Every year at the end of September and the beginning of October, the Texas State Fair is held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. If you have never been, I would encourage you do so because it is one spectacular event!
Several years ago, I was in Dallas at the time of the fair and got to experience it with the Pettibon family. Patrick Pettibon is the Vice-President of Personality Insights, Inc., and is also the co-founder of Discovery Report. What a great time I had with Patrick, Christie, and their eleven children! I tried to be one of the adults, but I think I was more like one of the kids. We had so much fun!
We did a lot of good eating, too. I kept a list of all the things we had that day: candied apples, cotton candy, cinnamon rolls, hot tamales, nachos, chocolate fudge, a Greek salad, Diet Coke, fresh squeezed lemonade, Blue Bell ice cream in a waffle cone, a “blooming onion,” caramel apples, corn dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, snow cones, corn on the cob, and water. All of that in one day!
Throughout the day I observed Patrick and the way he communicated with his wife, Christie, and his eleven children. I was absolutely amazed at the gentle spirit he displayed towards all of them. Having known Patrick for many years, I know that it is not just at the Texas State Fair that he displays this kind of gentle, patient attitude. He does it all the time. I learn so much by just being around him and observing him in action. Dear God, please help me to be more like Patrick!
Demonstrating a gentle spirit towards someone first in any situation is really the best way to go. I realize that sometimes things can begin to unravel and get a little out of hand (especially with family members) and firmness may be needed. But the best approach is to start with a gentle spirit rather than with harshness, firmness, or anger. When we begin with gentleness, it sets the tone for trying to resolve issues in a way that is helpful and peaceful for everyone concerned.
When you have made a mistake, do you want to be attacked or would you prefer that someone approach you gently and try to first resolve the conflict in a mild-mannered way? I think the answer is obvious.
Other people feel appreciated and not attacked when you approach them with gentleness. It causes them to believe that you genuinely care about them as a person rather than just another task that you are trying to check off your to-do list.
Since spending time with Patrick, I have made it my personal focus to become gentler with everyone and especially those I deal with on a daily basis. I have already seen and felt the excellent results from taking this approach.
Isn’t it funny some of the things we forget in life? This Tip really is nothing more than common sense, yet it is sometimes so easy to be negative, sarcastic, or even unthoughtful toward our own family and people with whom we work every day.
Maybe it would be a good idea to get a 3 x 5 index card and write the title of this Tip on it. Recognizing the power of gentleness creates a different climate for you and everyone with whom you come in contact. This is one Tip you cannot afford to ignore. It will change the daily dynamics of your family, business, and personal relationships! I guarantee it!
Tip: Always be gentle with everyone first.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm