5 Effective Tips to Improve Your Written Communication
Written communication is a process of exchanging information, messages, and ideas through text-based messages. Here's how to improve it.
Do you read some messages from your colleagues that rub you the wrong way? The messages may not be insulting, but the tone is just off. You feel offended, and it reflects in how you relate to them. They probably meant no harm but used the wrong choice of words.
Written communication can go south in many ways. You have to be deliberate in improving how you communicate in writing, so your intentions aren't misunderstood.
What Is Written Communication?
Written communication is the process of sending text-based messages and instructions through letters, reports, manuals, etc.
Used to pass information across in the workplace, written communication often takes a formal approach. It’s contained in official documents that serve as evidence and point of reference.
New developments are communicated to the team in writing. When team members exhibit unruly behavior, they are issued a query through written communication and respond in the same manner.
Unlike verbal communication that can be forgotten if not recorded, written communication lasts for long, especially if it isn’t tampered with.
The Challenges of Written Communication
As with other forms of communication, the goal of written communication is defeated if the recipients don’t understand the content of the message.
Written communication has several hitches that could alter the meaning of the message or the intention of the sender. Let's take a look at some of them.
1. A Lack of Clarity
Communication loses its essence when it's complex. The choice of words used by the sender in written communication can leave the receiver confused. And since the sender isn’t available to clarify things, the confusion lingers.
If employees feel compelled to take action upon receiving complex written messages, they may end up making mistakes due to a lack of understanding of the messages.
Mistakes made at work as a result of clarity issues are a setback for the organization as time and resources are wasted.
2. Time Constraint
The most efficient workflow is one that’s constantly moving. Team members should get whatever information they need instantly and apply it to their work. But that’s not always the case with written communication.
In written communication, the sender sends the message to the receiver. Instead of getting an instant response, they have to wait until the receiver receives the message and then replies. The time spent in between can be costly in urgent situations. The damage may have already been done before the information was gathered.
3. A Lack of Flexibility
The message you sent to a colleague at work might contain inaccurate information. You might want to update the message for more clarity. But once you have already sent it, you can’t do that.
You have to write another message from scratch addressing the misinformation or including the updates that you want to pass across. Doing all that is stressful, especially when you have a pile of work on your hands.
4. Delay in Decision-Making
Making decisions in the workplace requires some level of speed. Everyone involved in the decision-making process has to be updated with the latest developments and make their inputs in a timely manner.
When the decision-making process is coordinated with written communication, the time spent on receiving, reading, and responding to message delays the decision-making process. You can enhance your group decision-making process with the right tools .
5 Ways to Improve Your Written Communication
If you want to thrive in your job or career, you have to pay more attention to your written communication. And that’s because you communicate with people in writing almost every day.
Ensuring that they understand the messages you convey to them helps you to get the desired response. In light of this, let’s discuss some ways you can communicate better in writing.
1. Identify the Goal
What are you trying to achieve with the message? It’s important that you identify this at the beginning, so you can articulate your thoughts in that direction. You can get people to open and read your emails easily with effective writing.
A written message without a clear goal in mind is like a running commentary. You’ll have a full page of content without saying anything concrete. The content of your message may be misleading to the receiver if you don’t figure out your goal.
2. Step Into the Recipient’s Shoes
Written communication misses the mark if the recipient doesn’t have the necessary background information or context to understand the message they are reading. If you write to someone and mention things that they are oblivious of, they’ll be lost.
Put yourself in the reader's shoes as you compose your message. How much do they know about the subject? Do they need background information or context?
Understanding the reader’s state of mind regarding the subject also helps you to choose the right words and tone to convey your message.
3. Jot Down Ideas
Having made a mental note to write a message, start preparing ahead for it by jotting down ideas that come to mind.
Since you can’t easily retrieve your message from the receiver to make edits or updates, jot down all your points beforehand, so you can include them in your message.
You don’t have to carry a notebook around for that purpose. A note-taking app like Simplenote makes it easier for you to jot down your ideas on your mobile devices on the go. You can access your notes remotely whenever you need them.
4. Be Clear and Simple
The most effective written communications are clear and simple. Now isn’t the time to impress your reader with big words and grammatical expressions.
There’s a tendency for you to want to come across as intelligent with the use of fancy words, but that’s counterproductive in written communication. Remember, you won’t be physically present when the reader reads the message. So, you can’t clarify things if they confuse the reader.
If you are working on a project, you can write a killer project purpose statement with effective written communication.
5. Edit Thoroughly
Reading messages with grammatical errors and typos is a turn-off. Save your recipient the trouble by editing your messages thoroughly before sending them.
Resists the urge to send written messages in a hurry. No matter how urgent it is, make time to edit it. There might be unnecessary words, expressions, and errors in the messages. Going through them one more time will help you spot them, but that won’t happen if you don’t make time for it. Apps like Grammarly are great for editing and fine-tuning your writing.
If you have a reputation for sending error-ridden messages, people will be reluctant to read your messages. They’ll allow your messages to linger until they have the mental strength to withstand the stress that reading your content causes them.
Passing Your Messages Across Effectively
The verbal interactions at work can be noisy. Written communication helps to create some quietness. Teammates can communicate in any situation without drawing attention to themselves.
Once your written communication is clear with the right tone, you can get people to do what you want without following up to clarify things. You also build a reputation for yourself as one who communicates effectively.
8 Ways You Can Improve Your Communication Skills
Your guide to establishing better communication habits for success in the workplace.
Mary Sharp Emerson
A leader’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively with employees, within teams, and across the organization is one of the foundations of a successful business.
And in today’s complex and quickly evolving business environment, with hundreds of different communication tools, fully or partially remote teams, and even multicultural teams spanning multiple time zones, effective communication has never been more important—or more challenging.
Thus, the ability to communicate might be a manager’s most critical skill.
The good news is that these skills can be learned and even mastered.
These eight tips can help you maximize your communication skills for the success of your organization and your career.
1. Be clear and concise
Communication is primarily about word choice. And when it comes to word choice, less is more.
The key to powerful and persuasive communication—whether written or spoken—is clarity and, when possible, brevity.
Before engaging in any form of communication, define your goals and your audience.
Outlining carefully and explicitly what you want to convey and why will help ensure that you include all necessary information. It will also help you eliminate irrelevant details.
Avoid unnecessary words and overly flowery language, which can distract from your message.
And while repetition may be necessary in some cases, be sure to use it carefully and sparingly. Repeating your message can ensure that your audience receives it, but too much repetition can cause them to tune you out entirely.
2. Prepare ahead of time
Know what you are going to say and how you are going to say before you begin any type of communication.
However, being prepared means more than just practicing a presentation.
Preparation also involves thinking about the entirety of the communication, from start to finish. Research the information you may need to support your message. Consider how you will respond to questions and criticisms. Try to anticipate the unexpected.
Before a performance review, for instance, prepare a list of concrete examples of your employee’s behavior to support your evaluation.
Before engaging in a salary or promotion negotiation, know exactly what you want. Be ready to discuss ranges and potential compromises; know what you are willing to accept and what you aren’t. And have on hand specific details to support your case, such as relevant salaries for your position and your location (but be sure that your research is based on publicly available information, not company gossip or anecdotal evidence).
Before entering into any conversation, brainstorm potential questions, requests for additional information or clarification, and disagreements so you are ready to address them calmly and clearly.
3. Be mindful of nonverbal communication
Our facial expressions, gestures, and body language can, and often do, say more than our words.
Nonverbal cues can have between 65 and 93 percent more impact than the spoken word. And we are more likely to believe the nonverbal signals over spoken words if the two are in disagreement.
Leaders must be especially adept at reading nonverbal cues.
Employees who may be unwilling to voice disagreements or concerns, for instance, may show their discomfort through crossed arms or an unwillingness to make eye contact. If you are aware of others’ body language, you may be able to adjust your communication tactics appropriately.
At the same time, leaders must also be able to control their own nonverbal communications.
Your nonverbal cues must, at all times, support your message. At best, conflicting verbal and nonverbal communication can cause confusion. At worst, it can undermine your message and your team’s confidence in you, your organization, and even in themselves.
4. Watch your tone
How you say something can be just as important as what you say. As with other nonverbal cues, your tone can add power and emphasis to your message, or it can undermine it entirely.
Tone can be an especially important factor in workplace disagreements and conflict. A well-chosen word with a positive connotation creates good will and trust. A poorly chosen word with unclear or negative connotations can quickly lead to misunderstanding.
When speaking, tone includes volume, projection, and intonation as well as word choice. In real time, it can be challenging to control tone to ensure that it matches your intent. But being mindful of your tone will enable you to alter it appropriately if a communication seems to be going in the wrong direction.
Tone can be easier to control when writing. Be sure to read your communication once, even twice, while thinking about tone as well as message. You may even want to read it out loud or ask a trusted colleague to read it over, if doing so does not breach confidentiality.
And when engaging in a heated dialogue over email or other written medium, don’t be too hasty in your replies.
If at all possible, write out your response but then wait for a day or two to send it. In many cases, re-reading your message after your emotions have cooled allows you to moderate your tone in a way that is less likely to escalate the conflict.
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5. Practice active listening
Communication nearly always involves two or more individuals.
Therefore, listening is just as important as speaking when it comes to communicating successfully. But listening can be more challenging than we realize.
In her blog post Mastering the Basics of Communication , communication expert Marjorie North notes that we only hear about half of what the other person says during any given conversation.
The goal of active listening is to ensure that you hear not just the words the person is saying, but the entire message. Some tips for active listening include:
- Giving the speaker your full and undivided attention
- Clearing your mind of distractions, judgements, and counter-arguments.
- Avoiding the temptation to interrupt with your own thoughts.
- Showing open, positive body language to keep your mind focused and to show the speaker that you are really listening
- Rephrase or paraphrase what you’ve heard when making your reply
- Ask open ended questions designed to elicit additional information
6. Build your emotional intelligence
Communication is built upon a foundation of emotional intelligence. Simply put, you cannot communicate effectively with others until you can assess and understand your own feelings.
“If you’re aware of your own emotions and the behaviors they trigger, you can begin to manage these emotions and behaviors,” says Margaret Andrews in her post, How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence .
Leaders with a high level of emotional intelligence will naturally find it easier to engage in active listening, maintain appropriate tone, and use positive body language, for example.
Understanding and managing your own emotions is only part of emotional intelligence. The other part—equally important for effective communication—is empathy for others.
Empathizing with an employee can, for example, make a difficult conversation easier.
You may still have to deliver bad news, but (actively) listening to their perspective and showing that you understand their feelings can go a long way toward smoothing hurt feelings or avoiding misunderstandings.
7. Develop a workplace communication strategy
Today’s workplace is a constant flow of information across a wide variety of formats. Every single communication must be understood in the context of that larger flow of information.
Even the most effective communicator may find it difficult to get their message across without a workplace communication strategy.
A communication strategy is the framework within which your business conveys and receives information. It can—and should—outline how and what you communicate to customers and clients, stakeholders, and managers and employees.
Starting most broadly, your strategy should incorporate who gets what message and when. This ensures that everyone receives the correct information at the right time.
It can be as detailed as how you communicate, including defining the type of tools you use for which information. For example, you may define when it’s appropriate to use a group chat for the entire team or organization or when a meeting should have been summarized in an email instead.
Creating basic guidelines like this can streamline the flow of information. It will help ensure that everyone gets the details they need and that important knowledge isn’t overwhelmed by extraneous minutia.
8. Create a positive organizational culture
The corporate culture in which you are communicating also plays a vital role in effective communication.
In a positive work environment—one founded on transparency, trust, empathy, and open dialogue—communication in general will be easier and more effective.
Employees will be more receptive to hearing their manager’s message if they trust that manager. And managers will find it easier to create buy-in and even offer constructive criticism if they encourage their employees to speak up, offer suggestions, and even offer constructive criticisms of their own.
“The most dangerous organization is a silent one,” says Lorne Rubis in a blog post, Six Tips for Building a Better Workplace Culture . Communication, in both directions, can only be effective in a culture that is built on trust and a foundation of psychological safety.
Authoritative managers who refuse to share information, aren’t open to suggestions, and refuse to admit mistakes and accept criticism are likely to find their suggestions and criticisms met with defensiveness or even ignored altogether.
Without that foundation of trust and transparency, even the smallest communication can be misconstrued and lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict.
Communicating with co-workers and employees is always going to present challenges. There will always be misunderstandings and miscommunications that must be resolved and unfortunately, corporate messages aren’t always what we want to hear, especially during difficult times.
But building and mastering effective communication skills will make your job easier as a leader, even during difficult conversations. Taking the time to build these skills will certainly be time well-spent.
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About the Author
Digital Content Producer
Emerson is a Digital Content Producer at Harvard DCE. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and Yale University and started her career as an international affairs analyst. She is an avid triathlete and has completed three Ironman triathlons, as well as the Boston Marathon.
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7 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills
Writing, like any other skill, is something you can get better at with time and practice. Learn how.
From sending emails to preparing presentations, writing is often a day-to-day task in many professions spanning diverse industries. Writing skills go beyond grammar and spelling. Accuracy, clarity, persuasiveness, and several other elements play a part in ensuring your writing is conveying the right message.
What are writing skills?
Writing is a technical skill that you use to communicate effectively through the written word. Though these may vary depending on what you’re writing, there are several that transcend categories. Writing skills can more specifically include:
Research and accuracy
Each of these components can influence the quality of writing.
Why are writing skills important?
Being able to write well is a form of effective communication , which many employers see as a crucial job skill . In fact, strong communication—spanning written, verbal, non-verbal, and visual—is among the nine common employability skills that employers seek in job candidates.
Regardless of your role, with good writing skills, you can clearly transcribe your thoughts into meaningful messages, enabling you to share your ideas, build relationships, and strengthen your professional image.
Learn more: Important Communication Skills and How to Improve Them
How to improve your writing skills
Writing, like any other skill, is something we can get better at with time and practice. Here are some strategies for developing your own written communication:
1. Review grammar and spelling basics.
Grammar and spelling form the foundation of good writing. Writing with proper grammar and spelling communicates your professionality and attention to detail to your reader. It also makes your writing easier to understand.
Plus, knowing when and how to use less-common punctuation, like colons, semicolons, and em-dashes, can unlock new ways to structure sentences and elevate your writing.
If you’re looking to strengthen your grammar and spelling, start by consulting a writing manual. The Elements of Style by William Stunk and E.B. White has long been considered a staple for writers. You can find similar resources at your local library, bookstore, or online.
2. Read what you want to write.
Knowing what a finished piece of writing can look like can guide your own. If you’re trying to write a humorous short story, read humorous short stories. Writing a book review? Find a few and take note of how they’re structured. Pay attention to what makes them good and what you want to emulate (without plagiarizing, of course). If you’re working on a school assignment, you can ask your instructor for examples of successful pieces from past students.
Make reading a part of your everyday life to improve your writing. Try reading the news in the morning or picking up a book before you head to bed. If you haven’t been a big reader in the past, start with topics you’re interested in, or ask friends and family for recommendations. You’ll gradually begin to understand what subjects, genres, and authors you enjoy.
While it’s tempting to submit work as soon as you’re done with it, build in some time to revisit what you’ve written to catch errors big and small. Here are a few proofreading tips to keep in mind:
Set your work aside before you edit. Try to step away from your writing for a day or more so you can come back to it with fresh, more objective eyes. Crunched for time? Even allotting 20 minutes between writing and proofreading can allow you to approach your work with renewed energy.
Start with easy fixes, then progress to bigger changes. Starting with easier changes can get you in the rhythm for proofreading, allow you to read through your work once more, and clear distractions so you can focus on bigger edits. Read through your work to catch misspellings, inconsistencies, and grammar errors. Then address the larger problems with structure or awkward transitions.
If you could say something in fewer words, do so. Being unnecessarily wordy can cloud your message and confuse the reader. Pare down phrases that are redundant, repetitive, or obvious.
Read out loud. Reading out loud can help you find awkward phrases and areas where your writing doesn’t flow well.
Should you use computer spelling and grammar tools?
Many computer-based tools—like spell check on your word processor, or Grammarly — can help you find and fix simple spelling and grammar errors. These tools are not perfect but can help even the most seasoned of writers avoid mistakes. Take note of any frequently highlighted words or phrases so that you can avoid the same mistakes in the future.
4. Get feedback.
Whether you’re writing emails or essays, asking for feedback is a great way to see how somebody besides yourself will interpret your text. Have an idea of what you’d like your proofreader to focus on—the structure, conclusion, the persuasiveness of an argument, or otherwise.
Approach a trusted friend, family member, coworker, or instructor. If you’re a student, your school might also have a writing resource center you can reach out to.
You might also consider forming a writing group or joining a writing class. Find writing courses online, at your local community college, or at independent writing workshops in your city.
5. Think about structure.
Grammar and spelling keep your writing consistent and legible, but structure ensures the big ideas get across to the reader.
In many cases, forming an outline will help solidify structure. An outline can clarify what you’re hoping to convey in each section, enable you to visualize the flow of your piece, and surface parts that require more research or thought.
Structure might look different depending on what you’re writing. An essay typically has an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A fiction piece might follow the six-stage plot structure: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, and denouement. Choose what’s best for your purposes.
Like many skills, one of the best ways to improve your writing is to practice. Here are a few ways you can get started:
Start a journal or a blog.
Join a class or writing workshop.
Practice free writing.
Write letters to friends or family.
Put together an opinion piece for your local newspaper or publication you like.
7. Know some common fixes.
Even if a text is grammatically correct, you may be able to make it more dynamic and interesting with some polish. Here are some common ways you can sharpen your writing:
Choose strong verbs (for example, “sprinted,” “dashed,” or “bolted” instead of “ran”).
Avoid passive voice.
Vary sentence length.
Cut unnecessary words.
Replace cliches with original phrasing.
Showing your writing skills in a job search
Your writing skills will shine throughout the job search process , whether or not you intend to show them off. This is because job applications are largely written materials, including your cover letter , resume , and email communications . Use these opportunities to demonstrate your writing skills to prospective employers by submitting clear, accurate, and engaging materials.
Additionally, if you have specialized expertise, such as experience with legal writing, medical writing, technical writing, or scientific writing, you can note that in a resume skills section and further detail that experience within your cover letter or during your interviews .
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Whether you’re a scientist or a product manager, journalist or entrepreneur, writing effectively will enable you to communicate your ideas to the world. Through practice, exposure, and familiarizing yourself with basic rules, you’ll be able to use your writing to say exactly what you want to say.
If you’re looking for a structured way to expand your writing skillset, explore writing courses on Coursera —the first week is free.
Give your team access to a catalog of 8,000+ engaging courses and hands-on Guided Projects to help them develop impactful skills. Learn more about Coursera for Business .
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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How to Improve Your Written Communication Skills
Writing is an everyday activity for many people. So, you’d think that written communication would come almost naturally. Unfortunately, it is an ongoing challenge for writers and their readers. Messages can be misunderstood or missed entirely, even when they seem so obvious. Fortunately, there are many straightforward ways to up your writing game and become a better communicator. This article will explain why it’s so difficult to convey information in text and ten valuable tactics to improve your written communication.
Why is written communication so difficult?
Excellent communication in any format is easy to understand and allows the reader to respond appropriately. When we communicate in person, verbal communication dominates the exchange. However, these words are supplemented with non-verbal communication. The tone of voice, hand gestures, and body physicality can clarify messages, even when speech is not entirely clear. In parallel, the audience can immediately respond to the information with their own non-verbal communication. Looks of confusion or boredom tell the messenger that their material is not translating, and the speaker can adjust their efforts in real-time.
Alternatively, in written communication, the words have to do all the heavy lifting. If the reader furrows their brow in confusion, there’s no additional clarity available. Therefore, the entirety of the message must be conveyed through the text. That’s a big job.
A persuasive writing myth further compounds the challenge: fancier writing is better writing. Many writers have been led to believe that verbose writing with snazzy vocabulary comes across as clever. However, this writing style makes for poor communication. The reader often struggles to find the core message when it is meandering in excessive wording and jargon . Remember: the best writing is clear, direct, and concise.
Anyone can be an excellent written communicator with practice. To support your written communication efforts, we've outlined our top ten tactics to strengthen your written communication.
Ten tactics to improve written communication
Stop writing, starting thinking..
Effective written communication starts before you type your first word. To write clearly, you have to think clearly. Therefore, before you begin writing, step back, and align your thoughts on the communique. This process can be an internal thought process resulting in a rough outline for simple texts or a thorough mind-mapping exploration resulting in a structured framework for more complex work.
A common writing mistake is to work out your thoughts while writing the text. Expecting writing to clarify your thoughts is putting the cart before the horse. The writing process will take longer than necessary. It will result in a document likely confusing structure and message, required an extensive edit. Planning your written text will save time and produce better results.
Write for your audience.
Written communication follows the same rule as all communication: audience is everything. As you plan your writing, take the time to understand for whom you’re writing. Why is she reading this document? What’s in it for her? What do you want her to do? How much does she know about this topic? Your written communication is not for you; it is always for the reader. Writing with the reader in mind will produce more effective written communication.
Tools are valuable but imperfect.
Writing tools , like Microsoft Readability Assessment or Grammarly , are great supports to improve your written text. These tools will alert you to errors ranging from minor typos to inappropriate tone. Yet, these tools are only tools. They are only as useful as the person operating them. Integrate tools into your workflow, but remember that you are ultimately the writer and editor. Tools do not catch all errors, and a careful eye is still required.
Keep it simple, silly.
In writing as in life, the simplest solution is generally the best one. The simplest, most direct way to write something is best. Don’t use eight words when two will do. Aim for short sentences and short paragraphs to keep the information digestible and accessible.
Simplicity also applies to any request or call to action. If you’re writing to ask a colleague or friend to do something, be polite but direct. Some writers tend to sidestep a direct ask with meandering wording and conditional phrasing that water down the message. To ensure the request is conveyed, be direct.
State your assumptions.
Misunderstandings in written communication often arise from assumptions. As a writer, you may be required to make assumptions. For example, you believe that your reader has read the same report, received a certain work directive, or is familiar with the latest policy change. However, if these assumptions are incorrect, he may misunderstand and even take incorrect action. A strong understanding of the audience will minimize assumptions. They can be entirely avoided by stating any assumptions you make within the text. He can then make their own assessment of the context they need to understand the written message.
Know that the first draft is a first draft.
Writing is an iterative process. Good writers do not produce great work on the first try. Good writers have a robust editing process that allows time for the text to become great. So, as you begin to write, acknowledge that this version is not the one your reader will receive. This thought process forces you to integrate time to edit. In addition, it can make a blank page less intimidating because even if your first iteration is terrible, it can always be improved.
Write and read often.
Writing, like any other aptitude, requires practice. Aim to write daily to keep your written communication skills fresh. If your regular daily work does not include writing, set a personal word count to achieve each day. Whether it’s 100 words or 1,000 words, consistent practice will hone your skills.
To gain inspiration, read excellent writing. Find writers or topics that intrigue you and enjoy the written word. Analyze a great article or report to understand what made it so accessible. Perhaps the article was structured particularly thoughtfully. Maybe the author’s variation in sentence structure kept the report engaging. Seek out first-rate writers and emulate your favorite practices (without plagiarizing, of course).
Editing is vital to improving written communication. Your draft text must go through a rigorous editing process to ensure that it is as clear as possible for your reader. Take a break from your document and re-read it with fresh eyes. Read the text out loud; if it’s awkward to say aloud, then the text requires revision. Look for excessive wording or repetitive sentences and sculpt them into a more cohesive thought. Review your text’s structure and see if the order is logical and appropriate.
If you’re unsure how to edit – ask for help. Solicit a friend or colleague to read the text for you. Their fresh viewpoint will highlight areas for improvement. Take their constructive criticism well because external feedback is the best tool to understand your writing and how to improve it.
Put yourself in your reader’s shoes.
At the risk of repeating myself: put yourself in the audience’s shoes. The audience should be top of mind in the final edit to assess if the text communicates the correct information. Return to the original prompt, whether it’s an email request or a proposal, and verify that the original goals are met, and initial questions are answered.
Actively look for reader misunderstandings. See if your sentences could be interpreted in different ways. If so, compose more precise phrasing. Spell out acronyms and remove jargon, even if you believe it is a common language.
Don’t forget to proofread.
Editing is a process of transforming your text into the best version of itself. Proofreading, on the other hand, is a final check before written communication goes out the door. Proofreading is as critical for a brief email as a 280-page report because it makes sure the text is error-free. Look for typos, double-check names, verify grammatical consistency, and other steps to make sure that your well-edited document is final and truly ready for the reader.
Improved written communication has its benefits.
‘Excellent written communication’ is listed as a desired quality across disciplines and career paths. As more workplaces move online , written communication is becoming even more essential. Integrating these tactics will not only hone a high-value skill but will also strengthen your current interactions with colleagues and clients.
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20 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
“Communication” is a buzzword these days.
You’ve probably seen magazine articles about communication skills with your partner, or self-help business gurus talk about the importance of communication skills in the workplace.
We hear about communication constantly. With good reason – it really is a huge deal when it comes to having a smooth and enjoyable personal and professional life .
But hearing about it isn’t enough to absorb all that knowledge and be able to apply it to your own unique situation. This is especially true for those who might feel like they’re struggling a bit with effective communication skills.
We can’t all have a natural gift, after all.
If you’re curious what everyone keeps talking about, or how to improve your own communication skills, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’re going to look at the three main types of communication skills, some examples, and loads of actionable tips you can start using today to help strengthen those skills.
Here’s how I’m going to break down this mini communication skills training. We’ll go over:
- The three main types of communication skills: verbal, non-verbal, and written
- General tips to improve your communication across all types
- A section dedicated to each of the three types specifically
Let’s do this.
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Three Different Types of Communication Skills
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Communication is considered one of the most important interpersonal skills , or how we interact with and relate to other people. There are three main types of communication skills: verbal, non-verbal, and written.
Verbal. Verbal communication is when you’re talking to other people, whether it’s face-to-face, on a video call, or over the phone. Your choice of words matter (a lot), but so do smaller details like the tone of your voice and the timing of when you say things.
Non-verbal. Non-verbal communication, also referred to as body language, is what people see when they’re looking at you during a conversation, either face-to-face or on video. It’s your facial expressions, eye contact, and the positions of your body. You might not realize that your body language is saying, “I don’t want to be talking to you right now,” even if it’s an important conversation.
Written. These days, written communication mostly show up in emails and chat messages, including an email to your partner or a customer service email for work. This can also include chats on platforms like Facebook Messenger or Slack . If you’re managing a remote team , it’s important for your written communication skills to be on-point.
How to Improve Communication Skills: All Three Types
For business communication skills as well as personal communication skills, the key is how you’re approaching your interactions. You can even call it a strategy.
Here are some strategic tips for building communication skills.
1. Be an “active listener”
Even if you’re a great listener, I guarantee there’s still some areas where you can improve. A great way to find your weak spots is to look at the active listening model.
The concept of active listening means that you’re involved and engaged in what the other person is saying, as opposed to being passive and letting the conversation pass you by.
There’s no single model, but your research will turn up the same ideas, including:
- Pay attention when someone else has something to say
- Ask them open-ended questions so that you can get an idea of what they want
- Ask probing questions if there are specific things you’d like to learn about
- Request clarification on anything you’re uncertain about
- Paraphrase what they said and repeat it back to them, so you can be sure you understood them correctly
- Be attuned to their feelings and your own, to make sure everyone’s needs are being met
- Summarize at the end of your interaction so everyone has the same takeaways and next steps
2. Speak up about your thoughts and ideas
Just like it’s important to understand what others are seeking, make sure that you’re expressing your own needs. Nobody will ever know if you don’t tell them, right?
This communication skill is especially important if you’re a leader, because what you say is setting the stage for your team to follow. If you’re an open and honest communicator, you’re setting an example for everyone else to do the same.
They’ll be more willing to collaborate with others, to compromise when it’s necessary, and to face difficult situations with an open mind and confidence that things will work out in the end.
3. Try not to make assumptions
It can be easy to assume that you know what someone else wants. But this is a huge cause of misunderstandings – and a reason that misunderstandings can escalate into conflict.
That’s where the active listening model can save the day. Part of great communication skills means having empathy: trying to understand what’s going on in the other person’s head.
This is important because what we say isn’t always a completely accurate representation of what we really want. Especially in a complicated situation, or one where it’s easy to get overwhelmed or embarrassed, it’s common that we try to disguise or hide our real needs.
When you ask questions, listen closely to the answers, and repeat back what you think they want, you’re playing a big role in minimizing misunderstandings and lowering the risk of conflict.
It’s like that famous George Bernard Shaw quote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
4. Practice self-awareness, especially during tough conversations
People with advanced communication skills have a solid grasp on their own emotions. They know how to control them when they’re upset or over-excited, and they don’t let them take over the conversation or cause unnecessary drama.
It’s important to stay level-headed when you’re reacting to something you don’t like. If you feel your heart start to thump, or your face start to get hot, take a break. Try to find some alone time where you can calm yourself down.
Another key part of self-awareness is being able to admit when you’re wrong. It might feel like a huge blow to your ego, but trust me – you’ll likely find that by admitting your mistakes and trying your best to prevent them moving forward, you’ll build respect and integrity in the eyes of your loved ones and colleagues.
5. Don’t be accusatory when raising an issue
Tough situations are bound to happen. Even if you feel like someone did something that was completely wrong, keep your cool when you have the discussion.
If you start the conversation with an accusation that something is their fault, it’s practically an invitation for a fight. Our natural reaction to accusation is to get defensive… and nothing good comes from that conversation.
For example, avoid saying they “always” or “never” do something when it’s only been a few times. Instead, state only the facts, use empathy, and reframe the focus to how you can fix it.
Instead of telling your team member, “You’re always late for meetings,” try something like, “I see on the attendance sheet that you’ve been late two times this week. Is everything okay?”
This opens the door for you to see what might be wrong and how you can help make sure it doesn’t keep happening.
How to Improve Communication Skills: Verbal
- Be brief and clear
Have you ever sat through a coworker’s long and winding story when you have a lot of work to finish? It’s rough. Try to get to the main points quickly so that you’re not that person.
- Don’t be afraid of silence every now and then
It can seem like silence is unbearable, but it’s not always a bad thing. Don’t start blabbering just for the sake of eliminating silence. (It’s hard, but fight the urge.) Your partner and colleagues will thank you when you have a grasp of when it’s okay to be quiet.
- Find a “bridge” if you need to change the subject
Changing the subject tactfully is an art. Try looking for a “bridge” that can connect where the conversation is now and where you want it to be. Use connecting phrases like, “The important thing is…” or “I agree with you, but…” or “Here’s what I do know…”
- Get rid of those “um’s” and “uh’s”
This feels like common sense, but the average person uses fillers way more than they think they do. Try recording yourself in a presentation and listen back for how often you say them. Then moving forward, stay mindful of the fillers and speak more slowly so that you have time to think ahead.
- Plan and practice what you’ll say
Of course, there are a lot of impromptu conversations where you don’t have the opportunity to plan and practice. But when you have the chance, take even 30 seconds to go over your key points. This can work wonders for your communication skills.
How to Improve Communication Skills: Non-verbal
- Make eye contact while someone is talking
This is the number one tip for showing someone that you’re paying attention to what they have to say. Hold firm eye contact, but don’t get creepy. There’s a fine line here.
- Avoid fidgeting or distracting movements
Don’t readjust in your chair seven times. Don’t click your pen open and closed over and over. Don’t shuffle through your papers during a board meeting, or click through your browser tabs during a Zoom call.
- Keep good posture
Another one of those tips that seems obvious, but is surprisingly easy to overlook. When I was working on mastering this non-verbal communication skill, I set an alarm to go off every 30 minutes that said “POSTURE!” Most of the time, I was slouching.
- Don’t cross your arms
Some people think this is a “power pose.” This might be true in some situations, but in others, it makes you look blocked off from the other person. It can give the impression that you can’t wait to get out of there, which isn’t helpful for a good conversation.
- Pay attention to the same cues from others
Non-verbal cues might be unintentional, but they’re often intentional too. If your coworker isn’t making eye contact or constantly fidgeting, ask yourself if it might be a reaction to you telling a story that’s too long or bugging them when they’re busy.
How to Improve Communication Skills: Written
- Never respond to messages when you’re upset
Have you ever sent an email when you’re mad, then later came back to it and thought, “Damn it. Why did I say that?” I’ve been there. If you get a message that upsets you, take a five or ten minute break to cool down before you respond. This can work wonders for your relationships.
- Write descriptive titles and email subject lines
How annoying is it to get an email that says “(no subject)?” Title your emails as succinctly and specifically as possible. Tell them exactly what it contains. Instead of “Meeting,” try a subject line like, “Request to reschedule our 2pm meeting to 3pm.”
- Use active voice
You might remember hearing this tip a lot in school. Instead of saying “The paperwork was filed,” say “I filed the paperwork.” This helps to get rid of any confusion about how things are getting done. In addition to being more clear, active voice is more engaging for your message recipients.
- Keep your words and sentences simple
A general rule is that your sentences shouldn’t be longer than two lines long. Look for opportunities to cut them in half or make them shorter. You should also try to avoid over-complicating your writing with big words that some people might not understand.
- Keep it short and sweet
Similarly to not telling a long and winding story face-to-face, a long and winding email isn’t the most enjoyable experience either. In addition to making others feel like you’re wasting their time, it also boosts the chances that they’ll miss important details because they skimmed over them or flat-out didn’t read them.
How Good Are Your Communication Skills?
As you read through this article, what tips and points stuck out to you as room for improvement? And what did you give yourself a pat on the back for?
Like I mentioned earlier: even if you were born with a natural gift for engaging with other people smoothly and easily, there’s always room for improvement. Strong communication skills grow and evolve just as your personal and professional relationships grow and evolve.
There are plenty of handbooks to help you, but the best communication skills are learned through experience.
Start with self-awareness – stay in-tune with how you’re communicating now and how that aligns with your communication goals. Then shift into awareness of others – make sure you’re on the same page and you’re reading the right cues.
And remember: if this feels like a big undertaking, there’s no shame in asking for help through a mentor , coach, or class.
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How to Improve Written Communication
Last Updated: July 13, 2021 References
This article was co-authored by Bryce Warwick, JD . Bryce Warwick is currently the President of Warwick Strategies, an organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area offering premium, personalized private tutoring for the GMAT, LSAT and GRE. Bryce has a JD from the George Washington University Law School. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 10,981 times.
Improving your written communication is an important goal regardless of your profession or stage of life. Learning how to choose the right words, constructing paragraphs that are structured correctly, avoiding common grammar mistakes, and writing concisely will help you to become a better writer and effectively communicate your ideas to a variety of audiences.
Writing the Right Words
- For example, if you are writing about a new technology, you may need to explain the technical terms that appear in your paper or email as your audience may not have encountered them in the past.
- In other cases, though, your audience may be familiar with the technical terms so you would not need to explain them.
- For example, you might write that Native Americans are not a monotonous culture, when in fact you mean that Native Americans are not a homogenous culture.
- Ask yourself, “Am I sure I know the definition of this word?”
- Use a dictionary to look up the definitions are words whose meaning you are not quite sure about.
- Use a professional tone when writing business letters and formal emails.
- You can use informal language when crafting a a letter or an email to a friend.
Constructing Structured Paragraphs
- For instance, if you are writing a paragraph on different breeds of dogs, you could begin with a topic sentence such as, “There are two hundred different breeds of dogs.”
- Body sentences are where you will include and analyze any evidence you are presenting in your paragraph, or provide details about an event, person, or situation.
Avoiding Common Grammar Mistakes
- For example, if you are talking about the television your husband owns, you should not write “my husbands television.” You should write “my husband’s television.”
- If a noun does not end in s, add ‘s to the end of the noun. For example, if you are talking about the paws of a dog, write, “the dog’s paws.”
- If the noun is plural and already ends in s, just add an apostrophe. For example, if you are talking about the paws of two dogs, write, “the dogs’ paws.”
- You should also capitalize the first word of a sentence as well as the first word of a quote.
- For instance, don’t say, “It is raining and the clouds were dark.” Instead, try, “It is raining and the clouds are dark,” or “It was raining and the clouds were dark.”
- Exceptions do occur! For instance, if you are writing a paper in the present tense, it’s fine to switch to past tense for a flashback or anecdote.
- Try substituting “regardless of the fact that” with a simple “although.” If you feel the urge to write “due to the fact that,” try writing “because” instead.
- Words like “actually” can be used to indicate contrariness.
- This may be unnecessary depending upon the purpose, audience, and style of writing.
You might also like.
- ↑ http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/the-58-most-commonly-misused-words-and-phrases-a6754551.html
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/word-choice/
- ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/cliche.html
- ↑ Bryce Warwick, JD. Test Prep Tutor, Warwick Strategies. Expert Interview. 5 November 2019.
- ↑ http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/paragraphs.shtml
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/process/paragraphing/
- ↑ http://www.umuc.edu/writingcenter/writingresources/paragraph_struc.cfm
- ↑ http://www.umuc.edu/writingcenter/writingresources/apost.cfm
- ↑ http://www.umuc.edu/writingcenter/writingresources/capital.cfm
- ↑ http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/CommonErrors_Frag.html
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/conciseness-handout/
- ↑ https://sjsu.edu/writingcenter/docs/handouts/Writing%20Concisely.pdf
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15 Expert-Recommended Ways to Improve Your Written Communication
In a world filled with technological advances, humans have changed not only the way we communicate, but the way we write. There are a lot of different ways to write an idea, some causal, some filled with industry language, and not all approaches work for all audiences.
Polished written communication still matters in the professional world, and you may be wondering how to improve your skills. Below, 15 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share one specific way people can work towards better-written communication, as well as touch on why this aspect is so important.
1. Proofread Your Work
Well-written content says a lot about someone’s professionalism and sets them apart from other potential employees or clients. Spend time proofreading your content and do it out loud. When you read out loud, you’re more likely to catch errors in your text. I have found people send emails or messages without actually reading over them and miss a great deal of spelling, grammar and context errors.
– Jared Weitz , United Capital Source Inc.
2 . Work on Your Structure
Even if you have the best vocabulary and are really articulate, if your text isn’t well-structured it won’t be easily understood by people, and that’s a definite communication failure. Eloquent writing requires the ability to structure things in a logical sequence so that it flows well. Working on structure can help improve written communication skills, and make things easier to understand.
– Abeer Raza , TekRevol
3 . Read and Write More
When you read more, you learn more writing tactics and skills, making you extra knowledgeable. Practice makes everything perfect. You can’t really be good in anything without practicing all the time. Reading and writing, hand-in-hand, are both things you can do to be better at writing.
– Daisy Jing , Banish
4. Write Every Day
Practicing writing every day helps me improve my writing structure, syntax and overall organization. I generally spend 10 to 15 minutes every morning writing in my journal. This also helps me think more clearly and write more effectively.
– Kristin Kimberly Marquet , Marquet Media, LLC
5. Think About What’s in It for the Recipient
With any type of written communication, whether it’s a marketing piece or a company-wide email, it’s important to consider the recipient’s point of view. Always answer the question at the top of your recipients’ minds: “What’s in it for me?” If you frame your communications from that standpoint and address what your recipients care about, you’ll have a much better response.
– Keith Shields , Designli
6. Write Directly to Your Ideal Customer
Write with your ideal client or customer in mind. Too many people write for the vast majority and communication gets lost. They want the message to speak to everyone — so much so that it speaks to no one. The more you can narrow in on your ideal client or customer’s needs, the clearer you will be able to communicate to them. Consider this mindset when creating written communication.
– Diego Orjuela , Cables & Sensors
7. Focus on Emotions
One of the easiest ways to improve writing communications is to focus on what the reader is going to feel, not just think, as they move through the material. We often focus on factual writing like we’re in school, and focus very little on the emotions we’re eliciting from the audience. Although initially unnatural, emotionally fueled written word is a game-changer.
– AJ Harbinger , The Art of Charm
8 . Use a Grammar App
If you want to improve your grammar, try using an app to help you out. There are many out there. Some free ones are hemingwayapp.com and grammarly.com . Before you know it, you’ll start recognizing common mistakes and catching them before the app corrects you.
– Syed Balkhi , WPBeginner
9 . Take a Writing Class
My writing skills improved dramatically during my freshman year of college thanks to an introductory-level writing class I took. I took an advanced writing course in my junior year, and unsurprisingly, my writing got even better. Everyone can improve their writing, and good classes can help you take your written communication skills to the next level.
– Adam Mendler , The Veloz Group
10 . Keep It Short
Audience interest, attention and time are valuable and increasingly scarce. Write short sentences and concise paragraphs. Edit twice to reduce, combine and compact as much as possible.
– Mahesh Chaddah , Reservations.com
11. Read Your Writing Out Loud
When you speak an email, blog post or any piece of writing out loud, you get a better idea of how it comes across. You can simply read what you’ve written out loud to yourself. If it’s something important, read it to someone else for another opinion. Another possibility is to dictate into your phone and transcribe the words. You can do this for free or use a high-end software such as DragonSpeak.
– Kalin Kassabov , ProTexting
12. Review to Ensure You’ve Hit All Your Key Points
Clarity is important in emails. When you are close to a subject, it’s easy to forget that the person on the other end doesn’t have all the information you do. I will often go back through an email to ensure it hits the key points: goal, timeline and a clear deliverable or question. While this might seem obvious, it’s surprising how often emails are unclear and how much confusion it can create.
– Ashley Merrill , Lunya
13. Include Clear Examples
One of the best ways I’ve learned to improve my written communication is by using easy-to-understand examples. I think we establish communication barriers between ourselves and the people who work for us when we don’t explain what we expect. Examples helps make your message clear and improves your communication.
– Chris Christoff , MonsterInsights
14. Use Simple, Jargon-Free Language
Sometimes when people are writing communications, they try to appear more professional by using bigger and more complicated words or industry-specific jargon. But, if you want to improve your written communications, you should make it easy to understand. Use simple language so that anyone who is reading your communication, whether expert or beginner, can understand your message.
– Thomas Griffin , OptinMonster
15. Seek Out a Mentor
Seek someone with an outside perspective on your writing can give you objective feedback. When you seek out or hire someone to look over your work for a second opinion, you can receive honest thoughts about what you need to improve and how you can get there.
– Stephanie Wells , Formidable Forms
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co .
How to Improve Written Communication Skills at Work
Written communication at work is sometimes more important than how you interact in person.
The 4-hour meeting week and 25 other secrets from innovative, fast-moving teams
At work, we're writing to our colleagues more than ever. On top of email, we've got project management software, chat, note-taking apps , cloud-based project documents, and whole slew of other places where we write posts, comments, and updates every day.
Given how much of it we do, for most desk jobs, written communication at work is probably as important, if not more important, than how you interact in person. Even if you think you're already pretty good at writing emails, making Word docs, or using Slack, if you want to be more successful, writing is a fundamental skills you'll want to cultivate.
To improve written communication skills, all you need to learn are some flexible principles. This isn't about any kind of rigid adherence and memorization of grammatical and stylistic rules. Rather, it's about being aware of how your writing is being received, and making it as easy as possible for your co-workers to get what they need from written words.
Why is written communication so important?
In 2004 Jeff Bezos banned the use of PowerPoint at Amazon . He insisted on well-structured narrative text instead, because, he said, it “forces better thought and better understanding.”
[Good writing] forces better thought and better understanding. —Jeff Bezos
Bezos recognized that, when executed well, written communication leads to more high-quality ideas because it enables critical scrutiny of these ideas, both for the writer and the audience.
But it’s not just internal memos that are important. It’s comment threads, Tweets, posts, instant messages, text messages, emails and more. Now more than ever, communication teams must use a strategic mix of various channels.
And knowing how to write and be understood on at least some of these channels is critical.
Unique challenges with written communication at work
The real challenge with writing is not to be technically or stylistically perfect—the challenge is to communicate clearly . More specifically, your challenge with written communication follows these three Cs. You must be:
- C onsiderate of your audience.
Being concise, clear, and considerate has gotten much harder with the rise of so many new channels for written communication. But why?
Think back to a recent project you were involved in.
What communication channels did you use to communicate with your colleagues, clients, and project stakeholders? Even a relatively simple project’s written communication might span across email chains, message threads, comments on a task, and project documents.
This creates a new kind of communication complexity.
Tips and examples to improve written communication
Since your main challenge with written communication is to be clear, concise, and considerate of your audience, our tips are centered around those three areas.
How to Be More Concise
Remove repetition from your writing.
To be a more concise writer follow the advice of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style and “omit needless words”.
As Strunk and White explain, “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences.”
As it turns out, many common expressions violate the principle of omitting needless words. So following this rule requires diligence.
For example, in the sentence “He is a man who likes watching sports,” the phrase “he is a man who” can be rewritten as “he” without changing the meaning of the sentence.
When you proofread your writing, look for opportunities to remove words, sentences, or paragraphs without changing the meaning of your message.
Choose Communication Frequency and Volume Carefully
To write well, you need to choose carefully when to communicate, how much information to provide, and in what form you should communicate.
For example, if you’re submitting a deliverable you created to a client or boss, you’ll need to provide the proper context to enable them to provide useful feedback.
At the same time, you don’t want to provide so much irrelevant contextual information that your reader becomes overwhelmed.
How to Write More Clearly
Using shorter sentences.
The American Press Institute showed that when the average sentence length is 14 words, readers understand more than 90% of what they are reading.
This doesn’t mean every sentence you write must be 14 words or less. But you should try to limit the number of sentences you write that are longer than 25 words.
An easy way to do this is to break up long sentences.
Take this wordy example.
"Burgundy is the smallest of the famous wine regions of France, and its greatest wines all come from a narrow strip of hills in eastern France.”
Make it easier to read by breaking up sentences:
“Burgundy is the smallest of the famous wine regions of France. Its greatest wines all come from a narrow strip of hills in eastern France.”
Avoid Unnecessarily Complex Words
Another way to improve your writing is to avoid using a complex word when a simpler one will work. For example:
- Instead of “close proximity” write “near”.
- Instead of “nebulous” write “vague”.
- Instead of “observe” write “see”.
How to Be More Considerate of Your Reader
Contextualize and clarify your message.
You shouldn’t expect your audience to remember all the background information relevant to your message. But you should expect, and allow time for, clarification.
So put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself:
What other information might your audience need to understand or react to your message? Do they have access to that information? What critical information should you reiterate to ensure your audience’s understanding?
Focus on Action Items
Typically, the reason you write at work is to help someone else make a decision and/or take action. To be more considerate of your audience, structure your writing around those action items or decision points.
That way, your audience can focus any clarification questions around the information they need to take action.
Speaking of focusing on action items, try one of our free agenda templates to create a well-written, action-oriented agenda for any kind of meeting.
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Written Communication Guide: Types, Examples, and Tips
The power of words inspires change, evokes emotions, and fosters connections
We live in a world where the words you write hold the key to unlocking new opportunities. It doesn't matter if you're writing formal business correspondence or a personal letter to your best friend, writing has the power to take readers on a profound journey through your thoughts.
The types of written communication are as diverse as the purposes they serve and can allow you to excel at work, engage academically, and be more expressive and eloquent. This written communication guide will lead you down a path to discover different types of written communication and will provide examples and tips to ensure that you write exactly what you mean.
Definition of written communication
At its core, written communication is the art of transmitting messages, thoughts, and ideas through the written word. It serves as a bridge that connects individuals across time and space, allowing for the seamless exchange of information, emotions, and knowledge. Whether etched onto parchment centuries ago or typed onto a digital screen today, written communication has withstood the test of time as a powerful means of expression.
In a fast-paced world where information travels at the speed of light, written communication holds its ground as a tangible record of human interaction. Unlike its oral counterpart , written communication transcends temporal boundaries, leaving an indelible mark that can be revisited and analyzed. It's this permanence that lends written communication a significant place in personal correspondence, professional documentation, and academic discourse.
In personal realms, heartfelt letters and carefully crafted emails capture emotions and sentiments that words spoken aloud might fail to convey
Within professional settings, written communication takes the form of reports, proposals, and emails, each meticulously composed to ensure clarity and precision
Academia finds its treasure trove in research papers, essays, and presentations, where written communication serves as the cornerstone of knowledge dissemination
Yet, amidst this sophistication lies a distinction: written communication lacks the immediate feedback and nuances present in oral discourse. This difference demands attention to detail and precise articulation, to ensure the intended message is accurately received. The immediate feedback present in oral communication allows you to instantly adjust your rhetoric, but that opportunity isn't always present in written communication.
Types of written communication
We've briefly explored the concept that written communication can be found in personal, professional, and academic settings. But its reach extends far beyond those three realms. Each type of written communication wields a unique power, catering to different purposes and audiences. Understanding the four types of written communication – formal, informal, academic, and creative – will empower you to communicate effectively across a wide spectrum of contexts.
1. Formal communication
In the corporate arena, formal written communication is the backbone of professional interactions. This type of writing demands precision, clarity, and adherence to established norms. Written communication in the workplace encompasses emails, memos, reports, and official documents. These documents serve as a lasting record of decisions, proposals, and agreements, emphasizing the need for accuracy and professionalism. Examples of formal written communication include:
Formal business emails: These messages are structured, concise, and adhere to a specific etiquette. For instance, sending a well-constructed email to a prospective client introducing your company's services demonstrates effective formal communication. The tone should remain respectful and informative, reflecting the sender's professionalism.
Office memos: Memos serve as succinct internal communication tools within organizations. These documents address specific topics, provide instructions, or announce updates. An example of formal communication through a memo is when a department head distributes a memo outlining the upcoming changes to company policies.
Business reports: Reports are comprehensive documents that analyze data, present findings, and offer recommendations. A formal business report might involve an in-depth analysis of market trends, financial performance, or project outcomes. Such reports are meticulously structured, featuring headings, subheadings, and references. A quarterly financial report submitted to company stakeholders is an example of formal written communication in the form of a report. The language employed is precise and backed by evidence, maintaining an authoritative tone.
2. Informal communication
Stepping away from corporate rigidity, informal written communication captures the casual essence of everyday life. Informal communication embraces text messages, social media posts, and personal letters. It encourages self-expression and authenticity, enabling individuals to communicate in a more relaxed and relatable manner. Balancing the informal tone while maintaining appropriate communication standards is essential in this type of communication. Some examples of informal communication are:
Text messages: Text messages are characterized by their casual tone, use of abbreviations, and emojis. The language used is relaxed and often mirrors spoken language, fostering a sense of familiarity and ease.
Social media posts: From Facebook statuses to Twitter updates and Instagram captions, these informal writing opportunities allow you to express yourself freely. The language is personal, engaging, and may include humor or personal anecdotes that boost your personal brand .
Personal letters: Although originally rather formal, personal letters have transitioned into the realm of informality. Letters written to friends or family members often showcase a mix of personal anecdotes, emotions, and everyday language. The language is warm, reflective of personal connections, and might include elements of nostalgia or shared experiences.
3. Academic writing
Within educational institutions, academic writing reigns as the conduit of knowledge dissemination. This type of writing includes essays, research papers, and presentations. Academic writing upholds a formal tone, requiring proper citation and adherence to established formats. The objective is to convey complex concepts coherently and objectively, fostering critical thinking and intellectual growth. Here are a few examples of academic writing:
Essays: Essays are fundamental forms of academic writing that require students to analyze and present arguments on specific topics. The essay is structured with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, all aimed at conveying a well-organized argument supported by evidence.
Research papers: Research papers dive deeper into specific subjects, often requiring extensive investigation and citation of sources. They should be organized with specific sections such as an introduction, literature review, methodology, findings, and conclusion. This type of academic writing focuses on presenting original insights backed by thorough research.
Presentations: While presentations involve spoken communication, their accompanying slides often feature written content. Academic presentations might include a slide deck explaining the findings of a research study. Each slide contains concise written points that support the speaker's verbal explanations. Effective academic presentation writing ensures clarity and conciseness, to aid the audience's understanding.
4. Creative writing
Creative writing introduces a touch of artistry to written communication. Poetry, short stories, and blog posts exemplify this style. Creative writing explores the depths of human imagination, invoking emotions and vivid imagery. This type of writing encourages personal flair, allowing individuals to experiment with language, style, and narrative structure. While the examples of creative writing are vast, we'd like to share a few examples with you.
Poetry: Poetry is an artistic form of written communication that emphasizes rhythm, imagery, and emotions. In such works, words are carefully chosen to evoke feelings and paint vivid mental pictures, allowing readers to experience a heightened emotional connection.
Short stories: Short stories are concise narratives that capture a moment, an emotion, or a complete tale in a limited space. An example of creative writing as a short story could be a suspenseful narrative that unfolds over a few pages, engaging readers with its characters, plot twists, and resolution. Creative short stories often explore themes of human nature and provide a glimpse into unique worlds or experiences.
Novels: Novels stand as an epitome of creative writing, offering a more extensive canvas for storytelling. Novels delve deep into emotions, relationships, and the complexities of human existence, allowing readers to immerse themselves in fictional realms with remarkable depth.
Tips for improving your written communication skills
Believe it or not, writing is one of those skills that many people struggle with. The question of whether writing is a skill or a talent has long sparked debates among linguists, educators, and writers themselves. Whether effective written communication is something that you're naturally good at or something that you struggle with, everyone can benefit from some tips on being a better writer.
Clarity: Clarity is arguably the cornerstone of good writing. It ensures your message is understood by eliminating ambiguity, confusion, and misinterpretation. Prioritize simplicity over complexity, using clear and concise sentences to deliver your message effectively. Avoid unnecessary jargon and convoluted phrases, aiming to convey ideas in a straightforward manner.
Understand your audience: It's critical to consider who will be reading what you write. Think about their knowledge, interests, and expectations when crafting your message. Adjust your tone, style, and choice of words to resonate with your intended readers. This ensures that your message is relatable and engaging, enhancing its impact.
Grammar and spelling: If there's one thing that will turn people off your writing, it's improper grammar and bad spelling. Maintaining proper grammar and spelling reflects professionalism and attention to detail. Proofread your work meticulously or use online tools to catch errors.
Practice and learn: Even if you're an expert writer, writing is a skill that evolves. Stephen King – the “king of writing” – asserts that every writer should read . Regular reading exposes you to diverse writing styles and perspectives that expand your knowledge of presenting the written word.
Embrace the power of words
Through clear communication, tailored messages, and continuous practice, you can harness the art of written expression to connect, inspire, and leave a lasting impact. The power of words is always within your grasp.
Your resume is another place that requires exceptional writing skills. Let our team of expert resume writers unlock the door to your professional success by showcasing your exceptional writing skills on the most important career marketing tool you have. Send your resume for a free review today !
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- How to improve communication skills
- Knowledge Hub
After reading this guide, you will understand how to improve your communication skills, and help others do the same.
Communication is a skill, and like all skills, you can get better at it through practice.
You will be able to effectively employ these techniques in your workplace, which will improve interpersonal relationships, allow for better problem solving, and ultimately lead to better business outcomes.
Why is good communication so important at work?
- The importance of listening
- Improving non-verbal communication
- Improving verbal communication
- Improving written communication
- Improving visual communication
- Recommended resources: books and online courses
It might be tempting to think that, as long as you do your job well, being a good communicator isn’t very important. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Every aspect of your job depends on communication, and how well you can communicate directly correlates with how well you can do your job.
This has become even more relevant with the increase in remote work – bad communication skills have been highlighted by the increased use of messaging rather than face-to-face workplace communication.
If you’re in a client-facing role, your communication with them will make or break the relationship.
Think of the various aspects of that work that requires good communication:
- pitching your company to the client,
- building a trusting personal relationship with them,
- understanding what they want and clearly communicating that to the relevant teams,
- receiving feedback,
- communicating about updates or delays,
- and many more.
If you are unable to do this, then the client will lose trust and could seek another company that is better at communication.
If you’re in a management role or would like to be in the future, communication is key.
According to LinkedIn research , communication skills are the number one most desired soft skill that employers want.
Leading is all about being able to deliver your message well, explain concepts, give constructive feedback , mentor your team, and solve problems. How well you can communicate will be crucial to all of those actions.
Even in roles where you are mostly dealing with your own team, your communication skills will help you achieve success in your role.
Good communication will result in being able to explain problems, build solutions, form positive relationships with your department, and effectively collaborate on workflow.
5 Ways to improve your communication skills
1. the importance of listening.
We cannot touch on the importance of communication without highlighting that a massive aspect of it is what you do when you’re not talking.
Being a good listener is the most crucial part of communication .
We’re not just talking about hearing the words that a person is saying; rather you should be tuned in to their non-verbal communication also.
- Is the person avoiding eye contact?
- Is their posture open or closed?
- Are they fidgeting with their hands?
All of these actions convey a lot of information.
How to be a good listener:
- When you are listening, give your full attention to the speaker.
- Set your phone face down.
- Turn away from your computer screen.
- Look at their non-verbal signals, and listen to their words.
- Use clarification questions to follow up on key points and then sum up your understanding to them, so they can clear up any miscommunication immediately.
By following the advice above, you demonstrate your engagement in the conversation, confirming to the person that you have heard, and understood, them completely.
2. Improving non-verbal communication
To begin improving your non-verbal communication, first, you must begin by paying attention to it.
As you go through your day, observe how you use the various types of non-verbal communication that we mentioned in our article about types of communication .
- Do you make consistent eye contact?
- How do you position yourself when speaking to people?
- Does it change based on who you are talking to?
- How do people react to you?
- Are there certain people who make you feel heard?
- What do they do that makes you feel like that?
- Is there someone who is unpleasant to communicate with?
- What actions do they do that make you not enjoy talking to them?
Think about the positives and negatives that you observe.
If there is someone who you find to be a particularly good – or bad – person to talk to, pinpoint why they make you feel that way.
Pay attention to the non-verbal signals that they are giving off.
You can mimic the positives, and be aware of the negatives.
How to be better at non-verbal communication:
- Don’t fidget! This is rule number one. Be still, and calm. This communicates that you are in control, confident and a force to be reckoned with.
- Use eye contact intelligently. Focus in on people when you want to drive home a point. Look people in the eye both when you are listening to them and when you are speaking.
- Be confident in your use of space. Don’t minimize yourself, instead relax into your space. It’s important that you do this intelligently! Don’t prevent other people from sitting comfortably.
- Strive to be non-reactive during stressful situations. Keep your emotions level and respond calmly.
Simply being more aware of non-verbal communication, and the power that it has will help you be better at using it proactively and positively.
If you observe that you tend to avoid eye contact during stressful negotiations, then you can make sure to put an emphasis on making consistent eye contact when speaking in the next meeting.
3. Improving verbal communication
To improve your verbal communication, you’ll need to get better at both what you say and how you say it.
It doesn’t matter how clear your message is if you are patronizing or rude when you say it.
As we recommend for non-verbal communication, begin by observing yourself and others in conversation.
- Are there times when they react more negatively than others, and can you pinpoint why?
- Are there colleagues who you particularly enjoy conversing with?
- Observe how communication happens in your work environment, and pay attention to which aspects are positive and negative.
Next, begin to think about the content of your verbal communications.
We all know someone who takes ages to get to the point of the story, and how frustrating that can be, or someone who never gets to the point at all.
Before you speak, know what you want to communicate.
- Begin with your stated purpose (‘I think we need to increase ad spending 10%’)
- Move on to your reasoning (‘The upcoming holiday season is a prime time to target our customers more effectively’)
- Review possible outcomes (‘We could increase sales between 20 and 30%’).
While this advice is best suited for more formal presentations, this is effective in informal settings as well.
Knowing what you want to say and having the facts to back it up will make you seem more professional, knowledgeable and decisive.
Use pitch to help captivate your audience
- A lower pitch tends to communicate gravitas and experience. Take longer, deeper breaths and speak from your diaphragm to lower your voice.
- Strategically use silence to capture, and keep attention. Pause and hook the viewer’s attention before dropping your pitch, your big reveal or your thesis sentence.
- Use a range of cadence, speed and style. You don’t want to speak in a monotone, you’ll bore your audience and they won’t be engaged in the content of your communication.
4. Improving written communication
In written communication, the first step to improve is to make sure that your spelling and grammar are perfect.
There are plenty of online tools that can help you with this. You simply paste your writing into the app and then you get valuable feedback on spelling, grammar, and even the content.
Now, this is not a perfect solution, AI is smart but can make mistakes, but it works very well for a quick check, especially if you are not the world’s strongest writer.
Read more about the written type of communication .
Take the time to re-read everything that you write
- Is your tone appropriate to the setting?
- Are there any mistakes, items not linked properly, or missing points?
- Have you covered the subject in enough depth?
- We often overestimate how much other people know about our specialist subjects, it might be necessary to write in more detail. At the same time, don’t write a novel!
Formatting is key
- Format everything, from a Slack message to a full presentation, to make sure that you are creating a readable text.
- Use bullet points and paragraphs to break up your message.
- Highlight your points in bold if you have a lot of text.
- Underline anything that you think is crucial.
More tips for improving your written communication:
- State your assumptions. This will help avoid miscommunications. Start by saying ‘I assume you have heard about the new policy change, effective June 1. Because of this, we will be adjusting x, y and z.’
- Read often. From messages to novels, read often and when you do, think about what you like (or dislike) about what you’re reading. Emulate what you like, and work to avoid what you dislike.
- Use framing to get your point across. Think about it from the recipient’s point of view, and what’s in it for them, and then frame the message to highlight that.
- Read your writing out loud to check for mistakes. Use this time to review grammar, tone, fact-check and to make sure that you have covered everything you wanted to in the communication.
- When possible, use clear examples and avoid using too much jargon.
5. Improving visual communication
An important aspect of using visual communication is to only use it when necessary.
A presentation stuffed full of visual aids that do not add to the content is messy, unprofessional and will distract from the overall message.
You want to be judicious about what you include, and why you are including it. Make sure that you are using the proper chart to show the data in the clearest way, or are including only the sketches that will add to the audience’s understanding of the ideas for a new logo.
Not all of us are graphic designers, but there are tools available to help us create professional-looking visuals.
Make use of those! You don’t want your presentation to look like it was created in 1995.
Default to clean, professional templates, rather than looking for something ‘interesting.’ Your message should be the star, not the font, color, or background image.
Tips for improving visual communication:
- Less is more! Pare back your design and resist the urge to stuff every fact, figure, font and color into a presentation.
- Utilize typography. If in doubt, ask for the brand guidelines for your company and follow those. They will help you create cohesive presentations in line with your company’s preferred look.
- Pay attention to balance and harmony. You can achieve this by using similar, rather than disparate, elements in your communication. The same style of clip art, the same font family, or the same pastel shades.
- Begin with the end in mind. Know what you want to communicate and start there.
- Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life) , Thomas Erikson
- How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships , Leil Lowndes
- Influencer: The new science of leading change , Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler
- How to win friends and influence people , Dale Carnegie
- Skill with people , Les Gibli
- How to speak, how to listen , Mortimer J. Adler
- Communication strategies for a virtual age
- Improving communication skills
- Teamwork skills: Communicating effectively in groups
- Effective communication in the globalised workplace
Ivan is a dedicated and versatile professional with over 12 years of experience in online marketing and a proven track record of turning challenges into opportunities. As a business development assistant to the CEO at Valamis, Ivan works diligently to improve internal processes and explore new possibilities for the company.
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- May 2, 2019
How To Improve Written Communication: Practical Tips And Useful Tools
In the era of the Internet, we spend a large portion of our time communicating online. Most of such interactions come in writing. You have to deliver a clear message to achieve your goals, convey desires, and answer questions. However, for many people writing several sentences is a hard task.
Today we will talk about how you can improve your written communications, what advice to follow, and tools to use.
We are not talking about the so-called 10,000 hours rule. But the idea is pretty clear – writing is hard for those, who do not practice. Do you know why we think that the people of the past were much better writers? They were not, but many people practiced a lot, by keeping their diary for example.
For today you might not have that much time, writing a 1000-word essay requires a lot of dedication. But if you develop a habit of writing at least three sentences per day, after a while, you’ll see a boost in your skills. It might be a Facebook post, thoughtful comment on the article you liked, whatever.
The main idea behind this approach is to learn how to fight the writer’s block. As time goes, you will learn how to translate your thoughts into sentences that are readable enough for others to understand.
Also, when you face a need to write something bigger than your usual Facebook comment, say, an essay at school, or a blog post at work, there are also tools to help you. Refer to our Template Library available for Premium users, to get templates of dozens of texts – then you can just will the gaps and get a finished copy.
So, the main thing is practice. Write as much as you can, and soon you won’t need any help to create a killer piece and convey all your thoughts with style. This is the only way to improve your written communication.
Think about your reader
An important thing often overlooked by inexperienced writers. The basics of successful writing (whatever you consider a success in your case) is based on using words and notions suitable for the target audience of your text.
You will use formal language when sending an email with a quarterly report to your manager or working on a cover letter for your CV. And vice versa, when you are commenting on your friend’s Instagram post or sending a WhatsApp message, you won’t be too formal, as it will look weird.
Also, you should remember about complexity and readability. If you are writing light content you’d like even a kid could understand, you should avoid complex expressions and long sentences.
Run your text via specialized writing enhancement tool to find out its readability level, and fix it if needed.
Do not misuse words
One of the hardest things about writing is picking the right word. Often you might just mix the meaning of one word with another, or become confused by homophones (there are a lot of them in English), or forget the right meaning at all.
As a result, your writing may seem strange, irrelevant and unprofessional. To avoid such problems, use automated tools likes Vocabulary.com. This website has a pretty impressive approach to conveying a word’s meaning. It is not only written like in a dictionary, but there is a complete break up of different meanings the word can have in multiple situations. All explained as if you were at school and talking with your teacher.
Though experts are still arguing about shrinking/not shrinking attention span of the nowadays readers, they agree on the fact, and it does not exceed 10-15 seconds. So, to achieve a goal of your writing, you need to get straight to the point ASAP, or the reader will switch to something else.
The information overload is a huge problem, and people always have multiple options of content consuming: they can watch YouTube videos, scroll social networking feeds, read articles posted by media outlets. If your message is too long, or hard to read, chances of people wasting their time to understand, what you were about to say, equal to zero.
Don’t try to impress people with bright metaphors, complex phrases, and surprising facts if these things are not 100% relevant to what you want to express. Otherwise, cut all these unnecessary decorations.
Use the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) approach:
- if there is a big report, include a summary of key points in the beginning;
- use bullets to separate points;
- avoid industry-specific jargon;
- do not overuse abbreviations.
Structure your texts
Some life hacks could skyrocket your writing readability. One of the most effective is structuring. Here is how it works:
- Begin each paragraph with a so-called topic sentence . This is the main idea of the whole section. If you want to improve your writing communication, it is the best approach you can follow, as you’ll grab the reader’s attention right away.
- Follow with the body sentences to dive into the topic . Once you’ve told what you will write about, add more details and describe the matter of your topic. Here you insert quotations, images, links to the external data, etc.
- Add a conclusion sentence . Your idea should have the beginning and the end, as well. So don’t just jump to the next idea, until you’ve not finished the previous one. Wrap up the narration, outline main idea, consequences, etc., and only then move forward.
Mark Quadros, expert writer from Dhe Real Mark emphasizes further, “When writing content pieces, I avoid beating about the bush and get right to the point. The last thing you want is to burn your reader’s energy by making them read big text blocks.”
Find a human editor
The best way to improve your written communication is to have someone who will tell you when you could do a better job. There are websites like Fluent Express where you can order human editing services. However, there you can’t discuss the piece in the real-time.
Finding a person who knows your writing style and standard style errors, and is available for discussion is much more effective. But how to get such an editor? It is super easy. Just use websites like Upwork to hire an experienced freelance editor.
There are lots of such specialists, and you can easily find people who are native UK, US, Australia, New Zealand speakers. The good thing is you can negotiate the price for the proofreading, and build a long-term relationship.
future discounts, explain your idea behind any part of the text – shortly speaking; you definitely need Upwork for professional content creation.
Double check everything
Another important thing which people often overlook is proofreading. And even if you’d score yourself a human proofreader via Upwork, he or she still be human and can skip some mistakes.
However, nowadays there are professional writing enhancement tools like Linguix.com which finds much more mistakes than a regular spell checker. So, when you think you’re finished, and BEFORE sending your text to a human editor (or a friend for a second look) run your text through the tool.
It will eliminate typos, find punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes. That way, you’ll be sure that your writing is clear as a whistle. Then, send it to your human editor, and, when he or she returns the text, run an additional check via Linguix.com. This will help in fixing potential new typos arrived after the editing, and new mistakes the editor might make.
The good thing is that the tool works as a super convenient Chrome extension. This means, you can edit texts right on WordPress or Medium, Gmail or Facebook, and it is super comfortable that the extension checks everything on the fly. No need to Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V and paste anything.
Final advice: don’t try to save time on writing
Delivering clear written communication takes time. Nothing good will happen if you’ll try to save time on writing. Chances are you’ll end up with typos, errors, and unclear message. It is absolutely normal to spend several hours crafting an email, and several days for polishing the blog post or essay.
All steps of improving the written communications including evaluating the readability, checking there are no misused words, running a grammar check, and human editing, will require some time. Do not try to skip any of these steps as they are crucial for getting a clear message.
More from Linguix Blog
Ace the Presentation
9 Ways to Improve Written and Verbal Communication Skills
Effective communication is an essential tool for achieving success; good communication generates understanding, brings people together, and facilitates understanding messages.
Immense problems arise from poor communication, such as disagreements between people, harmful environments, be it at work or at home, etc. Generally, the difficulty in communicating is associated with a lack of professional competence, so we must invest and value our communication.
In this article, you will know different ways you could further develop both written and verbal communication, and understand their importance.
What is Verbal Communication?
Verbal communication is the one where the message is transmitted by audio/sound or speech; that is, it is the one that uses the resources of the language to express content.
What is Written Communication?
Written Communication is the one where a code is used to transmit the message; currently, it is widely used in newspapers, magazines, books, websites, and other communication platforms.
1. Reading is the first step to improving both writing and speaking skills
Reading is the best way to acquire knowledge of textual production. Do you remember that, in the first years of school, the teacher conducted many literacy activities?
With the habit of reading, you stimulate your brain, learn new words and get used to different ways of expressing yourself. This makes thinking more agile, facilitates reasoning, and increases knowledge on various subjects.
As we read the most varied topics, from simple to complex, children and adults, the whole collection will help your brain to develop, and with it, all your creativity and writing skills.
Consequently, it is easier to argue, express feelings, and defend your point of view.
Reading is crucial for the learning process of the human being because it is through it that we can enrich our vocabulary, gain knowledge, and streamline reasoning and interpretation.
2. Take a moment to practice your writing.
Our tip is that you include writing training in your routine; it is essential to devote at least an hour of the day to writing, get used to practicing your writing, and make it a habit, as well as reading.
If you don’t know what to write about, how about writing a text telling your opinion about the last movie you watched or some book that marked your life?
Write reviews on the most varied subjects that arouse your interest. Just have a notebook or diary and tell something interesting that has happened to you or some personal reflection.
At first, don’t worry about showing it to anyone if it makes you uncomfortable. With the development of their skills, this insecurity about their writing and the fear of others’ opinions tend to disappear.
3. Review everything you write
Sometimes, in a hurry, we click on the send button in a message, email, or even an academic paper without first reviewing it carefully. But stop being lazy and don’t let it happen!
Put yourself in the reader’s place and re-read what you wrote. Would you understand the content you wrote if you weren’t the author of the text? Is it cohesive, well-structured, and free of grammatical errors? Did you get the message you wanted? Ask yourself these questions and rewrite your text as many times as necessary.
4. Travel to places different from your comfort zone
The Economist Intelligence Unit and Lucid chart produced a report revealing that 42% of employees attribute misunderstandings at work to different communication styles.
When we travel to different places with cultural and perhaps moral habits opposite to what we can imagine, as usual, we know that we are in the ideal place to improve our communication skills.
Going abroad and experiencing communication barriers makes our brain more aware of the differences between the different styles of communication, which then leads to developing new forms of empathy and adaptability in the form of transmission of a message.
5. Dive through grammar
Grammar is the complete description of the language, that is, a set of rules that establish the writing parameters, specifying the correct way to combine the words to form coherent sentences, paragraphs, and texts.
Spoken language is much more flexible and informal than writing, but it is also necessary to follow specific grammatical rules to understand each other in a conversation.
The intention here is not to give a cultured or erudite image but to learn to master the exact meaning of each word.
6. Learn the art of truly listening to others
One of the biggest problems with personal communication is that people are very concerned about what they’re going to say, but they’re not very prepared to listen. Think of how many difficult situations you have lived with friends, colleagues, or family members because of the difficulty of listening and being listened to.
To open oneself to listen to others is to be willing to think about what they say to you and resist the urge to respond quickly.
Be careful not to get into defense mode and close your mind to what you are being told, and this habit can be especially harmful in the work environment.
A good communicator is always a good listener; those who hear do not lose information, ask appropriate questions, and understand their interlocutor.
You can empathize with phrases like “Talk more about this topic” or “I’m interested in what you say ,” and also “Tell more details about it, so I can understand why you think so.”
7. Don’t be the “truth’s master.”
The posture of arrogance is one of the worst behaviors one can have when trying to communicate with other people; it pushes the listener away and creates an atmosphere conducive to conflict. After all, who will desire dialogue with someone who always feels they have the truth?
It is challenging to establish effective communication in this case, as one of those involved feels that they are right and the others are wrong. So one of our tips on how to improve communication is to exercise humility.
Be open to questioning your certainties and considering all opinions.
This does not mean that you need to give up what you think and always agree with others; the point here is to seek a balance, maintaining your personality without imposing what you believe with arrogance. Always look for ways to argue with acceptance and respect.
8. Talk to strangers at least once a day.
From the moment we leave home, we have contact with many people, don’t we? Be with a salesman in the grocery store or store clerk.
Try to talk more with these people, if only to talk about the weather! As you communicate with people you’ve never seen before, you feel more confident to speak to people you see every day.
In addition, this type of conversation yields many insights, opens the mind, and brings new subjects to your repertoire. Try it out!
9. Ask questions and repeat to someone else.
Let’s face it; we’ve all been distracted when talking or not listening to someone else. Asking questions and repeating the last words she said shows her interest in what is being said, keeps you attentive, and helps clarify points that may have been misunderstood. (e.g., “So will you buy tickets for Saturday?” ).
It also helps in small talk and fills embarrassing silences; instead of trying to start a conversation using common topics like weather, ask the other person questions (for example: “ Do you have plans for the summer?” or “What have you been reading lately?” ) and pay attention to your answers.
10 Characteristics of Effective Communication
Have you ever wondered if you’re good at communicating? If you know how to share a message and receive information or if, on the contrary, that “is not for you”? Being able to communicate with those around you-whether your partners, subordinates, bosses, friends, or enemies- is much more than a good skill to have: it…
How to Improve your Communication Skills – 7 Essential Tips
Before we delve into how to improve your communication skills, let us first address the basic definition of communication. Communication in simple terms can simply be defined as the act of transferring information from one place to another or, from one person to another. There are many forms of communication, such as verbal (words of…
Communication Skills Guide: Examples of 11 Good and 8 Poor ones
Having effective communication skills is essential to every aspect of life, from going through school/college, to simply sharing ideas, speaking in public, nailing an interview, for better prospects in bidding proposals and whether we like it or not, we sometimes have poor communication skills. Well, it is not wrong to accept it; in fact, it…
The primary way to know more words and meanings is almost a cliché: you have to read a lot. But that’s not enough. The diversity of readings is as vital as their volume.
After all, different words will only appear in other contexts. Moreover, putting this vocabulary into use utilizing writing or speech ensures that it will not be forgotten, and resorting to dictionaries whenever necessary is also fundamental.
References and Further Reading
10 Ways to Improve Verbal Communication Skills. Indeed.com
AcethePresentation. AmadeBai, Emidio. 10 Critical Communication Skills.
AcethePresentation. AmadeBai, Emidio. 7 Apps for Developing Communication Skills.
CSUMS. Top 3 reasons to take a Professional Communication Skills Course.
How to Improve Written Communication Skills. Edu CBA.
7 ORATORY SECRETS: HOW TO GIVE AN EFFECTIVE ORATORICAL SPEECH?
What is oratory and why most of the greatest speeches ever are oratorical in nature? Oratory can be summarized as the art of informing and persuading people through the use of public speaking skills. It generally means speaking in front of an audience and using high level language skills to inform, educate and persuade the…
18 PUBLIC SPEAKING QUESTIONS ANSWERED
At some point in your life, you will have to speak in public, maybe at school or work, it is inevitable. One’s best course of action is to prepare for it. Here, I have put together a list of 18 frequently asked questions about public speaking, to help you on your journey to becoming a…
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Synonym of the day
Blithe is a synonym of carefree, blithe is another word for carefree.
✅ Blithe means thoughtless or careless ( He had a blithe attitude toward other people’s belongings ).
✅ Carefree means without worry or anxiety ( I felt so carefree on my vacation ).
✅ Blithe has a more negative connotation than carefree because it suggests being unthinking or careless toward others, rather than lacking anxieties.
✅ Blithe can also mean having a cheerful disposition, which may also suggest a lack of anxieties ( His blithe approach to life cheered us all up ).
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cloudburst is a synonym of storm
Cloudburst is another word for storm.
✅ A storm is a heavy fall of rain, snow, or hail, or a period of thunder and lightning, often with strong wind ( The storm was gathering on the horizon ).
✅ A cloudburst is a sudden and very heavy rainfall ( We drove through a cloudburst ).
✅ A storm and a cloudburst can both involve extremely heavy rain.
✅ However, a storm is often more than just heavy rain, and a storm often starts more slowly.
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Egocentric is a synonym of vain, egocentric is another word for vain.
✅ Vain describes someone who is excessively proud of and concerned with their looks and achievements ( He was vain about his hair ).
✅ Egocentric describes someone who doesn’t care about other people’s needs, interests, beliefs, and so on ( She was so egocentric that it was hard to make her understand my problems ).
✅ Vain and egocentric both describe people who focus excessively on themselves.
✅ Vain suggests being focused on appearance and achievements, but it doesn’t suggest always being focused on your own needs or wants ( She was vain, but she never made me feel inferior ).
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- Sep 26, 2023 vindictive
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- Sep 22, 2023 miff
- Sep 21, 2023 hoity-toity
- Sep 20, 2023 froufrou
- Sep 19, 2023 shilly-shally
- Sep 18, 2023 glee