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Embracing CHANGE
March 2009
In This Issue
Embracing CHANGE
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March 2
WOW Reception

March 3
Business Writing Basics 3

March 3
WOW Luncheon

March 4
State of the County

March 5
WOW Breakfast

March 5
InnoTech Conference

March 12
Email Etiquette

April 10
Business Writing - full day

April 14
Cherish Your Customers 1

April 30
Presenting without Panicking
I love this time of year in South Texas.  While friends and family are digging out from under the snow, I'm enjoying the sun and the moderate weather. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?
Embracing CHANGE
change "Blessed is the generation in which the old listen to the young; and doubly blessed is the generation in which the young listen to the old."
- Anonymous

Last month, I explained how important communication is to organizations that are dealing with change. Communication can be especially difficult when your workforce includes four different generations. Traditionalists (those born prior to 1945) make up a small percentage of the workforce (about 3 %) in the workforce, but they often fill senior positions. Baby boomers make up between 35 - 40% of the workforce and we show no signs of leaving. (Baby boomers were redefining retirement even before the economic situation reduced people's ability to retire.) The Gen X group accounts for the largest group now, but the Millenials (born from 1980 on) are entering at a rapid pace and will eclipse the others quickly.
Generational Differences
I recently had the opportunity to represent my generation on a panel at an event hosted by the San Antonio Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. I sat between a Gen X-er and two Millenials.
We discovered that although there may be big differences in styles, the channels of communication were not as different as we might have imagined. The technology is universal. There may be some Traditionalists who are tech-averse, but you'll find fewer Baby Boomers who are.
Shaping Our Viewpoints
I heard a speech by Clint Swindall years ago about Gen X and how different their attitudes about work and family were, largely because of what they witnessed in the generations ahead of them. There is, in the younger groups a lesser focus on loyalty to employers and a stronger focus on work-life balance for good reason. When I was growing up, top CEOs made 40 times what the average employee made. Contrast that with the current pay scales at most corporations. We were each also shaped by the major events during the times we were growing up. Where the Kennedy assassination changed my world, September 11, 2001 changed the view of the younger groups to an extent I cannot begin to imagine.
Age Doesn't Change the Basics
What I took away from the generational panel was a realization that there are some aspects that hold true no matter what your age. We all want to be listened to. Most of us would like to be asked, rather than told. Collaborative efforts achieve so much more than the top-down management style of the last generation. Change is difficult, but it becomes much harder when there is no input from the employees. Respect, in the form of listening, is key, no matter the age of your audience.
Talk about bridging the gap in communication! The two Millenials are now my friends on Facebook. (smile)
Visit the Snorting Pug Music Shoppe
grunting pig My friend, Denise Gregoire, has been collecting records for ages.  Now she's sharing those vinyl albums (remember those?) and CDs at Craftiques Mall, 6751 Bandera Road, 210-523-0232.
Denise specializes in music from the 1930s-1960s a specialty and includes country, pop, rock and roll, Spanish/Tex Mex, jazz, big band and classical Denise also has some beautiful one-of-a-kind  gift items, including jewelry.
If you are looking for specific items as gifts or to complete your collection, you can email Denise at or visit her store at Cratiques. You can also visit her website. Please tell her I sent you.
blue puzzle Barbara Robinson from Air-Stream Air-Conditioning and Heating knew that the oldest building in San Antonio is San Fernando Cathedral. The cornerstone and some of the original walls are still standing.  Barbara won a $25 gift certificate to Nicavid's.

For March, what part of the human body is highlighted with its own week starting March 16th?   The first person with the correct answer will win a $25 gift certificate at Nicavid's. By the way, Nicavid's does amazing birthday cakes in case you know anyone who is celebrating this month. 
Crystallizations Training
Email Etiquette - March 12
This month, join me for Email Etiquette. Learn the standards that can brand you as a professional when you use your email in business. Discover how to spot a phony virus or urban legend message. Get your email requests answered. Learn what works to dress up your message and when it isn't a good idea to send anything but plain text. This session is $30 per person and group discounts are available. Join us on Thursday, March 12, at 10 AM.

Business Writing - April 10
Brush up on the basics of business writing - good grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.  Learn how to create effective letters, memos and email.  Discover tips for editing and proofreading and why you can't count on spell-check to save you.  Details are available here.
Session fee is $120 (lunch and refreshments included). You will leave with a wealth of information to improve your writing, and handouts that you can refer to when you encounter problems after the class. Bonuses and discounts are available for early payment or multiple participants from the same company.

All sessions are held at The Greater San Antonio Chamber's Small Business Resource Center, 1100 NW Loop 410 Ste 109, San Antonio, TX 78213 in the H.E.B. Federal Credit Union building, near the corner of Blanco Road and N.W. Loop 410. Call 210-863-2250 or email me at to reserve your space.
Embrace change in 2009!


Crystal Darby
Crystal Communications