How To Improve Written Communication Skills At Work (8 Tips To Follow)
In a world filled with technological advancements, humans have changed not only how they communicate but also how they write. Different approaches work for different audiences, some causal, some filled with industry jargon.
You may be wondering how to improve your written communication skills in the professional world. The majority of jobs require you to communicate in writing, whether through email, formal letters, notes, text messages, or online messaging. You can give direction effectively if you have good written communication skills. The purpose of this article is to provide you with tips on how to improve your written communication skills.
What Makes Written Communication Hard?
No matter what industry you’re in, written communication is a common issue with many common mistakes. Due to the lack of non-verbal cues, tone of voice, or the ability to clarify what you meant right away, business writing is especially difficult. In contrast to dialogue, a written word only conveys its literal meaning. Writing effectively requires you to consider whether your message is appropriate, has the right tone, and is delivered effectively. In addition, time constraints can sometimes make it difficult to produce quality written communication at work. We often send out emails in a rush and don’t read them over or rethink them. Even though it seems like a good idea at the time, this is not an effective writing technique.
Why Good Written Communication Is Important
Communication is key to making good business decisions. Regardless of whether the communication is internal or external, this is true. When coworkers understand each other’s ideas and processes for completing a project, it is easier for them to coordinate internal projects and share ideas. Morale often improves when employees know what to expect of each other.
Employees will have much better relationships with people outside the company when they communicate in an easy-to-understand manner. When both parties can communicate clearly, coordinating meetings, setting goals, and negotiating agreements become much easier.
How To Improve Written Communication Skills
1. Take constructive criticism as an opportunity to improve
When you receive constructive feedback about your writing, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer or a bad employee. Take it in stride and don’t take it personally! Whenever you receive constructive criticism or feedback, it is only intended to help you learn and grow as a professional.
Try implementing the feedback you receive to see if it can make a difference. Take the feedback as an opportunity to learn. Ultimately, this feedback will make your job easier and more enjoyable.
2. Seek assistance
If you feel that your writing could use some improvement, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Developing written communication skills takes time and effort, just like anything else you’re trying to improve.
You won’t be discouraged, you won’t be embarrassed, and you won’t be despairing because as you practice your reading and writing, written communication will become easier and more enjoyable for you. Your manager will be happy to provide you with guidance on improving your writing, just like he or she would with any other skill at work. If possible, have a colleague or a manager proofread your messages- especially the ones that are important.
3. Editing is key
It’s impossible to edit too much when it comes to writing effectively and communicating effectively. The first step is to create rough notes or bullet points, then take some time to organize them.
Edit your piece of writing for readability, tone, grammar, punctuality, and fluidity after you have written your message. It’s crucial to make sure that the message’s purpose is crystal clear. If you’re satisfied with the content of your communication, read through and edit it at least three or four more times. Once you’ve drafted your final draft, don’t forget to read it out loud to see how it sounds to others.
4. It is important to write and read regularly
To improve your writing skills, you simply need to read and write. It’s important to practice your writing and find ways to do this that resonate with you and feel good for you, as with any other skill you’d like to improve.
Taking notes at every meeting you attend, keeping a diary or agenda, reading for leisure, and reading blog posts or articles can all enrich your professional knowledge. With this practice, you’ll be able to write more easily.
5. Jot down your thoughts and ideas in a notebook
Keep a place where you can jot down any thoughts or ideas you have during your workday. Then, when it’s time to write something, you can go through your notes to see if you’ve written anything related to the message’s topic and purpose.
By adding context and background information to the message, it will add value. Being able to pull from your notes will improve your writing skills as well as your confidence.
6. Simplicity is key
Some people believe that writing with fancy words and poetic sentences makes their message seem more intelligent. Unfortunately, that’s not true. The use of jargon to disguise a simple message is really ineffective because it takes away from the key message you’re trying to convey.
It is also important to think about the purpose of the message before writing it in as few words as possible. You can keep your messages simple by beginning with bullet points or key points. Then, decide which points are absolutely necessary for your message to be successful and delete the rest.
7. Try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes
Consider your reader’s perspective when writing. Think about what background information they have on the topic, as they may need additional information to paint a complete picture.
In addition to putting yourself in the reader’s shoes, you should also consider the type of audience you are communicating with, in order to use the appropriate tone and formalities. By reading your writing and pretending that you are the reader, you will be able to edit your message in a way that makes it easier for the reader to understand.
8. Your message should have a purpose
To begin with, you should write your message with a purpose in mind. What is the message you are trying to convey? How can you communicate it most effectively? The key to answering these questions is to organize your thoughts beforehand and consider the audience that will receive your message.
It is important that the message’s purpose be clear and obvious. To create an appropriate introduction and conclusion to a message, start with its main goal or purpose, leaving the most important part in the center.
A Final Word of Advice
There are many ways to improve your written communication skills. To find out which best practices are most effective for you, try a few. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become and the more unique your writing style will become. Developing effective written communication takes time and effort, since it is a skill that is learned and developed over time. When you continue to write every day and apply some of these best practices, writing will not only become easier for you, but will also become more enjoyable.