By Sunny Simon

     Don’t you love it when you have all the right moves? Yep, so do I, but let’s get serious for a moment.  Let’s take it farther than just having the right answers. What’s needed is the right approach.  You know what I mean. Do you really think your 13 year old son is listening  as you stomp around and use your outdoor voice while chastising him for not cleaning his room? Heck no. He’s tuning you out and sending a message back loud and clear as he scowls and rolls his eyes. You see, he can’t hear you when you are too loud.

     But I’m not here to give parenting advice. Our subject involves behavior modification. Yours and mine. Someone once said, “Not every single way of saying the right thing is right.”  But if we could get the approach right every single time, we’d get what we need.

Getting your son to clean his room, or convincing anyone to do what you want, may not be easy. It involves the art of gentle persuasion. Cracking the code on how to get your way and create a winning situation calls for some strategic techniques and lots of practice.


     We can all begin by controlling the level of our of emotions. When using a calm approach, we stand a much better chance of getting attention which, of course, proceeds getting agreement. What your mom probably said repeatedly, “You can catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar,” holds true. Reaching out with a pleasant approach frames yours influence.

     If you told your son he acts like he lives in a pig sty, you’re probably doing it wrong. (Thus the persistent eye rolls). We all need to feel good about who we are. Change up your approach. No shaming or embarrassing others.

     To master the win, practice editing your speech. Do a dry run in your head before opening your mouth. How does it sound? Would you agree to keep a neat environment, or accept a work assignment if someone used that rhetoric? Remember also to consider body language. Your sugar sweet words won’t be respected if you are frowning poised with your hands on your hips. Be authentic by slapping a smile on your face and in your voice.

     One last thought. The word please never goes out of style. Two words we that take the sting out of an unwelcome task are “please and thank-you.”

      Remember, you’re in control. You get to choose the “right” approach. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at