“30 Methods of Influence” by Stephen R. Covey

13. If offended, take the initiative. If someone offends you unknowingly and continues to do so, take the initiative to clear it up. Consider two tragic consequences of not taking the initiative: first, the offended one often broods about the offense until the situation is blown out of proportion; second, the offended one then behaves defensively to avoid further hurt. When taking the initiative, do it in good spirits, not in a spirit of vindication and anger. Also, describe your feelings——when and how the offense took place——rather than judging or labeling the other person. This preserves the dignity and self-respect of the other person, who then can respond and learn without feeling threatened. Our feelings, opinions, and perceptions are not facts. To act on that awareness takes thought control and fosters humility.

In 10 succinct pages, Stephen R. 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.