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Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life, with a foreword by Martha Mendoza by Geoffrey Tumlin

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6PLAY DUMB

DON’T PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY

Most of us are familiar with the image of the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys with their hands covering their eyes, ears, and mouths. The image, called the three wise monkeys, can be traced to a seventeenth-century carving at the Toshogu shrine in Japan. The maxim probably existed much earlier, as a similar sentiment was included in a second-century collection of Confucian aphorisms: “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.”1

The durability of the maxim attests to its timeless wisdom. Seeing, hearing, and saying (or typing) no evil—what we call

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