Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Gift of Being

Some of us spend much of our lives trying to persuade people. Maybe we are teachers, and are trying to get them to learn something. Maybe we are trying to sell them something. Maybe we are trying to win a court case or a debate or an election.

So much of persuasion is built on logic and facts. The thought is that if we put the right facts in the right order in front of someone, logic will compel them to do the thing that we want them to do. Anyone who has children, though, knows life doesn't always work this way. There are plenty of things that are beyond reason, including the way that we react to people.

There are people we do not want to learn from. There are people we do not want to buy from. There are people we do not even want to listen to. Why is that?

I believe it's about energy. Some people are constantly defending something. You almost feel like you have to get in an argument to ask them a simple question. There are other people who are always nervous or stressed out. I know when I come across someone whose energy I don't like, sometimes I just do what I can to avoid them. If they have something I need, I will find a way to get it elsewhere.

The best teachers say that they don't teach anyone. They are just present while the other person learns. The best sales people are not pushy. They present facts, and they do their best to look out for the prospect's interests as well as their own.

Our energy, our simple way of being, is our gift to the world. Often the best way to persuade someone is not to try at all. Instead, it is just to be with them while they decide what is best for them. And to celebrate when they do that. Whether it benefits us or not.


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