As I’m brainstorming to prepare to present a coaching session on better business writing to the administrative staff of a local institution, I’m thinking about some of the common challenges that all of us face when communicating via the written word.
Whether you’re a business owner, marketing manager, CEO or administrative assistant, your communications to the outside world – and internally within your organization – should be as accurate and error-free as possible. Why? Oh, just those small considerations of demonstrating professionalism, building confidence in your capabilities, and projecting that you care.
Hey, we all make mistakes! But you can avoid some fatal writing errors if you keep in mind – and persevere over – the things that can be both your best friends and worst enemies when crafting business communications.
The more you take when writing and proofreading what you wrote, the fewer spelling and grammatical errors you’ll make. The less you take when writing and proofreading what you wrote, the more likely it is that you’ll miss little mistakes that can make you look like a grade school dropout. Like it or not. It works that way.
Multitasking isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When you write emails, letters, or anything else, give them your full attention when you’re tending to them. Our brains, even the best and brightest of them, can’t do everything all at the same time. If you focus on the writing task at hand, you’ll make fewer errors.
This could be a tough one, but with the right frame of mind you can make it work for you. Your level of interest in what you’re writing will dictate the attention to detail you give it. Communicating isn’t always exciting or glamorous. It can be extraordinarily mundane. But try to frame specific writing tasks as part of a bigger picture – one that has the potential to strengthen relationships and make inroads to greater things. If you see purpose in what you’re writing, you’ll view it as less of a chore and be more naturally inclined to do it right.
Those three factors can either make or break the technical effectiveness of your business communications. They can even make an impact on the tone of what you write (perhaps the topic for a later post!). So, whenever possible, give your writing tasks and projects adequate time, uninterrupted focus and enthusiasm, so you can produce communications that will put your best foot forward and make a professional impression.
Time, focus or interest…which presents the biggest challenge to you when trying to communicate flawlessly?
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