Think about it.
How many people do you write to during a business day? How many of these people know you only through your words?
Okay, so maybe you have shared a few handshakes with some of them. But their opinion of who you are and your worth as an employee or business person may still be judged primarily by words you write.
It comes down to this. Everything...EVERYTHING!!!...you write is a picture of you. It might be wrong picture but that doesn't make any difference.
The PERCEPTION of who you are is far more powerful than REALITY.
DECLINING WRITING SKILLS IN BUSINESS
For over 30 years, I've served as a Business Writing Consultant to hundreds of companies, both privately owned and Fortune 500. During past 15 years, I've noticed a steady decline in ability of many business people to effectively express their ideas in writing. They are often extremely articulate in meetings. But when asked to reduce something to writing they can't get past subject line.
Here's an example. I recently received a phone call from a brilliant articulate middle management executive of a Fortune 500 company. He was calling from his office at company's headquarters after nine in evening.
He had just spent several hours trying to draft a Purpose Statement for a marketing proposal. This Purpose Statement was important. It set tone for rest of written proposal. If it was clear, concise and promising, he could expect a full reading. If statement was confused and dull, he was on his way toward rejection.
I had him fax me what he had written. It was little more than company cliches strung together with connectives which said almost nothing. If I had not known and worked with this man on other projects, I would have considered him dull and ordinary.
I had him tell me in his own words what he wanted to say. We then worked together to draft a statement that helped sell his program...AND HIMSELF.
DOES EFFECTIVE BUSINESS WRITING REQUIRE TALENT?
I won't deny that having a writing talent can help. Although I have seen many imcoms (important communications such as letters, memos, proposals and reports) fail because a literary style called more attention to words than message.