We were setting up the classic “jumping bridal party” photo and I said, “When I count to three, everyone jump. “Wait,” someone said. “Do we actually jump on three, or is it one-two-three and then we jump, like on four?”
“Jump on three,” I decided. As they moved into position I offhandedly said, “Three shall be the number thou shall count…” and almost everyone laughed. (; skip to the 1:30 mark.)
Business Communication with recognizable quotes can be extremely effective.
One, they’re like a verbal shorthand that explains in one or two sentences what normally takes much longer. Two, an appropriate reference can instantly create common ground with others, like when you mention the at an over-attended and under-catered event.
And if nothing else, muttering a line under your breath can be a great way to let off a little steam or gain a little perspective when you’re frustrated or upset.
Last week we looked at how they can improve your leadership skills. Here are more quotes you can use in a variety of professional situations courtesy of those seminal business thinkers, the Pythons:
“What have the Romans ever done for us?”
Big customers make demands. They like special treatment. Many demand special treatment.
And you sometimes get tired of it.
Of course you shouldn’t… especially if those customers generate the bulk of your revenue.
“Then you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest… with… a herring!”
But that doesn’t mean you still can’t make jokes about customer demands — especially the unreasonable ones.
“If she weighs the same as a duck… she’s made of wood… (and therefore) a witch!”
Data is great. Reason is essential. Objective thinking is critical to business success. But occasionally a blizzard of facts and figures can lead to conclusions that are anything but reasonable.
The next time you hear a proposal that seems more sorcery than sense, maybe it’s… “a witch!” (2:45)
“This parrot is no more.”
The equipment you purchased doesn’t work. The product you purchased is defective. The delivery was late.
But when you talk to the vendor, your complaint falls on deaf ears.
You can’t control your suppliers, but you can control yourself and your employees, so instead of wasting time getting defensive focus on correcting the problem… which may mean your supplier should be, at least where your business is concerned, “an ex-supplier.” (2:20)
“I feel happy!”
Running any business is tough. Setbacks are inevitable. Bad often goes to worse.
Optimism, even irrational optimism, can be your best asset.
After all, no one wants to go on the cart. (1:15)
“Throw him to the floor.”
For all the times you wish you could take stronger disciplinary action but can’t.
“We lease it back from the company we sold it to and that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.”
I sincerely apologize to any financial wizard who is offended by the implications of the scene depicted.
Okay, not really. (3:00)
(By the way: Love the 2:10 mark when the expecting mother asks the obstetrician, “What do I do?” and he says, “Nothing, dear. You’re not qualified.”)
“A tiger… in Africa?”
Often the obvious answer, no matter how simple and therefore unlikely, really is the right answer. (1:40)
“I always wanted to be… a lumberjack!”
Yes you did. And now you are.
While your profession can be incredibly difficult, it beats the alternative, because hopefully you didn’t choose your profession.
Hopefully, your profession chose you.
Feel free to share your own!