We all know what NOT to say in front of kids – but we forget they hear the things adults say differently than adults mean sometimes.
Years ago I did training sessions for a group of Tupperware salespeople in my home. Most of the dealers were female and Tupperware Parties were held at night, making it a good way for moms to make some extra money; they were very popular and a way of socializing.
A lot of the training was motivational. We used the pat business and training lingo, and terms of the day. Things like Time Management, the do’s and don’t of Closing a Sale, and some Important Tips to Being a Good Salesperson, KIS (kiss) Keep it Simple, etc.
I touched on personality and relationships with the customers. One of the things we talked about was selling yourself as a salesperson, and not only the product. The most successful were the people that formed good relationships with the customers, who then referred them to other customers.
Kids of course heard a lot of what we were saying, without us adults realizing it. In school, the kids were asked to tell what their parents did…many different answers; fireman, doctor, mom is a shopper, dad drives to work, I Don’t Know was a big one, (not many were too descriptive, because these kids were maybe 8 years old). One answered, My Mom goes out at night and sells herself! You can imagine what the teacher thought, and the note sent home.
Of course, once explained that the kid had overheard a motivational sales talk, it was funny – but not when teacher first heard it. Luckily, most of the kids did not get what was so shocking or funny.
I used this in later years to also illustrate to salespeople in any product or service line, that WHAT we say is not always HEARD the same way we mean it. So Watch How You Say Things…applies to life and business alike. Life is funny!
This funny story has a moral – or least a few lessons to be learned – or maybe will just get a smile. Never assume, look before you leap, don’t believe everything you hear, get all the facts, some things are not as they appear, test the waters first…and on and on. So many lessons learned from 1 little jump.
Years ago we were invited to visit some friends who lived on a hilltop, on a wooded lot. They told me they had a built in pool, with a cover, with a heater – so bring my bathing suit. Got there, it was a cool late summer night in NY, cooler than the previous days had been, so outside temperature was probably under 70, maybe more like 60 degrees; I commented that the pool must be cold, even in summer being surrounded by and covered by so many trees. They said, no it’s heated – so I put on my bathing suit and jumped in!
I came up yelling – OMG, I thought you had a heater. It’s freezing! They said – and here it is – Yep, we do have a heater, BUT IT’s NOT ON!
Moral – make sure you get all the info before making decisions. This can be applied to life in general and business. You should always learn from your mistakes – this was a cold slap in the face (and whole body) reminder! But it left a lasting impression and I learned a lesson from it. I now try to ask questions, and/or listen to others, gather the facts to make sure I have all the info before I do things, or form an opinion.
We all laughed about it. It kind of became the joke whenever we were about to try something new. We’d warn each with “it’s not on!”
And, yes, we did stay friends with them!
Have a happy weekend.