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Your Company Is Only As Good As Its Written Messages
This article is part of a 3-article-series. Please also take a look at these other two great articles:
The typical executive today spends approximately 20-25 percent of their time writing. Yet, very often, business writing is one of the last skills that people feel it’s important to work on. But look around your workplace – do your leaders write effectively? Do people tend to listen to good writers? Are good writers able to persuade or convince effectively?
Interestingly, many great leaders consider communication to be an essential competence in the workplace. So what about businesses in general?
Should effective business writing be a company-wide initiative?
Let’s look at some facts here:
- More and more of our work today is undertaken through writing rather than in person or on the phone.
- We depend on our writing skills to influence, persuade, encourage, collaborate, to lead.
- Very often, the entire workflow depends on our writing skills.
- The practice of good writing can mean the difference between business or no business, action or no action, collaboration or conflict, relationship-building or relationship-busting.
Check out this video in which we look at some of the common mistakes made in business writing today. The one I’m discussing here is ‘Please find enclosed herewith’.
Good business writing is not easy
One reason why good writing is not easy is because there are lots of considerations:
- You have to think about your reader, about style and tone, about the words to use, about sentence construction, plus there’s the issue of grammar and punctuation.
- Your business writing is closely linked with company identity. You must consider what your company stands for and where it’s going – what’s the “voice” your company wants your clients to hear, and how does your company want to be perceived by the public at large?
These considerations are not simple to determine, but they cannot be ignored. Conversations about these things are crucial to the organisation’s success, not just the individual’s.
Why not get conversations like this going in your organisation? Why not get a team together to see how you can improve the communication and writing skills in your workplace? It’s important to get people on the same page about this, and you have to start somewhere.
To help you, I’ve put together a checklist of reasons why your business writing style may not be working as effectively as it should.
This checklist also contains my top 10 strategies for improving the business writing style throughout your organisation.
If your organisation is serious about success, it’s essential to encourage effective business writing throughout your workplace.
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© 2013 Shirley Taylor.
Shirley Taylor is a recognised leading authority on business writing and communication skills. For almost 30 years she has presented keynotes and training programmes that help people and organisations boost communication skills and develop great relationships both orally and in writing. Shirley is bestselling author of 12 books, including Model Business Letters, Emails and Other Business Documents, which has sold half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into many languages. If you would like Shirley to speak at your next event, visit www.shirleytaylor.com.
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