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More Than a Person–a Guest

Always on the lookout for positive language, I was rewarded this week at one of the Starbucks stores in the San Diego Convention Center.

Waiting in line, I heard one of the counter staff (known as "partners") ask, "May I help the next guest?"

Not the next person, not the next in line–the next guest. I felt welcome.

Syntax Training

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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.

4 comments on “More Than a Person–a Guest”

  • I love this option of inquiry. Thank you for sharing.

    If you’re on the lookout for positive language, I welcome you to see the gift in negative language as well. There is always a “positive” waiting to happen.

    As I train-the-trainers on how to go “complaint-free,” I am a supporter of stating needs versus complaining. Although, I do see the complaint as a wonderful thing, as well.

    I appreciate learning about suggestions for positive talk and welcome you to share anytime.

    Jessie Upp

  • Hi, Jessie. I would benefit from an example of “seeing the gift in negative language.” Would you share one please?

  • Surely. Thank you for your interest, Lynn.

    Often we communicate what we don’t want. It’s programmed in our brains to do so. Regardless if it starts out as negativity, a NEED is embedded in it.

    “I don’t like her!”…can be translated to:
    “I want her to listen to me when I talk.”

    I wrote an article here on this topic:

    Please accept this as an invitation to teach your circles of INFLUENCE how to take responsibility for obtaining what they DO want! If you’re interested in receiving a tool to do so, I have an online video I produced and share with those of influence.

    Say hi anytime.


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