By: Pastor Jamey VanGelder
Proverbs 25:15 “By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded, And a soft tongue breaks the bone.”
Leaders are not influenced easily. Leaders are convinced that their opinion is correct. By being confident in their position, it also gives confidence to their followers. This is what makes them a leader, because they believe they know the right way and are willing to help others to get there.
Many people are influenced by the latest news flash or pop cultural change. These things cause people’s opinions to shift back and forth. A seasoned leader becomes immune to such influences. They learn to ignore the latest trends as to keep the ship pointed in the right direction. If they were to give into popular trends and allow themselves to be tossed back and forth by opinion, then that leader would have a hard time making any headway. A strong leader is able to clearly lead people to a better tomorrow by staying on course.
So the question becomes, how do you influence a leader? They are not easily influenced to change, so this requires an intentional process.
The above Proverb says, “By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded…” This means you will need to be patient with the process of influencing someone in authority. Influence is brought through long-standing and a consistent points of view. It is your consistency that helps the leader to see things from your perspective. If you want to influence leaders, then you must develop a consistent and longstanding point of view, be fully convinced of it, and stay the course over the long haul. Those given to changing their perspective regularly will find it hard to influence people in authority.
The Proverb continues, “…a soft tongue breaks the bone.” This phrase depicts a person who does not force their own way. They choose to gently share from their point of view until the leader sees things differently. This process allows the leader to gain confidence thru understanding and eventually change their own position. It is gentle consistency that brings about the eventual change.