Continued Conversation on the Recipe of Influence
As a teen, influence is at the core of how the next several years are shaped. Oddly enough teens are not typically easily reached by people with wisdom and authority. They are much more influenced by peers. The key to that influence is the frequency of interaction. When I was a teen my friends were around at school, at home, at their house; all of that meant a lot of time to listen to their opinions, be challenged by their criticism, and pressured by their tauntings.
I was fortunate enough to have several adult influences that frequented my life, took honest and genuine interest in me, and only occasionally challenged me with words and lecture instead of living their own lives as examples to me.
Frequency of interaction implies several messages. It says that people are important to us, and in particular those specific people with whom we spend that time. Having many people to spend time with and challenge is certainly a noble venture, but it also sends messages to those over whom we are hoping to gain influence: you are only one of many. Frequency implies that we limit our influence and share it with greater focus and concentration on just a few.
This does not mean that seed-planting (as discussed in a previous post) is not a worthwhile pursuit. What the principle of frequency implies is that we tend to have the most influence over those we invest the most in.
Development of genuine and authentic relationship is also more likely with more interaction. Conversations do not appear to be so urgent and they can be relaxed. Time can be investing in getting to know one another, sharing common hopes and fears, and actually learning from one another’s life experience. Just as Cornelius taught Peter a valuable lesson about who should be included in the Kingdom of God, so our interactions can also serve as a harvest of wisdom from those with whom we build our relationships.
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