By CHLOE BENNET
As a leader, no matter what area of your life it may be, it’s important to make sure you’re communicating in the best possible way to ensure everyone connects, mistakes are minimised, and everything gets done. With this in mind, think about how often you’re writing.
While many of us focus on our public speaking skills, our confidence, and our body language, every day we text, message, SMS, WhatsApp, and email so many people, and failing to grasp the importance of written communication will lessen your abilities as a leader.
As a leader, you’re probably wondering how you can improve your writing skills. Today, we’re going to detail everything you need to know.
1. Define your audience
The first step you’ll want to take is making sure you know exactly who your audience and readers are before you even type the first letter. Your target audience will determine the tone of voice, the language, the casualness, and the way you present yourself, which is why it’s so important to be sure.
Whether you’re speaking to a client or a colleague, having this information fresh in your mind will give you the best chance of sending your message in the right way.
2. Put yourself in their shoes
It’s vital to make sure you’re putting yourself in your reader’s position and thinking about the context of the content you’re writing, and then how your writing is going to be perceived. As a leader, it’s important to make sure you’re sending your messages in the right way, and they’re taking it in the right way.
3. Choose your tone of voice
“You don’t want to push your readers away by being too informal or strictly professional, because in most cases this isn’t what people want to read. Instead, make sure you’re choosing the tone of voice you’re writing in and make your content as relatable as possible,” explains Harry Carter, a business writer at Academized.
4. Implement an active voice
Active voice is the type of writing where you’re direct and strong, which is exactly how a leader should be. For example, instead of saying “The project must be discussed in detail” which is passive, you would say something like “We should discuss the project in detail” or “Let’s talk about the project”.
Using active voice has far more impact than passive voice, and if you want to present yourself as a leader who can lead and get results, this is something you’re going to need to practise and perfect.
5. Be concise and specific
It’s important to make sure you’re not rambling on throughout your written communications, but you’re instead sticking to the point and making sure what you’re writing is easy to understand and doesn’t contain any fluff.
This is important for a few reasons. It makes it easy to read and makes sure the people engaging with your content don’t get bored easily and resort to skim-reading, which is a sure-fire way for them to miss out on the message. This can lead to miscommunication in general because they may miss the point entirely.
6. Reread your work
Before you send out your written content, it’s imperative you take the time to reread your what you have written. During this read through, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking out for any mistakes, typos or errors, as well as making sure everything makes sense and that the message is understandable.
In some cases, it may even pay to have someone else look over your content first to give you a second opinion. Make sure you proofread to avoid any mistakes.