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Have You Ever Considered What Your Slash Says About You?

August 21 2019

business cardDo you have a good "/" or a bad "/"?

The slash (/) has many different names, like stroke, slant and right-leaning stroke, to name a few. Many of us define it as a substitute for the words "and," "or." For example, "his/her" is an appropriate use of the slash to mean "or." Looking on LinkedIn, I see slashes used a lot, like "Residential/Commercial" or "REALTOR®/Associate Broker," which I think is very good for explaining that you are working in the same field, just in a slightly different position.

One of the most famous slashes in all of sports was Kordell Stewart with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a Quarterback/Wide Receiver/Running Back and became known simply as "Slash". For Kordell, having all those slashes enabled him to have a 11-year career in the NFL.

First, let's discuss good slashes.

Many of us have divisions in our career—I looked at my LinkedIn account and would need five slashes to list everything I am currently doing. All five of my areas are closely related and work well together and actually strengthen the different areas I list. A speaker needs research on a subject, which can lead to writing and can lead to training. Listing the same task done with different organizations can offer credibility—but again, like Kordell Stewart, it's all in the same basic vertical of expertise.

Now let's look at bad slashes.

When looking for a professional to provide you a product or service, you need to see if they have a slash. Would you go to a doctor/Uber driver? Lawyer/lawn care? Funeral director/exotic dancer? As you can see, the slash can help you or hurt you and cause people to doubt your commitment to the primary product or service you are offering.

During the housing crunch of 2008, I saw many REALTORS® adding a slash to help them through rough times. I sure hope they have since removed the slash. I see new agents concerned about leaving a current position to take on a new challenge in real estate adding the slash. The public sees the slashes, and I am sure they consider the slash when selecting a person to help them with their needs.

So, I ask again: do you have a good / or a bad /?

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at