“I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.”
– Everett Dirksen
In my program Persuasion2Profit and in my bookThe Language of Parenting I have referred to the skills and strategies of great persuaders and communicators.
And, in both works, I emphasize the need for flexibility. Flexibility is a meta strategy of great communication and influence. When you cultivate flexibility, you make all of your other skills more effective.
Now, there is room for argument here, but take a moment and think about it. In any system, the most flexible component of the system controls the system. And, in your own experience when are you more effective in the face of challenges when you become frustrated or remain flexible?
Great communicators practice being flexible. When something doesn’t work, they do not abandon the project or the attempt to persuade or to reach clarity with another person. Instead, they simply allow that that whatever they were trying just didn’t work this time, with this person.
Great communicators and people of real influence move on, without frustration, to the next attempt to find what will work. Flexibility reduces anxiety and improves performance. And, those around you will sense the calm and power within you and will respond to it.
Think about it again. Who is more likely to achieve success, respect, and the result that they desire? Is it the person who is inflexible and quickly becomes frustrated or agitated by a “failure of comunication” or is it the flexible leader who tries something from a state of calm, and tranquility, something new as a way of leading or persuading?
So again, it’s easy to say what to do. The harder thing is to teach the how. How does one develoe and enhance flexibility?
Stay tuned. In the next installment, I will give you several exercises or practices that will do jus that. But here is a hint. Take a deep breath and relax as you let it slowly out. How does that feel? Better? More resourceful? More flexible?
Photo Credit: lululemon athletica