There was once a woman who lived in a little village. She was the town gossip, constantly talking about her neighbors, friends, and even family. She secretly enjoyed the chaos she created.
One day, after fewer and fewer people would speak to her, the woman had an epiphany. She realized she had been hurting the people around her, and knew she must change her whole life. She visited one of the village elders, a spiritual leader, and asked, “What must I do to make things right with everyone?”
The elder replied, “There are two parts to your atonement. First, take this entire bag of chicken feathers and place a single feather on every doorstep in the village. When you’re done, come back to see me and I will tell you what you must do next.”
The next morning, as the sun was starting to crack over the horizon, the woman began her task of placing a feather on each doorstep. When she finished, the bag was empty and she returned to the elder.
“Now I want you to take this empty bag, and go retrieve each and every feather. Don’t miss a single one. Get all of them,” said the elder.
“But that will be impossible,” replied the woman, “I am sure the wind has blown many of them away, and I will never be able to find them all.”
To which the elder replied, “Yes, exactly. And the same can be said for your words as well. You can never recapture them once you have released them into the wild. Just like these feathers, you can never get those words back.”
So how does this apply in a business setting?
One of the more toxic things a person can do in a team, organization, or entire market is talk trash about others on the team. Words are little flying carpets upon which karma itself can ride… since we reap from the universe what we send out into the wild.
If the words you’re sending out are negative and toxic, you can expect to reap nothing but the same – which can be very costly in a business or team setting.
And even in a life setting.