully than our offspring do. As the partner or caregiver of an incapacitated individual, we may be more in tune with their best interests than they are. Or we may try to direct an individual’s behavior if it has the potential to harm others.

Today’s message reminds me that conscious influence is a form of control. I will want to be sparing in my attempts to sway others’ thoughts and behavior. My best persuasive tactic is to teach by example.

How about you? How do you try to influence others?