When you’re on the management track or trying to work your way up the leadership ladder, you must be keenly aware of how you present yourself. You may stay at the office later than others, stand a little straighter, network more often, and dress more professionally. But many people forget one crucial soft skill that creates an unforgettable impression. The way you write creates a memorable image in the reader’s mind. Be sure the image you create is one of a thoughtful, competent, and professional communicator.
Knowing the difference between there, their, and they’re is a great start, but there’s so much more to writing effectively. Yes, grammar and spelling are absolutely essential, but accurate writing is not the same thing as effective writing. The words you choose, your tone, and sentence structure combine to tell a story as important as the content itself.
Perfecting your written communication skills becomes even more important when you think of the many communication mediums we utilize daily—email, PowerPoint, text messages, blog posts, proposals, reports, and white papers all require a different writing style depending on the reader.
Because the appropriate writing style depends largely on the medium, it can be difficult to improve your writing skills without coaching. We often excel at one medium but fail to adjust our writing style when using another platform to convey the message. This is also why it’s so difficult to improve your writing skills; it feels like the rules keep changing.
Many people rely on a writing coach to help hone their skills. A great writing coach can take samples of your writing to identify where you excel and make suggestions for how you can adjust your style to different audiences or occasions. Improving your writing skills can benefit from the help of a coach because it can take considerable practice to make improvements. Becoming a better professional writer takes time, coaching, and incremental adjustments, but it’s time and energy well spent.
The heart of true leadership is communication. Leaders with great writing skills are seen as more knowledgeable, competent, and authoritative. An eloquently written message can persuade and inspire others to share your vision. And even though business emails or memos can feel impersonal, when the message is crafted expertly, your team will actually feel more connected with you and your message.