There’s a verse in the Bible that I’ve tried to live by for the last seven years:

“Let your gentleness be known to all men.”

Gentleness. It’s the first word my girlfriend uses to describe me. But as a kid, I was never gentle. I was very angry, sometimes even a little violent (as violent as a ten-year-old can be, anyway). Everyone and everything around me made me mad, and I didn’t bother hiding it.

I grew up feeling like I had to win every argument and fight. I thought I had to fight for myself whatever the cost. My weapons were sarcasm and a loud voice. If we’re honest, becoming an adult doesn’t fix any of that.

But try living by that verse for a while. When I first read it, all the conflict and stress became a little more black and white. I understood why I had a hard time leading and keeping peaceful friendships.

So I memorized it and thought about it every day for months. I stopped talking as much, stopped insisting on being right, and stopped expressing anger.

I can honestly say, that may have been the biggest turning point in my life. I don’t live in stress and conflict anymore. I don’t drive people away.

“Let your gentleness be known to all men.”

I still refocus on that verse regularly, still live by it. And I can tell you from my own experience: For the sake of your own peace and the peace of your relationships, gentleness is one of the most valuable characteristics you can create in yourself.

2 Salespeople

In every sale there are at least two parties doing the selling.

The “sales” professional pitches the product. He lists its benefits, excuses its weaknesses, and pushes the customer to buy.

But he doesn’t ultimately “sell” the product. Sure he helps, but he doesn’t change the customer’s mind, and he doesn’t make the customer’s decision.

The second salesperson is the customer. And he’s the one who decides the sale and closes the deal.

The customer has different ultimate concerns than the salesperson: The customer thinks, “Is this product good for me?” while the salesperson thinks “How much money can I make selling this product?”

An effective sales professional puts himself in his customer’s shoes so that he can get inside his customer’s head. He asks himself not, “Why do I think he should buy this?” but, “Why would he think he should buy this?”

Because your customer will never care why you think he should buy your product.