Most of us don’t give it much thought, but clear communication is a limited resource—and time is money! A concise, well-written email can save all parties involved considerable time and effort instead of sending out multiple emails with more questions or incorrect information.
Find out the power of business writing here.
What Is Business Writing?
Business writing is anything you write to be read and understood by a person who has a stake in the matter. This could be any of the following:
- The employee who will implement your ideas
- A customer or client
- An investor with whom you must communicate your vision for success
- Employees at all levels
- Someone outside your organization that will hear about it through word-of-mouth
Business writing is essential because other people need to understand what you have written and because it creates opportunities for you professionally. It shows thoughtful communication skills, which are highly admired in today’s workplace environment.
And since we’re living in the business world 24/7 these days—via email on our smartphones while we’re in a meeting, on our computers at home—the right business writing will help you be successful in your job. In fact, in a survey, over 70 percent of employers would hire candidates with strong written communication skills.
Why Proper Communication Matters in Business
Too often, we are quick to attach a document in an email without first explaining the context and why someone needs the information. This could result in numerous follow-up emails that waste everyone’s time and energy.
To further illustrate the power of good communication, look into the Challenger space shuttle disaster. The investigation revealed that the accident’s original cause was poor communication between NASA’s managers and engineers.
Many engineers had objected to launching because they believed that there were potentially fatal design flaws in those shuttles. However, instead of supporting their concerns, NASA’s upper management ignored these objections from its employees, further harming relationships with them as well as severely damaging relationships with its customers.
As we all know now, the explosion killed seven astronauts who died in one 10-second period when re-entry began.
The Disconnect Between English Speaking and Writing
Undoubtedly, excellent communication skills weigh a lot in the workplace, especially since no one works alone here. Being able to write well helps convey the right ideas and even promotes better working relationships.
But why is there such a disconnect between business writing and English composition? Why don’t more people know how to write well?
It seems that most people can speak clearly, but when asked to write, they struggle and their natural-speaking abilities seem to disappear.
Many reasons can help explain why so many people have trouble writing clearly outside the classroom, but two of the most pressing ones are that people don’t take enough time to plan what they say. They’ve also been conditioned to believe that clear writing is boring.
Some students believe, “All I write is for school, so if it’s not grammar or vocabulary driven, then it’s not English at all” or “Clear communication has no value because we already know what we’re trying to say.”
But this can be harmful: you’ll lose a competitive edge in your job search and miss opportunities while working with clients who need you to communicate effectively about their products and services. Not only that, but the lack of good communication skills will hurt your chances of getting promoted or landing a new job in the first place.
Two Things That Can Help You Improve Business Writing
Fortunately, you can remedy what you perceive to be a lack of effective communication skills. You can begin with these two ideas:
1. Get Help
The easiest way to solve your worries is to get help. Companies like ESL Tutoring Services teach you how to speak English well and assist you on how to use this language correctly in different settings, including in the workplace.
Some areas that they can cover include:
- Writing strategies that will work for you, regardless of your background
- How to write clearly and concisely for any audience
- Critiquing and getting critique from others on your writing to improve over time
2. Stop Categorizing Writing as a School Thing
To be clear, you don’t always have to write like an English teacher. In fact, your readers will be more impressed by the way you clearly communicate if you can integrate some business-related writing skills into your style.
Your elevator speech, business letters, power emails, and summaries are all examples of different kinds of business writing that show who you are and how well you can organize your thoughts to convey them clearly to others. Hence, acknowledging different types of communication styles is essential for improving one’s personal written communication skills.
When you can get past this self-limiting belief, you will be more open to practicing your skills and getting professional help when you think it’s necessary.
Many people get by just fine without writing well, but the truth is that great business writing can make a huge difference. Not only does it help you communicate your thoughts clearly and concisely to others, but it also helps you clarify what you’re thinking for yourself. It also opens plenty of doors for better opportunities, which makes mastering it essential.