After many interactions with young career persons, I strongly believe that most of us need to improve on our business communications skill. Writing skills form an important part of business communications, and it can help drive our careers upwards.
It is a necessary skill for those in managerial roles; but regardless of what level of hierarchy you are in an organization, writing is a valuable skill.
The essence of this communication process is for the writer (sender) and the reader (receiver) to gain a mutual understanding about the meaning of the message. It might be a report, proposal, memo or an e-mail. If it is not properly communicated, the reader may not react to the words as you intended.
Young career persons can become much more effective, successful and productive with their written communication if we can spend time thinking about the communication situation before beginning to write.
Most of us have not yet perfected the art of writing proposals, sending or replying e-mails professionally and preparing a report. This is not good for your career. Bad writing skills mean greater expenditure for an organization and no organization would want that. Your writing skill has a direct impact on your career and your future, so it is well worth the extra effort and the time you would spend on improving them.
For effective written communications, I will suggest a three-step process that involves thinking, drafting and revising.
It seems like some of us don’t think before we write. I have received a lot of e-mails from career persons and I can only vouch for a few. I have also read a lot of cover letters and proposals and I have come to a conclusion that, thinking is the first step a writer must take in order to communicate effectively. You must take time to think it through.
What message do you want to pass across? Who are you writing to? What is the best medium to transmit the message? Where would you gather information and facts from? What is the volume of the write-up? You must have an idea of what you want to do.
Before you start the writing proper, it wouldn’t be bad to prepare a draft of your write-up. At this point, you can decide the style and the structure. What will be where? How do I start? How do I end? What do I include? If you get your draft ready, then the whole write-up is almost ready. You don’t just jump unto your PC and start writing.
Some persons prefer to search the internet for proposal samples, report templates, samples of cover letters and memo. It is good, at least for a start. It gives you an idea of what they look like. However, I don’t totally subscribe to using that method, if your writing skill must improve. Don’t put yourself in a box. Allow your creative juice to work. The most important thing is to understand the purpose your write up is meant to serve. If you can understand what a memo is meant to achieve, what a proposal is meant to achieve, what a cover letter is meant to achieve, what a report is designed to achieve, you can create your own style and get the job done. Personally, I have not seen a proposal sample on the internet that can match the proposals I do. The same applies to reports.
Before you push the ‘send’ button, go through the mail, letter, or memo again. It is crucial. Put yourself in the shoes of the receiver (reader); what impression will the write-up make on you if it was sent to you? Check for grammatical errors and some typographical errors. Some of those errors have the capacity to change the message of your write-up. Watch out for them. Finally, ask yourself, is this the best I can do? Can I still improve on this? If you can, please do. Remember that excellence is the hallmark of all we do in the workplace.
You can greatly benefit from improving your writing skills. You could get some coaching, where you would be able to access your strengths and weaknesses and focus on improving them. I strongly believe you can write your way to the top.
Have a productive day!
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