Good writing should be everyone’s business

Many companies spend thousands on technical training or leadership skills, customer service, or conflict resolution. But how many invest in serious training to ensure that their written messages are conveyed clearly and concisely? Very often, good writing can make the difference between building or breaking relationships, making a sale or not, keeping a customer, or losing a customer.

Busy and overworked executives and managers often say they can’t afford the time to improve their writing. But in my opinion, you can’t afford not to take the time. If your organization is serious about investing in your future success, and that means the success of your workforce, you should encourage effective writing as a company-wide initiative.

So what is good writing? Let’s look at some key elements of effective business writing:

1. The new standard is Global Business English

It is very important to observe the subtle changes that we must make in our writing style to reflect our current business world. We need to consider the reader and produce easy-to-read messages. The focus should be on communicating with the heart, using a language that connects, a language very similar to spoken language. When you do this, you will learn to build trust and earn respect with every message you write.

2. Simple English is essential

Today’s readers don’t enjoy long sentences, big words, jargon, and abbreviations. They want to read messages that are simple and clear, written in plain English. When you write concise messages that the reader can understand, you are more likely to get the correct answer the first time, rather than engaging in a long series of ‘ding-dong’ emails.

3. Good planning leads to good writing

Good writers plan and structure their messages carefully. They know how to plan the message in a logical flow so that the reader gets the necessary information and knows exactly what is required. Some great formulas here can help ensure success in this planning process.

4. Looking good is important, also in writing!

Readers like attractive, readable and scannable documents so they can easily pinpoint key points. Good writers know how to make their posts look good. And when your message looks good, it will look good and you should get the answer right.

5. The good, the bad, and the ugly of email

With enormous pressure to respond quickly, the quality of written messages has declined. But what you write and how you write it will affect what people think of you, much like a handshake when you meet someone face to face. Well-written emails that look and sound professional will help people feel good about communicating with you.

6. Your tone counts too

It is important to consider how the reader will interpret your written words. Using the wrong tone will not only lead to misunderstandings and confusion. It can also offend and damage relationships. When you use the right tone, you will influence your readers, build relationships, create a positive impression, and get readers to take action.

If you want to differentiate yourself, make a great impression, get the job done successfully, and build a solid business, then good writing is as essential as having a great suit and a firm handshake. It is not a skill you were born with, but it is a skill you can cultivate. Now is the time to start!

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