Today’s blog is a very special gift from my partner (and bestie) Karen Kemp. Enjoy!
Texting - hands down one of the best inventions ever. I love to text! There are so many situations in which texting is way better than having a full blown conversation. “Do you need me to pick up anything on the way home?” “Nope, I’m good!” ”I’m running about 15 minutes late for our meeting.” “No problem, see you soon.” Having the option to text, especially when brevity is appropriate, is fantastic!
With all of the benefits texting affords us, there is a dark side (sorry, I had to include a Star Wars reference!). Have you ever sent a text to someone that was taken the wrong way? Herein lies the problem with texting. Lack of tone. It’s nothing a smiley emoji or exclamation point can’t remedy, right? I wish it was that simple. We all have a story about someone taking the meaning of a text or email wrong because of the lack of tone. This is a perfect example of why a phone call or face-to-face visit would be a better choice if the subject matter could be misconstrued!
So, here is my pitch for the spoken word. We all have a unique voice, and we should use it. Think of all of the benefits that are gained by actually speaking. First, it’s actually less time-consuming. There is less chance of a misunderstanding, and if there is a misunderstanding, it can be clarified right away. And you don’t need to wait around for the person to text you back (huge time-saver!). It’s a win-win! Second, I personally think it is friendlier and more relational to talk rather than text. Texts tend to be more task-based where speaking is more personal. Even if you are in a hurry, an extra few seconds of chit-chat can go a long way with the person you are working with. Third, don’t even get me started on auto-correct! Last but not least, and this is a biggie, you are giving your time and attention to the person you are working with showing that you truly value him or her. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving!
etc Strategies believes that there is a communication option for every situation, and you should always consider communicating face-to-face or on the phone, especially if tone can be misunderstood. But if you are texting, be sure and drop in an exclamation point or an emoji just to make things clear! 🙂
Every year when I take out my Christmas file (full of lists, of course!), I love going through the cherished “Dear Santa” letters that I have kept all this time. From the scribbles of the toddler to the very mature and sophisticated listing of the 4th grader, these first attempts at letter writing helped my sons to see the importance of written communication. After all, if you didn’t effectively communicate to Santa what you might want for Christmas, you might just get socks under the tree!! So my Christmas gift to you this week is to encourage you to share the Christmas spirit using written communication. Think of today’s ideas as easy, cheap, but very appreciated gifts to share with others.
Instead of a “Dear Santa” letter, write a “Dear Co-worker” email. Now is a perfect time to encourage or appreciate someone else, and it’s so easy. Think of a specific contribution or a time that the co-worker supported you or a successful collaborative effort. Or just note how much you enjoy working with that person. And make the email simple -- “I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for …”
Instead of a “Dear Co-worker” email, actually write a physical note. What?? You heard me … write a note. Months ago, I sent a handwritten note thanking one of Scott’s co-workers for the planning and preparation of a huge work-related social event. And even now, when she sees Scott, she still talks about the novelty of the handwritten note and how much she appreciates the thought. And trust me -- I think the note consisted of about 3 sentences! Again, make things simple -- “Thanks so much for …” or “I really appreciate …” And don’t worry about fancy paper or cards or even about mailing the note. Use printer paper or a sticky note. Hand deliver the note or place it on the desk or under the door of the co-worker.
One last idea -- Go ahead and write your own “Dear Santa” letter or email. Macy’s supports the Make a Wish organization by donating a $1 (up to $1 million) for every letter dropped off at the store and every email sent from their website. Make the letter/email writing an office project and get everyone involved, or get your children to send an actual handwritten letter to Santa and drop it off at the store. Go to https://www.macys.com/social/believe/ for more information.
etc Strategies believes that written communication is an important part of effective communication and such an easy way to encourage, support, and appreciate others. Take some time this holiday season to write to someone, even Santa. After all, do you really want socks this year??
How is your list-making and list-checking going? (See last week’s Christmas gift blog.) I’ve already started my gift list (I have lists for every Christmas since my first son was born 26 years ago!), my card list, my Christmas dinner list, my regular stuff-to-do list, my work list … you get the picture! And at the top of my gift list is today’s blog!
My gift today is about Facebook. I love using Facebook to reconnect with friends, share my life with family, and reach out to you to share communication strategies. And of course, during the Christmas season, I love seeing pictures and posts about celebrations and time spent with family and friends. So, I thought I might share with you some Facebook hacks - things that you may not know that can help make Facebook easier to use and help you more successfully (and safely) communicate with others.
Editing or Deleting a Post - Oops! I can get super excited when writing a post and press enter before I proofread. But no worries! After you post, note the three dots in the upper right corner. If you click on the dots, a drop-down screen will allow you to edit your post or even delete it. And if you don’t catch the error right away, you can edit or delete older posts as well. So the next time your “your” should be “you’re” just click on the dots and correct it.
Security and Log-in - In our scary hacking world today, Facebook offers a two-step verification that every member should set up. Under Security and Login, go to Setting Up Extra Security and complete the set-up. Take the time to complete this easy step to protect your account.
Relive Your Facebook Past - Do you ever want to see the posts you have liked over the years? Or maybe your comments? If you click on the View Activity Log on your page, you can see your Facebook history. Note that you can filter for Posts, Posts You’re Tagged In, Photos and Videos, and much more. Go back and see your previous posts … and edit and correct them if needed!
As you share, comment, and post on Facebook this holiday season, remember to make your account safer by setting up two-step verification, take time to edit or delete your posts, and look back to see all the FB fun over the years! etc Strategies believes that Facebook is a great way to connect and communicate. And it’s the perfect place to share our blogs with you! Now back to my shopping and card-writing and wrapping and ...