Don’t Be Silly…

Many years ago, when my daughter was very young, I was dropping her off at school one rainy spring morning. The rain was only falling lightly but my daughter was dressed up from head to toe in her favorite yellow rain hat and cape with a pair of orange, almost knee-high, rubber rain boots. As she walked down the sidewalk from the car to the school door I thought she looked a little like a duck. In fact, I noticed, she was even walking like a duck, with feet turning slightly outward. Then I noticed why!
“Sweetheart,” I yelled after her, “you’ve got your boots on the wrong feet!
My little girl stopped short, right where she was, and looked down at her feet for a long, silent, minute. Then she looked up and back at me and, as only a six year old can do, she put her father immediately in his place.
“Don’t be silly, Daddy,” she chided, “of course these are my feet!”
It is a cute story and I have always remember it. But there is a message there I never expected. Can we say, “out of the mouths of babes”? Indeed, when I first got into the marketing field the story came to mind as I realized that it isn’t always what you say to someone that is important, it is what the other person hears!
We may, in fact, say exactly what we mean, carefully crafted, professionally delivered, but the recipient may not get the meaning we intended. As we build our businesses and market our products and services to others, as we reach out asking for help, as we offer help to others, we must be precise in what we say and then we still must examine the immediate impact and result of what we have said to ensure that the message we thought we delivered is, in fact, the message that was actually received.
So, remember, “Don’t be silly…” Get the right message out and be sure it is correctly received.

6 Responses to Don’t Be Silly…

  1. Cindy Murphy October 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Great story about your daughter, kids say the cutest things and the stay in our memory, that’s for sure.

    Conveying a message is so important, not only in our business but throughout our lives in various paths that we take. Thanks for the remind of how important it is in our business too.

    Cindy Murphy recently posted..Day 6 – 10 Common Objections to Hiring a Virtual AssistantMy Profile

  2. Cassandra J. Henry October 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Your words are very appropriate to my current situation. I find myself called to remember the saying I learned in the 7th grade — “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize what you heard is not really what I meant.” We cannot always expect the other person to do the work in hearing accurately. When delivering a service or product, we must go above and beyond to make sure we’ve SAID it as accurately as possible, in the least convoluted way, and even then we can’t be sure! Feedback is the best medicine for this issue. So I’m giving you a little 🙂 I hear ya!! Also, I’ve nominated you for a couple awards, since I love reading your blog so very much. Check out the details here:
    Cassandra J. Henry recently posted..What are you thankful for?My Profile

    • Steve October 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      You learn well, Grasshopper.

  3. Bonnie October 9, 2012 at 2:30 am #


    What a cute story and a profound lesson! Thank you so much for sharing it.

    It’s true in business as it is in life – tell people what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then follow up to make sure they understood what you told them. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    – Bonnie xo
    Bonnie recently posted..The Importance of ReflectionMy Profile

  4. cassie October 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    I love this story. I have two girls who have voiced their share of cute kid-isms…and I love how you tie in this quote to a lesson.

    I also wanted to let you know I included your post in my top 5 favorite posts for this week (for the Ultimate Blog Challenge)…it’s here if you want to see!
    cassie recently posted..UBC favorites list (week 2)My Profile

    • Steve October 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Thanks so much, Cassie, for your comments and for inclusion in your Top 5 Favorite Posts for this week. Both are sincerely appreciated. -Steve/wiz.

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