Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Dancing Cow

Michal and Kental started arguing as to which of them wrote the better music.

"My music is better," Michal said.
"My melodies bring tears to the eyes of all women."

"No, my music is better," Kental disagreed.
"My scores are more enchanting than anything! Your music couldn't move a cow, my poor Michal."

"And what do you think? That your scores would make it dance?"

The dispute was in full swing when a peasant passed by, leading his cow back home from the field. The two musicians saw an opportunity to put their theories to the test.

"Hello there," they said. "Would you mind if we played something for your cow?"
"Well, if it gives you pleasure, why not? She's seen a lot worse in her day, I can tell you."

Michal warmed his hands, tuned his balalaika and played the most beautiful melody ever heard by a cow. But without result - the beast ruminated without moving an ear. Vexed, Michal passed the instrument to his compatriot, who played a lively score with the same result - no reaction from the cow.

"It's a lost cause," Michal cried.
"Your cow does not have a musical ear."

"Well, I don't know about that," the peasant replied. "If you would lend me your instrument for a moment, I could play something for her."

Intrigued, Michal and Kental handed over the balalaika. The peasant did his best to imitate the humming of the flies and the mooing of little cows. The cow lifted her ears, started whipping her tail from side to side, and walked closer to the peasant as if to hear the music better.

If you have trouble communicating with people, it may be that, like Michal and Kental, you are not playing the music they are used to hearing.

Don't try to flatter your listeners, but speak with words that they understand. Don't try to impose your meaning by using words and sentences that are too complex. As Robert Shapiro Said, "Because we think that we have to persuade, we forget how to listen."

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