Communication: Writing Skills Critical For Leadership Success
When asked to think about one of the most important skills of a business leader, what comes to mind? Probably something along the lines of innovation and networking or staying current on technological advances. Most people wouldn't think about writing skills. Somehow, writing seems secondary to leadership and can even seem like an antiquated skill. So very last century.
Actually, because of our highly technological world, writing is one of the most influential elements in business and branding today. Blogging, web content, social media and emails are all about writing. If you want to be considered a leader in your field, you must dominate the art of good business writing.
Good business writing shows your expertise in your field. In order to effectively sell your brand, you need to be able to describe its features in a clear, concise way. Whether you're writing a pitch letter, a proposal, an email or a post on social media, the way you express yourself tells the reader how much you know about your business. Learning how to write effectively for your desired audience will boost your credentials and standing in your field. You may be quoted, reposted, have your email forwarded, have your pitch or proposal accepted all because of the way you expressed yourself.
- Do you have stats and numbers to share that show your brand is coming out ahead? Share them!
- Include research by credible researchers for your field, if relevant.
- Get your core message down. Include it in proposals, emails and social media posts.
- Grammar, spelling and punctuation all good? It better be.
Demonstrate your ability to communicate with team members. Leadership requires effective communication. Besides the writing that you send to clients and customers, there's the writing that you send to other team members and staff. A good piece of writing has the ability to inspire and unify all your team members. A bad piece of writing has the potential to undermine your authority and show disrespect towards the rest of the group. Obviously, your desired effect is the former.
- Are you communicating clearly? Will other staff members understand the goal of this message?
- Have you requested a response or given a deadline if needed?
- Were you authoritative but respectful?
- Grammar, spelling and punctuation. Get it right.
Demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively to clients. A good business writer knows how to write to different audiences. Messages to different clients require different focuses, approaches and even writing styles. Being good at business writing means also doing your research and being flexible in the way you communicate. Don't lose your essential message, but don't be so rigid as to believe that a mass email is all it takes to gain the trust of your desired clients.
- Have you researched the background of the individual/company that you're writing to and tailored the message to reflect their values and goals?
- Have you communicated relevant research or statistics that will help sell your brand?
- Is your company's core message clearly and prominently stated somewhere near the beginning of the message?
- Grammar, spelling and punctuation. You get the point, already.
Cari is an experienced writer and editor at custom writing service JetWriters.com. She provides writing assistance to students, bloggers and young professionals.