Can Clear Writing Make You a More Respected Leader?
Did you know that, according to the International Association of Business Communicators, leaders use e-mail 83% of the time to engage employees and boost productivity? You may not think of writing as a way to change people’s perceptions, but it is every bit as important as the way you present yourself in person.
If writing well is such a valuable skill, why do so few management and leadership books mention it as a quality of a great leader? Beats us. Strong, strategic writing can help you build and maintain your brand as a leader, get buy-in for your ideas, and provide a clear vision.
Strategic writing makes you an efficient leader
By strategic writing, we mean using an established goal-oriented process to create reader-centered documents that drive action. Start off by asking yourself some basic questions:
Why am I writing this?
Who will read it?
What do I want the readers to do?
When you take a little extra time to answer these before you write, you end up saving a lot of time. Most of the learners in Better Communications’ workshops end up writing 30–50% faster! You will earn respect from your team members, and ideally, they will follow your example. Just imagine what that kind of writing can do to productivity! No more endless hours desperately trying to make sense of messages that lack both purpose and clarity.
Creating your brand
In addition to being efficient, you want to come across as an accessible and trustworthy leader. If you write careless, error-filled e-mails that tend to have a judgmental tone, this may not be working out so well for you. People do draw conclusions about you through your writing. Many leaders spend thousands on image consultants and speech coaches. Fewer spend time thinking about how their writing influences their leadership. That is a mistake.
Providing a clear vision
Very few of us can claim to be great writers, but we can all aspire to be better. This is important because words are powerful. Good writing matters. Putting your vision into text matters. When you are able to communicate that vision to a critical audience with the click of a button, it matters even more. That is why companies invest heavily in marketing! So put your vision in writing and share it with your people.
Next time you are looking to invest in personal development, consider a business writing workshop. It will change not just how you write, but how you lead.