Writing is the primary communication tool we use at work today. But the reality is that it’s becoming tougher and tougher to communicate well in writing in a world of crazy short attention spans and constant interruptions.
Think about it: We skim long emails, forget minutes after reading something, and space out during a coworker's PowerPoint presentation. And if we’re doing this to other people, the opposite is probably true as well.
Why is this a problem? Your level of success in the workplace is heavily tied to the ability to communicate well. And good communication won’t happen if your colleagues are not paying enough attention to your emails, documents and deliverables.
So, get ready for an simple but powerful tip for achieving higher impact writing. It’s got nothing to do with grammar, vocabulary or word count. Instead, it’s an attitude shift.
Write as if you have NOT earned your audience’s attention and time. That’s right. Write to an apathetic crowd.
When we write with our colleagues’ presumed disinterest in mind, a few things start to happen:
- Brevity. We write more succinctly so that the audience’s time is not wasted. We get to the point faster in order to validate the message’s worth from the get-go.
- Positioning. We address the recipients’ needs so that they know what’s in it for them. We go from “what I want to say” to “how they will best understand.”
- Tone. We exhibit more positivity, because we want to invite the audience in and keep them close until the last word.
A message that’s positive, succinct, and completely relevant will get read, more often than not.