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Consider It Done

This week I had the luxury of staying at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas, where I led a workshop on business writing for a new client. The hotel is huge, grand, and luxurious.

I called the front desk for the simple reason of scheduling a wakeup call. When she picked up the phone, the Gaylord Texan employee said her name, a couple of other words, and this phrase–before I had said anything:

Consider it done.

I wished I had wanted more than a wakeup call because the words "Consider it done" conjured up an image of having all my needs met. But regardless of my fantasies of living in ease and luxury, the phrase "Consider it done" communicated one thing loud and clear: "We are here to meet your needs."

Although this situation on the telephone had nothing to do with business writing, it had everything to do with the power of language. "Consider it done" has forever positively colored my impression of the Gaylord Texan. I want to have the same effect on my readers: I want to write and act in ways that give them a positive, memorable impression of me as a writer and teacher.

I have a little note next to the telephone in my office. It says "The answer is yes." The reason for that note is that sometimes, when a potential client calls, I hem and haw (stumble when I speak) about whether I can meet their request–for example, for a 90-minute class in Los Angeles for warehouse managers who do not know how to write performance appraisals. I want to say "Hmmm–I’m not sure." But I need to say "The answer is yes"–and then figure out how to deliver what the client wants with integrity, style, and good humor.

The answer is yes. Consider it done. These crisp, concise sentences say everything about wanting and expecting to deliver an excellent experience for the client.

Both phrases also reflect the power of positive thinking. If I consider a project done (successfully), I can think about how I got (will get) to that place using my good sense and creativity.

Do you want to communicate more effectively? If the answer is yes, just consider it done. Then think about the steps you will take to reach your goal.

Lynn

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

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