To Write … Or Not To Write? That is the Question.

Previous articles about workplace writing in ‘Communicate Confidently!‘ have discussed the all-important Pre-Write phase: Plan What You Write. You ask four defining questions about each document before you start writing:

  1. What are your objectives? 
  2. Who are your readers? 
  3. What tone and style would be appropriate?
  4. What message format and structure would be best?

Now, let’s ask one more often-overlooked question: Is writing my best alternative? Before you begin, review the workplace communication problem or issue you want to solve. The written word may be an effective method of solving many communication problems. But, it’s not the best method for every situation and certainly not the only one in your tool kit. More importantly, is it the most efficient and effective way to deliver this particular message to this particular group of ‘receivers’?

You have several different methods for transmitting each message in the workplace: email, text, hard copy memo, hand written note, face-to-face conversation. phone call, phone message, even departmental or team virtual or in-person meetings. 

Select the most effective, efficient and engaging method, or a combination of them for solving each specific communication problem. Don’t write because you usually do, write because you should.

And keep reminding yourself that the only thing worse than an ineffective email is an effective email that should have been a text or phone call instead.