When I sit down to write a blog post what’s most important to me is how best to help my readers improve their workplace communications. I like to focus on the most positive ways for dealing with challenging situations.
But not today! Instead, I’m going to show you how you can make sure people WON’T read your workplace communications, be they emails, reports, cover letters or business proposals. Here are some surefire ways to turn off your readers. And I’ve included brief examples in italics.
How NOT To Get Read Checklist:
1. Use Jargon:“IMHO, in the ramp up to this initiative we don’t want any siloing. We need all hands on deck for the intel download.” (See Business English: Annoying Jargon and Texting Kills Communication).
2. Be Disorganized: “This report starts with the problem we need to address. But first let’s look at some of the background. And of course, it’s important to get right to some of the solutions as well.” (See Organizing Writing: Become Your Own Clutter Counsellor)
3. Ramble: “The reason I would like this job is because I have always wanted to be in the field of finance and obviously having a university degree as an electrical engineer does not immediately seem as though I would be the best candidate. But I have spent a great deal of time in banks, and study the stock market with considerable interest over breakfast every day.” (See: How To Write A Good Cover Letter and Email Writing: Irritating Mistakes…And How To Fix Them)
4. Use Complicated Language: “Unfortunately there was an egregious error made in our last employee communiqué which we hope to summarily rectify via our new survey protocol.” (See Just Say It…In Plain English)
5. Be Offensive: “In conclusion, the project was completed in spite of interference from a number of employees who are clearly a few bricks short of a load. To move forward we’ll need to lose some of this dead wood.” (See: Profanity And The Power Of Language: When Words Offend)
So there you have it – five simple ways to annoy your reader and make sure your workplace communications won’t be read. Or if they do get read, they’ll certainly not be appreciated or acted upon swiftly!
Of course you realize the examples are more than a little tongue-in-cheek. Yet, the fact remains, if your writing is disorganized, relies on jargon, uses complicated language, run on sentences and, heaven forbid, is offensive, you’re not likely to persuade your reader that what you have to say is important.
And being persuasive is what it’s all about. You do want your reader to quickly grasp and agree with the ideas and information you are sharing with them, don’t you? And you do want them to be on your side.
This list of suggestions brings me to one final “See.” See: The Power Of Words: Words That Sell)
Send us your favorite tip for how best to get workplace communication read and we’ll publish it in our monthly newsletter. We’re also giving away a free copy of our Quick Guide to Better Writing for the 5 top tips.