Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Never say the Parrot is dead!

Akbar was a noble mughal king who ruled India in 12th
century. It is said that he had a very intelligent, witty and smart
advisor called Birbal in his court. Once a traveller from a distant
land who had a talking parrot visited Akbar's court. The parrot
charmed Akbar and he fell in love with parrot. He appointed skilled
caretakers for the parrot. To ensure they are serious about the job
and understand the importance of the parrot he said, "whoever tells
me the parrot is dead, will get his head chopped off". It worked
like magic and all caretakers worked round the clock to take care
of the parrot. But they could not avoid the inevitable. One day the
parrot died and caretakers did not have anyone else but Birbal to
go to. As always, Birbal had a trick. When Akbar asked about the
parrot next time. They said, "he has been behaving quite
differently. He neither eats, nor drinks anything. He has his eyes
closed and does not move much." Surprised Akbar walked up to the
cage and exclaimed, "oh! Parrot is dead. Why didn't you tell me
that way". "Everyone wanted their head to be saved", exclaimed
Birbal. Like Akbar, every boss has a parrot. A pet idea, a new
project they are in love with. However irrational it may sound they
don't want to hear any bad news about it. In many Asian cultures
saying a direct "No" to any request is considered rude and it is
outright unacceptable.

Describing the facts for the boss to conclude that the parrot is dead,
rather than announcing the parrot is dead, can save a lot of things,
a head for instance.

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