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#AskKirubi : Please don’t xaxa me

Watch out young people, your grammar will cost you and most likely be the barrier between your business proposal, CV or meeting request being accepted. I am seriously concerned about the grammar young people choose to use. Here is a sample letter I have received:

“Dear Chris,

how r u? am looking for an appointment to meet u coz i hv a great biz idea. nimegraduate but sina job*. plz gimme 5min of ua tym. am lukin 4wrd to ua response. thx.

*I have graduated but do not have job.”

There’s everything wrong with such a message. Anyone in their right frame of mind will ignore it simply because the author has chosen to forego the formalities of business communication and instead use familiarity to express himself/herself.

Businessmen like me often come across numerous requests from young people. Unfortunately, most of them go unread simply because of the grammar used in the subject line or in the body of the email.

Your and you’re (you are), its and it’s (it is), am and I’m (I am) mean two different things. These are some of the few examples I have seen on emails sent to me. You have the resources needed (Google, Spell check) to correct your grammar but you fail to use them. This not only tells me that you are ignorant but are not willing to equip yourself with knowledge that will better your life.

My young friends, we (any sensible person) will continue to ignore you should you choose this mode of communication. I have no business wasting my time on those who do not wish to respect me or observe business ethics/etiquette.

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Why should I trust you with a role in my organization or with funds for your business yet you cannot be responsible enough to use good grammar when it matters the most. How will you handle your daily responsibilities if you cannot communicate effectively?

I am aware that social media has simplified our way of communicating but this should not be an excuse for you to use short forms or slang when seeking professional guidance or assistance. It is a crime to write a professional email using short form or any form of slang. When it’s business, let’s do business. Keep your personal life and actions away from business.

“Watch your actions for they become your habits…” ~ Lao Tzu.

Additionally, when you continuously execute a certain action or way of doing things, it becomes habitual. If you continuously write using short forms, more often than not you will realize that you have embraced this mode of writing. Thus, you are better off sticking to the usual grammar and the thought of being referred to as boring or old school so that your grammar is not affected.

Business aside, I still would not tolerate this mode of communication. It costs you nothing to write proper grammar so you may as well use it. Besides, it’s pleasing to the eye as opposed to the short forms.

Remember, we are not friends. It pays to be formal and courteous when you are seeking guidance or assistance from anyone. Do not conform to what you see. Be your own person because in the end, you will sit alone in the interview room or when meeting potential investors.

Do the right by yourself and those around you. If you want to be taken seriously then be serious, sincere and focused on everything you do.

Let’s talk business but most importantly, show me you mean business.

This article was written and published by Chris Kirubi, business mogul and Chairman of Capital Group.

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