“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their integrity.”
-General George S. Patton, Jr
General George S. Patton, Jr was regarded as one of the most successful United States field commanders of any war. He served during World War II helping lead the United States and the Allied Powers to victory. In today’s quote George S. Patton encourages us to never tell people how to do things but rather what to do and let their integrity do the rest. No one likes to be told how to do something because it makes them feel like they have no control over their own lives. It makes them feel inferior which can also stifle a person’s self confidence. We need to give them the benefit of the doubt and allow them to figure how they should best do things because it is their life after all.
If we tell others how to do things they will never learn to think for themselves and will not take the proactive approach necessary to make a better life for themselves. Further more if we always give them our perspective on how we think they should handle certain situations they will never gain the independence necessary to make decisions on their own and they will always look for someone else to guide them instead of relying on themselves. By telling them how to do things we come across as being in control of the relationship we have with them instead of making things more of the friendship or partnership. We should be more so like a Jiminy Cricket like in the story of Pinnochio where we serve more as their conscience providing them with advice on what to do while still giving them complete autonomy of how to do it. We want the advice we are giving them to help further develop their integrity because it is those moral principles that will serve as that guide to making the best decision as to how to make a better life for themselves.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your relationship skills?