“30 Methods of Influence” by Stephen R. Covey

15. Let arguments fly out open windows. Give no answer to contentious arguments or irresponsible accusations. Let such things “fly out open windows” until they spend themselves. If you try to answer or reason back, you merely gratify and ignite pent-up hostility and anger. When you go quietly about your business, the other has to struggle with the natural consequences of irresponsible expression. Don’t be drawn into any poisonous, contentious orbit, or you’ll find yourself bitten and afflicted similarly. Then the other person’s weaknesses will become your own, and all this will sow a seed bed of future misunderstandings, accusations, and wrangling. The power to let arguments fly out open windows flows out of an inward peace that frees you from the compulsive need to answer and justify. The source of this peace is living responsibly, obediently to conscience.

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.