The real key to influence me is with your example, your actual conduct. Your example flows naturally out of your character, of the kind of person you truly are — not what others say you are or what you may want me to think you are. It is evident in how I experience you.
Your character is constantly radiating, communicating. From it, in the long run, I come to instinctively trust or distrust you and your efforts with me.
If your life runs hot and cold, if you’re both caustic and kind, and, above all, if your private performance doesn’t square with your public performance, it’s very hard for me to open up with you.
Then, as much as I may want and even need to receive your love and influence, I don’t feel safe enough to expose my opinions and experiences and my tender feelings.
Who knows what will happen? But unless I open up with you, unless you understand me and my unique situation and feelings, you won’t know how to advise or counsel me.
What you say is good and fine, but it doesn’t quite pertain to me. You may say you care about and appreciate me. I desperately want to believe that. But how can you appreciate me when you don’t even understand me? All I have are your words, and I can’t trust words.
I’m too angry and defensive — perhaps too guilty and afraid — to be influenced, even though inside I know I need what you could tell me. Unless you’re influenced by my uniqueness, I’m not going to be influenced by your advice.
So if we want to be effective in the habit of interpersonal communication, we cannot do it with technique alone. We have to build the skills of empathic listening on a base of character that inspires openness and trust. And we have to build the Emotional Bank Accounts that create commerce between hearts.
Until next time Be true to yourself.
Reference from The 7 Habits of highly effective people.