Basic Tips to Improve Written Communication Skills

Improve Written Communication Skills

Office or workplace communication requires stating your need or requirement to another person in chats, texts, WhatsApp messages, and emails. You need to make sure that you get across the message you need to in a clear and concise manner so that there is no room for confusion on behalf of the recipient. Written communication can be tricky to master. This is because the non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and tone of voice that people rely on when they communicate in person are removed. So, it is fair to say that you need to think hard about your messages when writing them and before you send them, so information isn’t misconstrued in any way. However, numerous tips need to be kept in mind while sending any textual communication to a colleague. Some of them are as follows:

Think about why you are sending the message

There are many reasons why you might need to send a message to someone in the workplace, and it is important that you have this clear in your mind before you start writing. You need to have a firm idea of the message that you want to convey and then consider the most effective way in which you can get this across to the recipient.

It might help to jot down the key points you want to cover in your message onto a piece of paper first. If you spend time organizing your thoughts before writing your message and thinking about who will be reading it, you will be able to keep the message clear and obvious. If you know what you want to communicate first, you will then be able to easily work an introduction and conclusion in around your main point.

For example, if you have been working as a teacher and know that a colleague has recently studied for another degree to boost their career, you might want to message them to find out how they found the course. You will want to ask them direct questions about how to apply, how they think the course has benefited them, and find out if they have any pointers on how to fit in study around your day job. Even if you don’t ask your colleague and turn to the college instead, you will want to prepare yourself to ask the most appropriate questions to ensure you have the most guidance. Click Here to learn how you could further your career in education from those who run the courses you need.

It will also help if you develop these skills in time for attending university, as clear and communication with your tutors could aid you throughout your studies.

Make it Easy to Understand

Whether you are senior, mid, or low-level management, it is always required to make your textual communication easy. At times, it may be easier for the receiving person to understand if you already know him/her or have an interpersonal relationship. On the other hand, if you are entirely new to the organization and urgently require to get a few tasks done, it is essential to state your needs formally. 

For example, if you require a mouse to assist with your computer, you can write a formal email. A casual conversation on text, chat, and WhatsApp wouldn’t suffice your need. A formal request would get the job done faster due to the ticket closure time that IT heads of most companies issue. 

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Anticipate FAQs

At times, you may need to state the FAQs and your requirement so that the process can finish smoothly. Moreover, taking an effort to reduce the reader’s effort would make you empathetic with them. Hence build a stronger future relationship. These come in handy when you need assistance from the same person during odd hours or immediately. 

However, it would be best if you didn’t get overboard because most people don’t appreciate a “know-it-all” personality. Instead, you can politely ask the person to “get back to you for any more information” at the end of the conversation. Since everyone at the workplace is trying to put their best foot forward, you may not receive any further queries and lead to an end. 

Make Your Messages Crisp

Although the first three points would obligate you to write a long message; however, it would confuse the reader. Therefore, it is essential to send chats, texts, and WhatsApp conversations of no longer than two sentences. Also, it would be best if you had an ideal length of 50 to 125 words. It is regarded as an industry standard for most industries. According to research, delivering such messages would increase the response rate by 45%. 

With more people working remotely than ever before, sending short messages is imperative to communication within a team. Lots of teams stay in touch with each other through instant messaging chatrooms throughout the working day to update each other on their progress. The ability to be able to send a short message is a valuable skill that workplaces hold in high regard.

Keep your message simple

Following on from the point made above, you must keep your message as simple as possible. Keeping your message direct and simple is always best. Avoid long words that might be difficult to understand and aim for short sentences instead of long flowing paragraphs to ensure that the information you are getting across is easy for the reader to digest. If the purpose of your message is to ask the recipient to carry out a task, be direct. Don’t be tempted to use lots of words that might distract from what you are requesting.

Practice makes perfect

The more you do something, the easier it will become, just like anything in life. If you aren’t fully confident about your written communication abilities, focus on increasing the number of emails, letters, or texts you write each day. Doing this will help you to keep your writing skills fresh and will also make it easier for you to compose pieces of writing in the future. It is also important to take the time to read through any communication that you receive from others. That way, you can learn from them and see how you could improve your writing style. It is unlikely that the first version of anything you write will be the best, so don’t be afraid to edit your writing before you send your message to ensure that you are sending the best version possible.

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Put Yourself in the Readers Shoes

One of the best ways to improve written communication skills is to put yourself in the reader’s shoes or take the best app for IELTS preparation. By doing so, you would realize the unnecessary word usage, sentences, and meanings. In addition to this, you can always ask for a second opinion from any of your team members. It would give you an insight into workplace etiquette and the ideal conversation practices to get the work done faster. Besides this, it would save your time and energy spent on thinking and creating a message. The reader is more likely to respond more quickly in such a scenario and may even appreciate your written skills. 

In order to put yourself into the reader’s shoes, you also need to consider the background information that they already have on a topic and what other information you might need to include in your message so that they can fully understand what you are trying to communicate. Putting yourself in the reader’s shoes will also help you to establish the tone you need to adopt to ensure you are not rude or dismissive. Read through your message before you send it as though you are the recipient. Then, you will be able to ensure that what you have written is understandable and make edits to any areas of the message that might be difficult for the recipient to comprehend.

Apart from this, you can research different types of formal emails, texts, and messages online to get a basic idea about written skills and learn industry jargon.

Make use of integrated writing tools

It is a smart idea to make use of writing assistants that you can download onto your computer to check for errors. Tools like Grammarly can help you to improve what you have written by making you aware of typos and changes in tone that may not be appropriate. Although these tools do not pick up on every error or always suggest relevant changes, it is important to use them with caution.

Proofread before hitting send

Once you’ve written the message that you want to send, make sure you take a few minutes to proofread. Spending time to proofread your message before pressing the send button will ensure that your message is the best it can be. It will save any confusion on behalf of the reader and save you, as the sender, any embarrassment if the message was sent with obvious errors. It would be best if you double-checked names, looked out for typos and grammatical mistakes. Once you are satisfied that everything is in order, you can happily press send.

Written communication skills are highly sought after in the world of employment, and if you can prove that you can communicate clearly and concisely, you will be sure to get ahead. By following the above tips, you will be able to boost your written communication skills which will impress your employer or any future employer.

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