“God made some faces for long hair and some faces for short hair, and you have a short hair face.” Until about the 3rd grade, I totally believed this “scripture” that my mom shared with me. Let me fill you in -- my mom is one of the most wonderful people in the world. But she can’t do hair. I know for many of you this flaw may seem trivial, but as a young girl, it was kinda a big deal. I longed for braids and pigtails and buns. Instead, I was encouraged to get the “Dorothy Hamill” bob, bangs and all. In 3rd grade, I realized that my mom MAY have added her own twist to the whole “God made” idea and decided to let my hair grow long. Remember that I’m VERY old, so I lived in a time before every house and hotel room included a handheld blow dryer, and as my very thick hair grew past my shoulders, getting my hair to dry in a timely manner was nearly impossible. I washed my hair at night, so I’m pretty sure that my pillow never completely dried during my entire 3rd grade year. And that thick hair was a mess -- frizzy, a bit tangled, and because my mom could NOT do hair, lacking any braid or pigtail or bun! I finally realized that maybe my mom was right, and in 4th grade I cut off that long hair to make a Mrs. Brady shag cut. Fast forward to high school and college and to my friend, Janet. Janet could totally do hair - I mean she was (and probably still is) great at styling hair, and I was lucky enough to have her help me through dances, the prom, college events, and even my wedding. But alas - after marrying Scott and moving to Virginia, I had to do my own hair. And with no hair-fixing genes (thanks again, Mom!), I “styled” my hair by flipping my head over and blow-drying (finally I had one) from the bottom up. I had no round brushes or hair products or multiple nozzles for the dryer. I did use a curling iron but not all that effectively. And to this day, I am too frightened to use a flat iron - I can’t even imagine the damage I could do with a “weapon” like that. BUT - Jennifer, my present, very talented hair stylist, suggested that I try a blow dryer with an attached brush. What? I had never heard of such a thing! The hot air moves through the brush as you pull it through your hair. It styles and dries AT THE SAME TIME!! I finally can do hair (at least mine and really only in one style but still!?!?).
So again, how in the world does my hair story connect to good communication? Without the discovery (thanks again to Jennifer) of my new, fancy blow-dryer, I would still be struggling to do my hair. When is the last time you discovered a new tool to help you communicate more effectively? In this (and future) blogs, I’m going to share tools that I have discovered or that others have shared with me that might help you.
GroupMe - I really dislike group text messages. I know that I can change the settings to better manage the messages, but I always forget and get involved in a lengthy and (a bit) annoying texting experience. My son, Austin, shared with me the GroupMe app. This group messaging app lets you control when and where you want to use it. Austin has groups within groups within groups and says it’s super easy to use. I know that there are similar apps out there, so find one that you like to use. Group messages can be an easy and effective way to communicate, and using an app like GroupMe keeps you from clogging up your text messages with group stuff.
CamCard - I LOVE this app. CamCard lets you take a picture of a business card (front and back) and downloads, organizes, and syncs the information for you. Now my pile of unorganized business cards are right on my phone and easily assessed. Karen and I can even share business cards, so we only need one. Again, there are many apps performing the same functions, so see which one you like best.
Google Docs - What would we do without Google??? But have you tried using the Google products like Google Docs? Karen and I constantly share a document to edit and revise in real time. I love when Karen’s pink box shows up at the top and I can watch her take out all of my double spaces after a period (yeah - I’m old school on that one). We also send unfinished emails back and forth to help find the very best way to “sell” our trainings! You can share spreadsheets, slideshows, drawings and much more.Think about using Google Docs during a meeting to allow all participants to write on a notes page.
etc Strategies believes that you should work to discover new ways to communicate more effectively. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers to share the best app or program for communicating. Read articles and research for the newest ideas. Be open to trying new things. And if you need help styling your hair, definitely go buy that brush-blow-dryer! Now if I could only learn how to French braid my hair ...