A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. She saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. She dropped in some coins but wanted to do something more for him. Without asking permission, she took the sign and rewrote it, returning the sign to the blind man before going on her way.
That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins.
The blind man recognized the footsteps and asked if it was she who had rewritten his sign. Overwhelmed by the support he had received that day, he wanted to know what had been written on his sign.
The publicist responded: “Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently.” She smiled and went on her way.
The new sign read: “Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.”
Sometimes we need to change our strategy and realize the power of words. If we always do what we’ve done, we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten. When we take the time to put ourselves in the intended receiver’s shoes for a moment we might just alter our message. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it. As a leader, recognize the power of words. And remember too that words are difficult to take back once you have uttered them.