Written communication at workplace: Simple ideas, worth revisiting

These are simple insights that can enable you work on your written communication in a business scenario or otherwise. You may be already aware of these, but then you invariably miss out on these.

Who is the recipient?

Emails have become an essential component of written communication at workplace, as well as a well used marketing medium. When you write an email or a letter, please check the recipient’s name at least once before sending. Also check the spelling of the recipient’s name. Yesterday, I received an email from this lady who had connected with me on LinkedIn a few days back. It was a meeting request and started with – “Hi Kishan”. On numerous occasions, I have received bulk emails addressing me as “Dear FirstName, LastName”. These emails come across as funny, irritating and mostly worth being ignored. Let me admit, even we have made the First Name, Last Name mess up on bulk emails and trust me – it’s bad, embarrassing, and reflects negatively on the business. Once in a while, you can forgive the bulk mails as a technical glitch, but on one-on-one emails, it reflects poorly on the senders part.

Presentability of written communication – Good formatting

Are you someone who churns out ugly looking documents? If so, please learn some basics of formatting, typography, word processor usage, etc. There is something called alignment – left, right, justified and then there are things called uppercase, lowercase, spacing, heading and bullet points. You will find these in your word processor (Ms Word or similar software). How you use fonts is also important.

To get your document read– you don’t need to write every text in uppercase, and you don’t need to mix 15 different fonts to create a good looking document. Also, when you copy and paste from somewhere else, please remember that some formatting code, etc., also sticks along the text. Please see that the copy-pasted part integrates well into your document by getting rid of formatting code. Read – Taming unruly formatting in your Word documents.

Essentials for effective written communication – Spelling. Grammar. Sentence construction.

This email (screen grab below) was sent to our sales desk by some executive from a leading corporate.

Seriously! Are they serious about the business? If the sender is a newly appointed executive, was the manager sleeping while this email was being sent? Why can’t they train their employees to write well in the first place? Oh Crap! This is the executive who will take the first shot at evaluating our trainers profile or our proposal.

Sentence construction is a funny thing. We all mess up at some point of time, and we all need to improve. It is a fact that we normally skip the proof reading part. I find it weird, reading some of my old documents and articles and landing up on some absurd grammar, spelling or sentence construction mess up.

It’s always good to get someone to help you with proof reading your written communication – documents. If you don’t have anyone around to help with proof reading, give some gap between writing and proof reading your document. Next time you create a report, write an article, or an email – do proof read.

If you represent a business, please understand that the kind of communication you or your team releases to partners, vendors, customers, etc. reflects on the image of your business.

Image Credit : Hand & keyboard image – sourced from web. For credit / attribution or a take down request please write to me. Note: Also published on LinkedIn (Praveen Mishra)

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