Writing With Skill

I Tweeted "If you can't articulate the business case, don't expect the funding" on Twitter today as a reminder to all HR executives. Truer words have never been said, especially by Jason Averbook who initially Tweeted this. HR executives and middle HR managers focus so much on effective verbal communication that they easily forget the real fundamentals of effective written communication. Today's way of communicating through VM, social media outlets and text messaging have hindered our overall communication skills. And the bets are on that as the next generation to sit in your seats will be less skilled than you. Think about that!!!  

There was an article in the Business section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution this past Sunday, June 5th, talking about the failure of individuals today to really be effective writers. And if you cannot write effectively with significant skill then you will not make it to the top levels of the HR pyramid. The article sites the following things to consider when you sit down to write a memo, policy statement, presentation to the board, letter, email, etc: 
  • think about your audience and the appropriate format (email, letter, handbook revision).
  • Proofread your work carefully - which I do not because I rely on Spell Check - not a good thing.
  • Be clear -don't rely on technical jargon or acronyms.
  • Be concise - it is important that you write a 1 page executive report as well as other short reports.
  • Stay professional - no need to expound on this bullet point.
  • Be comfortable with revisions - as someone to review your work before you publish it.
  • Cite references where appropriate.
Remember, it is not the readers job to determine what you are trying to say, it's your job to make it clear.  

partially paraphrased from the AJC by Joyce E.A. Russell


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