Do you want to be persuasive and attractive? Then consider being gentle


Last week, we discussed that gentleness diffuses conflict and disarms critics. But do you know that being gentle is also persuasive?

If you have a successful career in sales, you may know that truth already. There was a time when the hard sell—the loudest advertisement or the strongest sales pitch—might have closed a deal. But today, gentleness works. Most people today buy something because someone they trust recommended it. A trusted friend or salesperson’s gentle recommendation is far more persuasive than a loud sales pitch.

And that’s not just true in sales; it’s true in almost every area of life.

As the Proverb says, “Gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.” Are you trying to convince a family member or coworker to do something that they’re feeling defensive about? Gentle words, not pushy tactics, will get through their defenses.

Another translation of the same Proverb says: “Patience and gentle talk can convince a ruler and overcome any problem.” Many of us don’t live in cultures with a “ruler”, but we all have some kind of boss, supervisor, or authority in our lives. This translation reminds us that, with gentleness, we can persuade even those in authority over us.

Another proverb says “A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.” There’s a connection between the words “pleasant” and “persuasive”. If you want to be persuasive, you must first be pleasant.

Being pleasant is a mark of maturity. Fools are rude and unpleasant. The wiser and more mature you are, the more pleasant and positive your speech becomes.

Remember this: You’re never persuasive when you’re abrasive. Gentleness is persuasive.

Gentleness is also attractive. You might say you don’t care about being good-looking, but attractiveness goes much deeper than the skin. Someone who’s attractive is appealing to other people on the inside as much as the outside. If you want to be more attractive, you need to learn to be gentle.

Gentleness is strength under control. And gentleness makes you more attractive to the people around you.

Are you attractive to other people? Do you have a gentleness that makes other people want to be around you? If not, you can change that today by intentionally pursuing gentleness!

Let’s ponder these questions to help us put this into practice::

  1. Do you usually associate gentleness with strength? Why or why not?
  2. When have you been abrasive rather than gentle with someone? What was the result?
  3. How has someone’s gentleness persuaded you to do something?
  4. Who do you know is gentle? What from their lives can you imitate?
  5. Who in your life is attractive because of their gentleness? In what specific ways are they gentle?
  6. What does it mean to “pursue” gentleness?

Next week, I’ll introduce a few simple ways for us to practice gentleness, so stay tuned! 🙂

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