If you want to influence others, be ye first influenced.

Find the value in the differences between yourself and other people. Treat people who respectfully disagree with you with matching respect. One way to show great respect to someone who disagrees with you is to say, "Good! You see differently." You don't have to agree with the other person, but you can affirm that they have a valid opinion. You can seek to understand that opinion. In seeking to understand the opinion you will be influenced. Once the other person sees that you respect them and their sovereign right to their opinion, you have demonstrated your openness to their influence, and they become open to your influence.

Two people who have the same opinion are redundant. You will not learn anything new when you attempt to argue with someone who has the same beliefs and sees things the same way you do. I don't want to communicate with someone who agrees with me. I want to have conversations with people who see things differently, who have a different viewpoint. I truly value the difference. When I become aware of a difference in perception, I inwardly say "good!" I ask questions so that the other person can help me see with their eyes.

The more deeply you understand other people, the more you'll appreciate them, and the more you'll respect them. When you deeply understand another person’s viewpoint, you are influenced, and have earned the right to influence them in return. Touching the soul of another human being is like walking on holy ground.

Goethe teaches us that if we treat a man as he is, that is how he will remain. "Treat a man as he can be, and should be, and he will become as he can and should be."

Your actual conduct, the example you set, is the real key to your influence with me. Your actual conduct as it flows naturally from your character and demeanor demonstrates what kind of person you truly are. Your actions do speak louder than your words, what others say you are, or what you may want me to believe you are. How I actually experience you is how I come to instinctively trust or distrust what you do and how you do it with me. Your character is constantly communicating.

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