Whether you’re managing a team or running a business on your own, you need good written communication skills. Good communication not only improves team performance, but it’s also an essential part of building good relationships too. It’s vital when you can’t communicate primarily in a face-to-face situation – such as managing a remote team or communicating via email.
So if you think your written communication skills could do with a bit of improvement, here are ten tips that will help.
#1: Write for your intended audience
Know who you’re writing for and focus on just them. The more you narrow your focus, the better you’ll communicate. It will also help you know how complex or simple to make the piece.
#2: Write with focus and intention
Think about what you want to say and keep that in mind as you work on your written communication. Keep it on point and know your intention – understand what you want to happen and how you want the other person to react.
#3: Create a simple outline for all written communication
It always helps to start with a simple outline. This could be in the form of subheadings or bullets. Just plan out a rough outline, so you stay on topic and cover all the points you want to raise.
#4: Give yourself permission to write a rough first draft
Your written communication skills will improve immensely if you give yourself permission to write a rough first draft. It takes away the expectation that you need to get it perfect the first time.
#5: Keep it short
Attention spans and time are both valuable, so honour those things by keeping your written communication short and to the point. Remove unnecessary words and off-topic points.
#6: Avoid jargon and acronyms
Make all written communication easy to read and understand. When you just use jargon and acronyms, you run the risk of annoying the reader and looking like you’re trying too hard to appear professional and knowledgeable.
#7: Use a grammar app to improve your written communication
Apps like Grammarly are an excellent way to weed out any incorrect words, sentences and structural mishaps. It’s also a great way of improving your written communication skills, as you’ll start spotting those errors you consistently make!
#8: Read it out loud
This will help you check for things that don’t sound right whilst seeing how the piece comes across. If you trip over a sentence or struggle to get a breath in, change what you’ve written.
#9: Find a comfortable balance between professional and friendly
You want your written communication skills to be good, to create a good impression. But you need to find a balance between how professional and friendly you sound, as you want to build relationships with your audience, not alienate them. In part, this will be dictated by your profession. But it’s also down to your business branding and the tone you’d like to portray.
#10: Write and read more often
When you read and write more often, you’re learning valuable skills and tactics. You’re establishing what works and what appeals to you. But also, the more you write, the better you’ll get.
When you’re in a face-to-face environment, it can be easier to communicate with others. But when you rely on written communication, it can often be misunderstood, causing frustration and errors. That’s why good written communication skills are a must when you’re managing a remote team, especially if you’re looking for a business model that supports a freedom-lover lifestyle and want your team to handle things on your behalf.
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