“30 Methods of Influence” by Stephen R. Covey

19. Accept the person and the situation. The first step in changing or improving another is to accept him as he is. Nothing reinforces defensive behavior more than judgment, comparison, or rejection. A feeling of acceptance and worth frees a person from the need to defend and helps release the natural growth tendency to improve. Acceptance is not condoning a weakness or agreeing with an opinion. Rather, it is affirming the intrinsic worth of another by acknowledging that he does feel or think a particular way.

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.