“30 Methods of Influence” by Stephen R. Covey

7. Focus on the circle of influence. As we focus on doing something positive about the things we can control, we expand our circle of influence. Direct control problems are solved by changing our habits of doing and thinking. Indirect control problems require us to change our methods of influence. For instance, we complain from time to time that “if only the boss could understand my program or my problem…” But few of us take the time to prepare the kind of presentation that the boss would listen to and respect, in his language, with his problems in mind. With no control problems, we can control our reaction to problems, deciding within ourselves how anything or anybody will affect us. As William James said: “We can change our circumstances by a mere change of our attitude.”

In 10 succinct pages, Covey’s “30 Methods of Influence” contains some of the greatest wisdom I’ve ever read.

The methods fall into three categories: 1. Example: Who You Are and How You Act, modeling by doing (others see), 2. Relationship: Do you Understand and Care? (others feel), and 3. Instruction: What You Tell Me (others hear).

While I’ve posted a blog on the 30 Methods in their entirety, they are so powerful and have had such a profound impact upon my life and effectiveness that I am now posting them one by one, one each week. Profound thoughts are best if savored, wisdom is gained most thoroughly if absorbed over time.