As a project manager, you are always striving to grow and prove yourself to your colleagues and superiors. However, simply completing the project successfully isn't the only metric that matters. How you communicate is another factor that will likely determine your overall performance.
Writing is one of the ways most organizations communicate amongst themselves and with external partners. A project manager generally needs to send a lot of emails, manage paperwork, and otherwise exercise their business writing skills. Business writing isn't as hard as it seems, and in this article, we aim to prove this by showing 7 ways you can develop excellent business writing skills in no time.
7 Ways to Develop Business Writing Skills as a Project Manager
1. Assess your writing skill level
While it might be hard for some of us to admit it, the truth is that not everyone is a good writer. This can be an issue for both employees and students, which is why many people rely on online writing services. Essaypublish.com
and other similar platforms can help students with their essays, research papers, resumes/CVs, and much more, but, as a project manager, you can't rely on external writing assistance indefinitely. Before you can develop your business writing skills, you need to take some time out to assess your current skill level. This will help you identify areas of improvement and allow you to monitor your progress.
2.Prepare an outline before writing
It's recommended to prepare an outline before you start writing. An outline will help guide you as you write, to avoid making simple mistakes or missing certain important points. For example, you can prepare an outline that contains the title of your email, its purpose, the intended parties, a list of main points you need to mention, and other related information. This way, your email or another document will have a clear structure.
3. Write in short sentences
In a typical organization, most employees are very busy. This is usually a result of the company trying to achieve certain milestones they have set. As a project manager, you are likely responsible for a lot of errands, business communication, and other areas of work that may influence the entire company. You might also be dealing with busy individuals that don't have time for lengthy emails.
Because of this, consider using short sentences and paragraphs. This might not be easy at first, but with time and practice, you will improve. Once you have finished drafting an email, you should have a look for areas where you can use simpler and shorter sentences, but at the same time keep the information you want to pass. Shorter sentences are easier to read and comprehend, so the points you are trying to get across will be a lot clearer if you write in short sentences.
4. Use the appropriate tone
When you're sending an email to a friend, you can use almost any tone, as long as it's respectful. However, when it comes to management, you might want to take special care when addressing them. This doesn't mean you should feel very tense when writing to senior management, but you should use the appropriate formal language. If you are unsure as to how your business writing can develop a more formal tone, a few tips are listed below:
- Stay away from slang, informal words, emojis, etc.
- Limit the use of abbreviations and contractions (for instance, write can not instead of can't).
- Avoid using first-person pronouns.
- Start and end the letter properly (with expressions like "Sincerely", "Yours truly", "Best regards", your full name and contact information, etc.).
- Avoid using passive voice.
5. Messages should contain one general theme
When sending out emails, you might feel tempted to address multiple issues at the same time. While this might be effective, it could also be confusing, especially if the items you are discussing aren't that related. For example, an email to team members asking about progress on multiple projects could be considered as having a single theme, but the responses to it may be hard to track.
6. Include calls to action for clarity
When drafting out your email, you don't want your receivers to be confused about what they're meant to do. For instance, let's look at this email: "Hi Jane, currently, the acquisition of raw materials needed for the Mile 2 project is behind schedule, and as such, we might not be able to deliver."
If the purpose of this email was only to inform Jane of the project's progress, then this might be fine.
However, if you needed Jane to contact a different distributor for raw materials, then this email wouldn't be good enough. While it might be Jane's job to do this, you want to include a clear call to action, so she and everyone in the copy of the email are aware of what the next steps need to be.
7. Make sure all relevant information is included
When writing, it can be easy to type and click "send"
without giving much thought to what relevant information the receiver needs. After all, if there is any aspect of the writing your receiver doesn't understand, they can simply ask you. Well, this wouldn't be the most effective approach.
Your receiver might misinterpret what you're trying to tell them. The other outcome is that you and the receiver might begin to exchange multiple emails until a proper understanding is achieved. Both outcomes would be bad for the business and so should be avoided. When drafting an email, you want to ask yourself what information would be needed to properly understand the context behind your email and take immediate action on it. Next, you need to ask yourself how much your reader knows and then include the needed information.
The role of a project manager goes well beyond business writing, but it's still an important skill to have. By learning to communicate effectively, you would be learning a skill that will win you interviews and can apply to other aspects of your life. We hope this article has proved useful and you have managed to learn a thing or two about boosting your business writing.