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4 tips for better written communication

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

When you’re drafting an email, memo or other written communication at the office, there are key elements to consider as you work to clearly and accurately communicate your message. You need to be able to write in a way that correctly expresses your intention, and that is engaging, respectful and easy for your reader to understand.

To help you do that, communications specialist, writer and editor Corinne LaBossiere of CGL Com­­mu­­ni­­ca­­tions offers four tips for successful business writing:

  1. What’s the point? Make sure to communicate exactly why you are writing it, what you expect to come from it, and what effect it will create. So, if you’re writing to update staff members on a new regulation, inform them that you are doing so, and explain how the update will or will not affect them.
  2. Consider the recipient. Think about to whom you’re writing and how they may interpret it. Then, tailor your content and tone to them personally. Try visualizing the recipient while you’re writing.
  3. Honor the reader’s feelings. Keep your recipient’s sensibilities in mind by addressing the questions and concerns that the information you’re sharing may bring up. Avoid using harsh terms and tones and stick to neutral words that feel conversational, not controversial.
  4. Go easy with email. Not all topics should be addressed in writing. The written word can easily be misinterpreted and distorted, so if you are delivering bad news or discussing a sensitive topic, be respectful by offering the option to discuss it over the phone or in person.

— Adapted from “Business Writing Tips to Get Results,” Corinne LaBossiere, The Globe and Mail.

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