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...
Weak Workplace Writing Is Whittling Away Your Bottom Line

Weak Workplace Writing Is Whittling Away Your Bottom Line

What’s scarier than Halloween haunts? Sucky workplace writing! Halloween is here, but you know what’s really scary? The billions of dollars lost each year due to sucky workplace writing. How many billions? How scary can this really be? Oh, it’s terrifying, trust me: $400 billion. Every. Single. Year. If that number doesn’t scare you, it should. Picture 400 billion one-dollar bills piled up high and set on fire…a huge bonfire of money going up in smoke, leaving only a dusting of ashes behind. That’s $400 billion gone, just gone. Can...