Gentle Influence

If your intention is to correct bad behavior, you can choose to confront the offender.

The problem with this approach is that egos tend to get bruised. Calling someone out for doing something unacceptable can put that person on the defensive, and resistant to working with you. Now you’re faced with an additional (and sometimes huge) obstacle. That’s just what tends to happen with direct criticism.

Though I’m far from perfect, these days I’m trying to avoid delivering this kind of aggressive feedback. Even when I get the end-result I want, going through the process feels bad for everyone involved. I admire non-confrontational methods, such as the outlook captured by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote:

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

In other words: a simple and powerful way to influence others is to live a life that’s consistent with your beliefs.

P.S. There are plenty of ideas out there for addressing perceived wrongdoers, while allowing them to save face. Here’s a clever one.