Rolling Out

Nancy J. Lewis pens a professional guide on communicating with millennials

Nancy Lewis (Courtesy)
Nancy Lewis (Courtesy)

Making the Leap: From Texting to Talking is a practical career guide for business professionals penned by Nancy J. Lewis and Gavin J. Lane.

“I am convinced that as you read this book, you will appreciate the wisdom that will serve as a guide for better relationships in all areas of your life,” shares Lewis. “Leveraging the power of different communication tools is key to building strong relationships. Texting is great, but talking is still essential.”

Lewis is the president of Progressive Techniques Inc. with 25 years of training experience. She is constantly sought after to speak on the topic including generational diversity, leadership, customer service and professional development.

Read what Lewis has to say about millennials, Generations X and Y and baby boomers.

Why did you write this book?
Because I was doing so much training on this topic and having the day-to-day experiences with this group, I felt compelled to share my insights.

What’s the story behind the title?
Certainly, millennials take texting to another level and many that I was engaging with were struggling to have a conversation. I always preface, we are not saying all millennials struggle with this, but there are many who do. Social skills are still in and leveraging our tools is essential in the world of today. Now other generations are texting a lot also, but they learned how to socially engage before the digital divide.

What do you hope readers will glean from reading your book?
That through understanding and learning about our differences, we can learn to leverage them to make the workplace better. Boomers will gain insight on how to lead them more effectively and millennials will gain insight on the value of experience and business etiquette. Your idea may be great but can’t be implemented next week … so just hold on and learn how to wait just a little while longer.

How long did it take you to write this book?
Off and on I was doing pieces of it for two years. There were times it was on the shelf because of more pressing demands.

What was your regimen to complete this book?
To provide a book that would be easy to read that would provide insights that would help relationships be better in the workplace.

How did you arrive at this career choice? Was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution?
I was doing a lot of training in the diversity and inclusion area as the workplace began to become multi-generational; so evolved the career choice.

What separates you from others in your field? What is unique to the experience that you create?
I am a baby boomer who spends a lot of time with this generation and have a keen sense of how they are wired. I bring my years of experience in doing workshops and talking to groups on this topic that lends itself to practical and real time talk.

For those considering entering this arena, what skill sets do you recommend mastering? What traits are most conducive to success?
Being spiritually grounded in my faith, being intentional, being open minded, having a teachable spirit, honesty, good communication skills, positive attitude and willingness to help others.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
Reading, staying curious, spending time with people smarter than me researching articles and seeing how it applies to real life.

Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about what you do? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
Sometimes there are misconceptions, but I strive to autograph everything I do in excellence and make sure God is pleased with what I do. I constantly seek ways to grow and get better; not resting on the successes of the past.

How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I either write them down or tell them to friends who will hold me accountable. I consistently review my goals to see how I am doing.

Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.
Zig Ziglar and my mother who have transitioned to heaven now.

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
The Bible and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. An experience early in my career when I worked in healthcare as a medical technologist impacted my life. I went into a patient’s room and impatiently wanted the patient to hold out his arm so I could draw blood. He quietly and politely said, ‘I would if I could but he had no movement in his arm.’ That taught me not to take life and the things we do on a daily basis for granted. It humbled me and I never forgot it. When people want to complain about how bad things are, I encourage them to stroll down an ICU or CCU in any hospital and get a reality check. It will make them count their blessings.

Why do you consider continued learning important?
Learning is important, but you have to apply what you learn to make a difference and see changes in your life.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. With men things are impossible but with God all things are possible. I am confident, and competent and walking in abundant overflow in every area of my life in Jesus’ name. I walk in favor and blessings every day. Just to name a few.

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
I use technology for ministry, marketing and motivation. So I am on LinkedIn, FB and Twitter on a regular basis.

Please define your personal brand.
My personal brand is transforming people to be the best they can be by tapping into the gifts inside of them so they walk in the greatness they were destined to. I am an encourager and inspirational person that looks at life as an exclamation point and not a period. My brand is equipped, educate and elevate others through inspiring keynotes, innovative workshops and one-on-one executive and business coaching. I am known for my candor and honesty.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
Maui, Hawaii … mountains and water and peace.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
People would learn how to love others with a sincere heart; not saying it but letting it show in their actions day to day.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I don’t know at this time.

What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
Martin Luther King Jr. I believe reached an iconic state. He lived his life so that others could live theirs to a higher degree with greater opportunities and open doors.

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