The scene: Josey and his injured young rebel friend furtively approach a river crossing. There they meet three very interesting people – the boatman, Sim Carstairs, who ferries people across the river, Granny Hawkins, who provides supplies and “poultices” to travelers, and a fastidious carpetbagger, wearing a white suit, selling bottles of a cure-all elixir. It is these new characters, not Josey, that teach us a few interesting leadership and communication lessons.
Depending on your point of view, Sim is either a brilliant businessman or a snake in the grass. He tells a carpetbagger who is waiting to cross the river, “In my line of work you got to be able to whistle either the Battle Hymn of the Republic or Dixie with equal enthusiasm, depending upon present company.” Which would you think he is?
Lesson 6: Communication is Received Best When You Talk to People in THEIR Language.