"Using or putting on the "velvet glove" suggests the use of gentle but effective persuasion. The glove is the depiction of the proverbial hand that indicates manipulation or active influence to a desired outcome; it being made of velvet encourages the perception of subtlety and deftness of such influence."
"The full definition is opposed to the threatening coercion connotated by the opposite but more well known term "iron fist". Hitler ran the Nazi machine with an iron fist, whereas leaders of today, in the interest of the press, handle almost all public matters with the velvet glove." http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=velvet glove