John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently saying only polite words and playing soft music.
Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. In desperation, John threw up his hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.
Fearing that he’d seriously injured the parrot, John quickly opened the door, and the parrot calmly stepped out onto John’s outstretched finger. He said, “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I’m sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior.”
John was stunned at the change in the bird’s attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, “May I ask what the turkey did?”
Without really realizing it, we may be more like the parrot than we know. I know for a fact, statically speaking, that most people spend far more of their time thinking negatively than positively. When negative thoughts fill our mind, our attitude might cause us to be rude in ways we would never be otherwise. If we become agitated enough we may become obnoxious and if a less than desirable language is a part of our vocabulary, then we might even use profanity; which is not part of our daily vocabulary.
Sometimes we might use words, phrases, terms, and jesters that may be perceived by your listener as rude, or possibly obnoxious. It is possible for people to use profanity without realizing what they have said. I have known two people who couldn’t carry on a conversation without every other word being a profane adjective. I really liked both of these men; so much so that I asked them not to use profanity in my presence. I don’t use it myself and I don’t appreciate people using it around me. I can tune out most profanity because I realize that not everyone is a Christian. But, when they curse God; using His name in vain, I just can’t handle it. In both these cases, both men apologized and said they didn’t realize what they had said. They also said they didn’t mean anything by it. One man got better but didn’t seem to respect me enough to change his vocabulary when around me. The other man was committed to change. He demonstrated his respect for me by honoring my request. FYI, this man had never attended church but because of my personal convictions, began asking questions and later became a Christian. He no longer uses profanity in any way; not even a slip up.
I became interested in public speaking when I was in high school. I entered a public speaking contest and won. Having the opportunity to advance to the next level, I realized I needed professional help to improve my skills. It was quickly pointed out to me that the word “Uh” was annoying and every time it was used in competition, points would be subtracted from my total credits. I didn’t realize I used the word so much until it was pointed out to me. I also didn’t realize that is was a poor choice of words to cover-up a memory lapse. Just like the parrot, someone, or something, had to get my attention before I could begin the changing process.
The parrot knew he was in serious trouble when John put him in the freezer. But, when he saw the frozen turkey, sudden reality appeared that he was doomed to be frozen. He became remorseful but maybe too late. The parrot was very thankful when John opened the freezer door, giving him a second chance. He promised John that he would change and he appeared to have changed. He was a very humble parrot.
Sales people, too often, do little things or say things that are in poor taste; they are annoying to a prospective customer. The consumer doesn’t honor you by telling you what you have said or done that was offensive to them. They just say nothing and you never hear from them again. At this point the sales person has a tendency to wonder what was wrong with the consumer. Why did they choose to use someone else? I didn’t do anything wrong. They must be weird or something.
Professional sales people, who strive to become the very best they can possibly be, understand the risk and they realize the importance of monitoring their every word and action. They know, in most cases, they have one chance to get it right. They are determined to maintain a positive attitude and demonstrate the humility of the parrot at all times.
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