The Naughty Little Girl



Will Schutz 


Profound Simplicity

First Published



Behavior; Storytelling

A little girl was being admonished by her mother for throwing sand in a the face of a playmate. "Now you do over there and apologize," the mother demanded.

"No, I won't," the little girl replied. "I'm not sorry I did it. I don't like her."

The mother persisted louder. The daughter acquiesced . She sulked over to her victim and said, cursorily, "I'm sorry," then ran back.

"No, that's not good enough." declared her mother. "You go back and tell her you're sorry - as if you meant it."
I came across this little story in a book by Will Schutz called Profound Simplicity. The author points out the attempt of the mother to impose societies values on the little girl. "Lie" the little girl is told. "Not only lie, but lie in a way that people don't know you are lying."

What concerns me is that the mother thought she was doing "right" - teaching her daughter good manners - absolutely unaware that the underlying message was quite a different one. Her reaction was one that is probably typical of most parents - I could see myself doing the same sort of thing some years ago.

There is a generic lesson here. We all need to think hard about our "spontaneous" responses. Often our interventions - with all the best of intentions - in our personal and business lives don't improve matters but make things worse and we move on blindly "unaware" of the damage we have done.

What is Knowledge Management? - Roy Williams

Mini-clip interview for Gurteen Knowledge with Dr. Roy Williams. What is Knowledge Management? Shot at ECKM 2006 in Budapest in September 2006.

Media Information: Image

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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