Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Gift of Words

This week I received a letter from S, a former boss to whom I wrote one of my very first letters in THE LETTER JAR project. I had written to S that my experience working for her was a model for how I want to behave as a supervisor.

"... You conveyed to me, without really even saying anything, a sense that you believed in me and trusted me. I can't begin to tell you how powerful that was--I may not have always had all the answers (and was willing to admit when I didn't) but you can be sure I was willing to work very, very hard for you ... There have been times when I have been tempted to start micromanaging but I remind myself that a little more trust may just yield better results. And it does--my employee rises to the occasion whenever I place my trust in her. So thank you for being a good mentor in that regard. (I'm sure my employee would thank you too)."

In a lovely letter to me, S replied that reading my letter was a "like a flashback" to the 4th floor of the building where we worked--the good times, the not-so-good times and members of her team she still misses.

"I can't adequately express how special your words of 'what I meant' to you. We often go through our stages of life and not know how we may have influenced those who we have touched. Thank you so much for the gift of your words!"

Thank you, S, for summing in yet another way what this project is all about. We do indeed get caught up--inevitably and necessarily--in the stages of our lives, but it's worth the time to let people know how they have influenced and touched you. In work as in play, it's not about where or how do it, or the money we make or spend doing it--it's about the lives we touch and are touched by.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: S, along with several others from whom I have received letters, have thanked me for taking the time to hand write a letter but have also asked for an e-mail address in order to communicate more frequently and easily share photos. Indeed, I should send along some pics with one of my half dozen or so e-mail accounts--my small contribution to the 2.9 billion worldwide!


Laura said...

Wow Lynn. This is such an inspiring project. In fact I think I'll contact a music teacher I had when I was in high school. Thanks!

Love, Mom

Jen said...

You've inspired me too - can you believe I wrote a thank you note to my doctor after last Friday's appointment?