It’s What You Say and How You Say It
An ancient king once dreamed that all his teeth had fallen out. He was naturally concerned about his dream, so the next morning sent for a soothsayer to interpret his dream. The soothsayer listened to the king’s dream, thought for a moment, and then said, “Your Highness, the dream means that all your relatives will die and you will be left alone.”
The king was furious at the soothsayer’s interpretation and demanded the soothsayer leave the palace at once.
Then the king called for a second soothsayer. This soothsayer listened to the king’s dream, thought for a moment, and said, “Rejoice, O King! The dream means that you will live many more years. In fact, you will outlive all your relatives! Long live the king!”
This interpretation so pleased the king that he gave the interpreter a large portion of gold.
Essentially, the two soothsayers made the same prediction. But there was a big difference in HOW they delivered the message. As a result, there was a big difference in how the message was received. The moral of the story is very clear: It’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that counts!