Friday, September 27, 2013

Writing in the Workplace

 Written Communication Can Make or Break Ya!

After some contemplation I have begun to realize just how important communication is in the workplace. When it comes to the workplace, everything that is done is communicated.  Whether it is a policy change, roll out of new software, or healthcare information.  There is an audience that needs to understand and be motivated or influenced by the message you are attempting to convey. 
And let’s be completely honest, your creditability is judge on the manner in which you communicate. For example, if I send out communication that is either not clear, concise, and/or has grammatical issues, people will not take my communications seriously.  On the other hand, when I  send out a communication that is well crafted and effectively targets your audience, then you are more likely to achieve the desired outcome of that communication.
Anytime I go to roll out a new process or modifications to an existing process, that information needs to be communicated to employees. Furthermore, in my communications I always need to be a couple of steps ahead of my employees thinking. Meaning I need to think of any questions that employees may have that are not already answered in my existing communication; then make modifications to that communication accordingly.
Now, here is the kicker… We no longer teach effective written communication. It seems that more and more people are not capable of drafting a communication that will help them get their desired results. This can be due to a number of factors: emails, texting, twitter, ect; but gone are the days of written letters and memos.  Here are the days of brief emails and text messaging. We “short hand” a lot of our communications in the workplace, losing elements of communication that are essential.   Too few people truly know how to write.  This is one of the prime reasons that I write the blog, this blog is my place to not only voice my opinion of the world according to Tiffany; but it is also a great form for me to practice writing. Yes, I said it, to become a good writer it requires a high level of dedication and conscious effort to improve. 
So I am going to be completely transparent with you… I did not know how to effectively communicate until I was in graduate school.  Yes this is true, I was a terrible writer, (I am still not too sure how I even did as well as an undergraduate as I did) and it is still something that I must maintain high amounts of focus.  But, I had people around me smart enough to know that this was a skill I definitely needed.  After a number of courses and some tough love (…thanks to my husband), I started to see my writing improve. However, what really helped me was that use of a detailed outline for thought and structure organization. 
Bottom line: focus on your writing, re-read all emails, draft communications and edit for content, grammar, ect, and get other peoples input on your communications before it is broadcast widely.  And yes, I know many organizations have “communicators” or people whose sole job is dedicated to effective communication, however, everyone should be capable of doing this at a decedent level on their own. I truly believe that people who are capable of effective written communication will see fortune in the future. (The basis of written communication are becoming entirely too rare…)

Be a part of a team. Lead with integrity. Remain committed to your core values.


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