At the very end of the movie Forrest Gump, there is a brief exchange between Forrest and his son Little Forrest. As Little Forrest prepares to board the school bus, Forrest pulls his favorite book, Curious George, from his son’s backpack, and the iconic white feather falls from between the book’s pages onto the ground.
The exchange is brief, simple, and sweet, and yet a powerful lesson in how we interact with others.
Immediately after the exchange, we see Forrest sitting alone on the tree stump while the wind lifts the feather into the sky. The breeze carries it away as the theme music crescendos and the movie’s closing credits roll.
Do you remember that exchange between Forrest and Little Forrest?
As Little Forrest walks towards the bus, Forrest says, “Hey, Forrest. Don’t … I wanted to tell you I love you.”
Little Forrest replies, “I love you too, Daddy.”
That’s it! Three seconds of dialogue. So, what is the lesson?
Forrest was smart enough to catch himself about to say, “Don’t do this, or …. Don’t do that.” Maybe he would have said, “Don’t forget to bring your homework home,” or, “Don’t forget to eat all of your lunch,” or, “Don’t take a ride home from a stranger.”
We don’t know what Forrest was going to say. And ultimately it doesn’t make any difference. The main point is, he didn’t say it. He simply said, “I love you.”
When the place kicker runs out on the field with only seconds left in the game to attempt the winning field goal, does the coach admonish, “Don’t hook the ball to the left” … or does he simply say, “You can do it!”
When you send an assignment to your colleague, do you threaten, “Don’t screw it up” … or do you simply say, “I trust you are going to do a fantastic job”.
What method do you believe is more effective … lecturing or loving?
Is your communication style one of constant lecturing? Or is your communication style one of encouraging, trusting, and ultimately love?
Next Blog Title: Are you Coachable
Next Blog Date: January 17, 2011