Managers report nearly 80% of decision-making takes place in writing
What are the implications for those in leadership roles?
Companies spend millions of dollars grooming current and future leaders for success. They offer all sorts of training and team building in costly off-sites. Then what happens? The leaders go back to their desks where they suddenly must translate all the great stuff they learned about leadership into writing. And they can’t.
What do readers want from a leader who writes to them?
At the most basic level, readers want to know two things:
1. What is this message about?
2. What am I supposed to do?
After the basics, readers want a message wrapped in clear language and a positive, encouraging tone.
Are you in a leadership role? Use these guidelines from our Writing for Leaders™ course
Using a simple focusing exercise at the beginning of any communication, even a brief e-mail, can set you apart as a leader who can communicate. Go back and review your last several important e-mail messages to your team, and ask yourself the questions below. Did you
- think “action”: clarify what you want the reader to do and include a deadline?
- put your key point first (“bottom line on top”) most of the time?
- make your e-mail subject line specific and informative using verbs, not just nouns? Include deadlines?
- keep language simple: control word and sentence length for greater readability?
- use headlines to make your document’s organization stand out and help the reader get your message?
How did you do?
It will take a while to internalize these guidelines, but you will see the difference immediately when you send out a message that answers “yes” to all of the above questions!Better Communications empowers companies to make written communications a competitive asset–clear writing for a complex world! Check out our monthly online and in-person Open Seminars.