Thursday, October 7, 2010

Take Action #19: GWI (Get With It) and Learn Text/IM Language

If you have been texting for a bit or have kids, you are probably familiar with the acronyms ASAP, TMI, LOL, BFF, BRB, B/C or GR8.  But how about BBL (be back later), WE (whatever), GAL (get a life), or HIH (hope it helps)?  If you need some help, as I do, go to this website to figure out how to get a clue with this new texting language.  PAW (parents are watching), PA (parent alert), PAL (parents are listening) are codes that parents might need to clue into. 
I gave a social media workshop a couple of weeks ago to some agents and one older gentleman said that one time he got a text and all that was on there was “K”.  He didn’t know what to do with that.  He also said that he was trained (as many of us over age 40) to use proper grammar when writing.  So the older Gen Y, Boomers and Veterans are spending 10 minutes to write out a text that is grammatically correct, as well as spelled correctly.  If we are going to be in business or communicate with the younger Gen Y, Gen X and Gen Z, I guess we should start learning how to use their language – seems crazy.
However…..I also think that the younger generations need to learn to communicate with “us” – especially if they want jobs J  For example, learning how to write a proper cover letter and send a professional e-mail would be helpful if they would like to be hired. Maybe that will be a future post.
HTH B/C even if U R OTL, OOO, or OTP, U don’t want to B OOT.   Perhaps, UNTCO, GWI and TA.
Translation: Hope this helps because even if you are out to lunch, out of the office, or on the phone, you don’t want to be out of touch.  Perhaps you need to chill out, get with it and Take Action (I added that one – like it?).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Take Action #18: Write an Encouraging Letter Today

In an earlier post I talked about sending hand-written notes and thank-you notes.  I would like to elaborate on that one and ask that your Take Action item be to write a letter of encouragement to someone you care about – you have no idea the long-term impact that it could have.
E-mails and Facebook messages are great, but they are rarely keepers.  A hand-written letter with your personal hand-writing style is unique.  My dad just passed away on Sept. 25th and 3 days before his death I got to read to him two letters that he wrote to me.  One was to me and my sisters when we were only 7, 4, and 1.  I also scanned the letter and sent it to my sisters so they would have a copy.  It was at a time when he was not with us at Christmas and he wrote about the true meaning of Christmas and what love was all about and wrote it just as if we were grown women – although we were so young.
The other letter was written to me when I was 18 and away at school for the first time.  He told me what made me special to him.  He listed all the qualities that he recognized in me and reassured me that I would be successful, find love and be a leader – not a follower.  One part of the letter that was powerful to me since I am divorced and recently ended another relationship was this: “Because you have esteem for yourself and a healthy love of self, you are not likely to have love forced on you because of lack of security.  You will wait and choose.  You will love everyone, yet reserve that “LOVE” for the right one.  This of course won’t guarantee you a life of bliss, but at least will put the odds in your favor.”  I saved this letter for 25 years.  I read it to my dad on Wednesday September 22nd and he said he didn’t remember writing it and said “I wrote that? with tears in his eyes.”  I wanted him to know how much he helped to define who I was as a woman.  Sometimes when we write, we release it/share it and it is out of our mind because we have made our peace. 
At my dad’s visitation service, a long-time guy friend of mine came to see me and pulled me aside and said, “Do you remember the letter you wrote to me after my brother died?”  I was a little worried because I didn’t remember writing it and I would have been 9 months pregnant and it was 20 years ago and wasn’t sure if I professed my love or what.  He laughed and said, “No, you just said some things that were powerful, heartfelt and basically said that we will be friends for a long-time and will go through many life events together like births and deaths.”    I was mainly shocked because I don’t remember writing that letter and it was interesting that he brought it up because he knew nothing about my dad’s letter to me. He saved that letter for 20 years because I guess it impacted him just as my dad’s letter did for me.
You have no idea how powerful your message can be to someone during a major life event.  If you have a child going off to college or a friend who needs to be encouraged or told how great they are, get out that pen and spiral notebook and write down your heart-felt message.  Who knows, you may be responsible for shaping the life of another human being AND they may be reading your letter at your funeral.  I read the letter my dad wrote at his service because I wanted those in attendance to know what kind of man he was.
Enjoy writing – don’t worry about spell check or having crappy handwriting – they will love it!