The question posed in the title of this post is answered, at least by one person, in today’s quotation. I’ll have more to say below.
“Example has more followers than reason.”
– Christian Nevell Bovee, 19th century author
Questions to Ponder
- Do I agree with the quotation?
- What would I like to influence others about?
- Am I talking about influence or living it?
- What example am I setting relating to that area of influence?
- Spend time today reflecting on your actions.
- Compare those actions against how you would like others to behave or interact with you.
- Make changes to your behavior based on this comparison.
There are lots of ways to persuade or influence others. Bovee, in this quotation, proposes that example is an important one – more important than logic or reason.
Most people would say that logic or reason should prevail – that if we can give people the benefits, a well designed set of PowerPoint slides with great statistics, that people will be persuaded.
Reality says otherwise.
We need well-reasoned perspectives and we need to provide data, and, that isn’t enough – even for the most stereotypical data-mongers.
It is hard to argue with success. It is hard for our brains to dismiss a walking, talking example. If you want to inspire others to make a decision, or change their behavior, start by looking in the mirror.
Have you made the decision?
Are you behaving in that way?
Gathering and sharing information is easy. Living it is harder. And example trumps reason.
Are you living the things you are trying to influence in others?