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Want to Be Indispensable at Work? Improve Your Writing Skills
What follows is a condensed version of the article, “10 Reasons Why Business Writing Skills Are So Important,” by Michelle Brooks, in Business World.
There are three main ways of communication in business: verbal, non-verbal and written. All of them are essential. Yet, the latter leads the list as the basic one for most jobs. No matter what level you are at in a company, writing skills are a valuable asset. Whether you are connecting internally with colleagues and executives or externally to clients, the way you write can either give your career a boost or hamper your progress within the organization. Here are 10 benefits of good writing.
- Writing skills ensure effective business communication
Business correspondence helps a company connect with partners and stakeholders. Everything you write must be written in a proficient, comprehensive, and informative way. If a document is poorly written, the readers will have trouble deciphering it, and your message may be misinterpreted.
- Writing skills make the difference between “good” and “bad” employees
A document filled with grammatical errors will never make a favorable impression. Professionals should be skilled at composing clear messages. Employers value such workers, which is why hiring managers recruit these individuals.
- You demonstrate your intelligence
People tend to think that those who don’t write well are less intelligent than those who do. Don’t let anyone dismiss you because of your poor writing skills. A few minutes of proofreading can improve the way you are perceived. Flawless documents will present you as a smarter person than a colleague whose work is full of typos.
- Good writers are credible
People with advanced writing skills are perceived as more reliable and trustworthy. Good writers are considered to be more dependable and, thus, given more responsibility which leads to more promotions.
- You can be more influential
Good writers are persuasive, which will help you to influence others to achieve your goals. Every paper must communicate your ideas effectively.
- Business writing conveys courtesy
The content of formal business correspondence should reflect the same level of politeness shown in face-to-face interactions. A courteous business letter expresses the writer’s personal respect for the receiver and the company they work for. Good writers pay attention to the tone, clarity, and logic in everything they write, or they risk appearing lazy or even rude.
- Writing skills help to keep good records
Saving information on paper or in digital format is the best way of preserving it for years. The most accurate knowledge that has reached us from many centuries ago is from books.
- You boost your professional confidence
When a well written proposal or other document lands a new client or improves your company’s bottom line in other ways, you become more confident and look forward to writing the next proposal to repeat that success.
- You promote yourself and your career
If you are the best business communicator in your office, word will get around. The better your writing skills, the more indispensable you become, which is great for your future success.
- Business writing builds a solid web presence
Today, an online presence is essential to every business. The content of your company’s website, blog, and social media accounts is crucial. Good writers become irreplaceable employees if they can convince people to buy products or services online.
- The youngest pope, Benedict IX, was 12 years old.
- Tom Sawyer was the first novel ever written on a typewriter.
- The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.
- In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, “Goodnight, sleep tight.”
- In December 1935, Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii erupted. Authorities tried diverting the flow of lava away from the city of Hilo by: 1) digging a trench in the path of the lava, 2) dropping bombs on the lava, 3) making a barrier out of sugar cane and pineapples, or 4) using fire hoses to cool the leading edge of the lava so it would create its own barrier?
(Fun Facts Answer: Scroll to the bottom.)
Word of the Month
inexorable | in-EKS-erebull | adjective
• relentless; not to be persuaded, moved or stopped
“Keith’s pursuit of the Salesman of the Quarter award was inexorable.”
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SATisfy Your Curiosity
SAT Exam practice question: Fill in the blanks with the words that complete the meaning of the sentence.
I found that the writer’s ideas were sufficiently ___ to make me bear with his ___ language.
- intriguing … skill with
- interesting … abuses of
- humble … mastery of
- shallow … errors in
- misguided … style of
(SAT Answer: Scroll to the bottom.)
The phrase stiff upper lip is considered the quintessential British quality of resolution in the face of adversity. Surprisingly, it was imported to Britain from America. A stiff upper lip first appears in the newspaper the Massachusetts Spy on June 14, 1815: “I kept a stiff upper lip, and bought a license to sell my goods.” And it appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin: “’Well, good-by, Uncle Tom; keep a stiff upper lip,’ said George.” The earliest British citation in the Oxford English Dictionary isn’t until 1887, when it appears in the newspaper The Spectator.
Answer: The key words are sufficiently, which indicates the listener’s positive response to the writer’s ideas, and bear with, which convey the listener’s negative feelings toward the writer’s language. Only “interesting…abuses of” provides a corresponding positive-negative relationship.
Fun Facts Answer
Dropping bombs. (from a news article on forbes.com:) Volcanologist, Thomas Jagger, proposed an unusual plan to stop the lava: bomb the walls of the lava channels. By creating new openings in the channels, he thought it may be possible to redirect the lava onto another path, away from Hilo. On December 27, 1935, bombers dropped twenty 600-pound bombs, each containing 300 pounds of TNT. Five bombs landed in the lava flow, the rest missed and one bomb didn’t explode. The effects of the few bombs that hit the lava flow were not very convincing. The craters created by the explosions were quickly filled by molten rock, and the lava flow continued to advance. The lava flow stopped January 2, 1936, six days after the attack and most likely not thanks to the bombs, but by the weakening volcanic activity. Despite these unsatisfying results, bombs were dropped on Mauna Loa lava flows a second time during an eruption in 1942.