Writing is about more than conveying information. It’s about influencing someone to follow directions, agree with your position, take action or approve your business case.
Take what you think you know about writing in your job and turn it on its head. You probably thought it was about being clear and concise so the recipient would understand it. If so, you’d be wrong.
If you want to be successful, you need to think about your writing differently – What it’s really about is influencing others. You probably learned in high school or college English classes all about how to write, but they rarely focus on how to communicate, much less influence with your communications.
Business communications in college is often more about formatting letters, the traditional headings to use’ formal structure, numbering, using appendices, numbering, creating technical documents and more. What it doesn’t prepare you for is how to use your business writing to influence others, a key skill to being successful manager and climbing the corporate ladder.
And, it’s not a lot of help in the high tech, fast paced communications world we live in today.
According to Wikipaedia, communication is simply about conveying information. In fact, the important part of communication isn’t just about conveying information, it’s making sure the information you convey delivers the results you need by influencing the reader.
Think about what you write in your job. Do you write procedures? If so, you shouldn’t simply want people to understand them, you want them to follow them. That’s influence. If you write business cases, you don’t want to lay out a clear, logical argument; you want the reader to give you approval – that’s influence. If you write letters and emails, it isn’t about being readable, with good grammar and accurate spelling. If you think about it, you are always trying to get someone to do something, whether it’s agree with you, approve something, or do what you want.
Few managers are well equipped for this shift in what writing mean, partly because of what we’ve been taught in school about writing and the way communication has been defined for us in the past.
The first step is to know what you want, then craft your written communication not only to convey information, you need to make sure it influence others.
This book gives you the techniques you need to change your writing from simply conveying information to influencing others.
This is the first book in the Quick Guide for Managers Series.