Excellent writing skills are key to a successful business career. From emailing with a client to proposing a new plan to your boss, writing is important and it can make or break your career. Fortunately for those that don’t feel very confident in their written communication skills, business experts say there are plenty of steps you can take to better your skills. Natalie Canavor has written several books on the topic, such as Business Writing Today and Business Writing in the Digital Age. She writes that poor communication can affect any age of professional. However, younger workers seem to have the most trouble. It is a problem that is plaguing the younger generations as they find themselves immersed in a social media culture. Canavor writes that while older workers seem to value the crucial skill of business communication, young people seem to lack one important thing. Fortunately, Canavor says there are plenty of ways to improve communication.
“Empathy. I find younger people have a lot of trouble learning to look through somebody else’s eyes. Older people have an advantage in that. We’re more apt to learn there are other viewpoints,” writes Canavor. “With the interpersonal skills you’ve already honed, it’s perfectly possible to improve your writing in your 50s or 60s. Skilling up’ is for people of any age. It’s a matter of learning by doing.”
First off all, confidence plays a huge role in being an effective communicator. Having confidence in yourself shows other people that they can put their trust into you. If you don’t think you are worthy or able to do the job, why would other people think you are? The same goes for written communication. Some say they write very slowly and it takes them a long time to create a properly written piece. Get yourself comfortable with your skills. Forbes suggests that the first step to bettering your skills is identifying where you are least confident. Online tools, like Grammarly, can check any document for errors. It will not only point out mistakes, but explain issues with punctuation and sentence structure and suggest new vocabulary words.
Maybe you are confident when it comes to grammar and punctuation, but find yourself having trouble organizing your thoughts. The problem with much of the business correspondence is the fact that the writer seems to ramble or use a lot of unnecessary “fluff.” To combat this problem, Canavor suggests taking successful business documents and comparing them to your own. This is a great way to find out what mistakes you are making and how to correct them.
Another way to help to organize your thoughts is to work on finding your voice. Some business professionals have said that starting a blog or creating some casual outlet to write has helped them learn to organize their thoughts and ideas better.
“Trying to find your voice is really important,” Canavor says. “[A blog] really helps you hone your style.”
Of course, there are those people who struggle in every aspect of writing. Some business professionals say that their fear of writing is the way others would feel about public speaking. If you have no idea on where to start to better your writing, Canavor suggests finding some comprehensive help in the form of an online class, college course or tutor. Finding a solution that is best for you is as easy as checking with your local college or university. Most colleges have writing centers that can offer one-on-one help or informations on other classes or resources.
Another method that is becoming more popular is online professional writing services. In the past, these services were criticized for allowing customers to pay for written work, but these services can actually offer legitimate help. Through a reputable writing service, customers can pay for a professional writer to create a custom essay, letter or any sort of document. This service can do more than write a paper. The finished product can serve as a perfect model of how your specific business document should look.
Improving your writing skills will not only help your career, but also your reputation as a business professional. Avoiding unclear and confusing communication will bring you a sense of confidence and help you achieve clarity in all that you do. From email messages and in-office memos to press releases and business plans, there are ways to make sure your writing is polished, professional and effective for any purpose.