Learning and Teaching Good Written Communication
As with most things in life, good writing takes practice. The good news is that the more you do it, the more you will improve your skills. Good written communication is essential for leadership and getting results. Following instructions and giving clear instructions can make all the difference between success and failure.
A good leader needs to explain his/her goals and vision for the future no matter what project or task s/he is leading. No one is a mind reader and everyone needs to share information on more complicated projects in order for everything to get done.
State what you want clearly. Anticipate any questions readers might have. Assemble all of the information your audience will need in order to complete a task, and support them as they work on it.
Instruct your staff as to how you wish to be communicated with. Show a high standard of excellence by proofreading every email you send out. Don’t rush. Use your spelling and grammar checker and read everything through at least one more time after that, before hitting the Send key.
Instruct as needed and then let your staff take charge rather than hovering over them. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Watch Your Words
Words have power. Just look at any interesting editorial in a newspaper or some of the world’s most famous speeches in history. Say what you mean and mean what you say. There’s no need to use fancy words and sound like a dictionary. Be clear and to the point so that everyone who reads what you have written can understand it. Use a thesaurus as needed to find synonyms. Look up any words in the dictionary that you don’t know.
Watch Your Paragraphs
Short, sharp paragraphs work best for business writing, as well as for digital communications such as emails, websites and PowerPoint decks. There’s no need to write long-winded college essays to get your point across.
Teaching leadership skills and good communications might be difficult at times, but it can be worth it if you are able to run a more efficient company – with better communications that people will be interested in reading, and that instruct your staff and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Some people argue that there will always be leaders and followers and that some people are born leaders. They might have a strong personality and wish to be a leader, but it will take a special kind of person to get other people to follow them. They will usually accomplish this through visible achievement – that is, leading by example and thus showing others how things are done.
A good leader can demonstrate how to communicate well through doing it themselves, making it a priority in their face-to-face, phone and written interactions. Assess yourself as a communicator in your leadership role and see if you can improve. In this way, you can travel even further along the road to success as a leader.
To your best success!