“Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the older men, who had attended his father King Solomon while he was yet alive, saying. ‘How do you advise me to answer these people?’ They answered him. ‘If you will be kind to these people today, please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.’”
Once again, this is based almost word for word on 1 Kings, chapter 12. Instead of being a servant to the Israelites, here they say that he should be kind to them and please them. Like in 1 Kings, a kind word would make them your servants. The old men gave King Rehoboam the advice to go easy on the Israelites.