7 Ways to Slow Down Life…and How That Helps Your Writing at Work

7 Ways to Slow Down Life…and How That Helps Your Writing at Work

(Pssst: Scroll down for an adorable picture of my horse and puppy!) I had an epiphany while hauling a horse to a clinic the other day: I realized it’s not helpful to tell people to slow down to be better writers. Why not? Because I can’t expect people to slow down just one single part of their lives without looking at the bigger picture of a whole life lived in a hurry. I can’t expect people to slow down just one single part of their lives without looking at the bigger picture of a whole life lived in a hurry. We’re doing everything...
When Writing at Work, Communicate Faster by Changing One Word

When Writing at Work, Communicate Faster by Changing One Word

(Originally published April 2017) Can changing just one word of your message get that message across faster when writing at work? I think so. Here’s why… I used to drive a stretch of freeway with a most annoying sign off to the west that irked me every time I passed it. The sign was a huge banner for a tree maintenance company and it read, “Are your trees safe?” I suspect the purpose of the sign was to generate business, but I don’t think their word choice was the best for doing so. However, that sign gives me an...
Writing at Work? Don’t Be a Jerk: Put the Reader First

Writing at Work? Don’t Be a Jerk: Put the Reader First

Business writing at work can do more harm than good when the reader is ignored. What does it mean to be a jerk when writing at work? It means to write without considering the reader or audience. Because when you don’t write for the audience, you’re being selfish and writing to serve your own purposes only. And that leads to pointless back-and-forth emails, confusing documents, miscommunication and other time wasters. How do we fix this? Josh Bernoff has the answer. On page 5 of his book Writing Without Bullshit, Bernoff asks that we...
Risky Business: Why Writing at Work Is Dangerously Misunderstood

Risky Business: Why Writing at Work Is Dangerously Misunderstood

“I never said you stole the money.” Have you seen that sentence before? That simple phrase is proof that our writing at work must work harder to communicate better. Here’s how: Read the sentence out loud five times and change the word you emphasize each time. As you do, you change the meaning of the sentence too, like this… “I never said you stole the money” means someone else said you stole the money. “I never said you stole the money” means I’m defending myself against an accusation. “I never said you stole the money” means...
Want to Be a More Confident Writer at Work? 8 Ways to Get There

Want to Be a More Confident Writer at Work? 8 Ways to Get There

Learning to be a more confident writer at work is good for your brand, the business and the bottom line! It’s sad but true: People often tell me they were nervous to have me read their writing…even when it was simply an email they sent me as part of doing business. Although plenty of people in the business world write without any such qualms, many others lack confidence in their workplace writing skills. And it is for those who want to be a more confident writer at work that I write this post… The lack of confidence is...