Character Quality of the Month for September

Persuasiveness

Persuasiveness (vs. Contentiousness)

Effectively communicating with others so they can better understand

To practice Persuasiveness I will:

  • point others in the right direction
  • not stretch the truth to make it more attractive
  • appeal to a person’s conscience in terms of character
  • wait for the best time
  • not argue

Persuasiveness sounds like a character trait for used car salesman rather than the general population but when you examine the definition and the “I will” statements you’ll see lots of areas on which we all can work.  Another way to look at the definition is Understanding others so that I can better communicate with them. This can be likened to Steven Covey’s 5th Habit – Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood. Understanding others requires empathetic listening skills.  When you look at the opposite this month, Contentiousness or being argumentative, you can teach about peaceful conflict resolution.  The “I Will” of pointing others in the right direction is a good example of positive peer pressure.

“One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears – by listening to them. ”
– Dean Rusk

“Persuade him with kindly gifts and gentle words. ”
– Homer

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