Let’s face it: no one likes business writing, but it is an essential part of our everyday work routines. Think of all the words you write in a day, a week, a month, or even a year: emails to colleagues, client proposals, important reports, memos, minutes, presentations – the list goes on and on.
The goal of business writing is to clearly communicate an idea or persuade the reader to take action, whether it’s to become a patron of your organisation or implement your idea into practice. So how can we ensure that our writing is concise, clear and impactful?
The answer: emotional intelligence.
This might surprise you. After all, many will tell you that business writing and emotions don’t mix. And, yes, while it is important to keep most forms of business writing objective and accurate, our emotions affect everything we do. Rather than ignore them or push them aside – which is often unsuccessful – it is best to exercise our EQ to properly reign them in.
Just like verbal forms of communication, written communication like business writing can be enhanced when the writer has a high level of EQ. Emotional intelligence allows you to:
01. Empathise with the reader.
This means that you are in their shoes and can more easily determine how the writing can meet their needs. Ask yourself: Who is the reader? Why are they reading this? What do they need to know? What terms will they be familiar with and which jargon should I avoid?
A business writer often needs to convert complicated information into a form that is more comprehensible to the reader. By having a better understanding of who they are and what information will be the most relevant, you will be able to structure your document accordingly.
02. Control our own emotions and prevent them from seeping through.
Depending on the form of writing – emails, for example – our emotional state can influence the way we write and how our reader responds. If we write an email about a subject we are angry about, or are having a bad day and let it bleed through into our writing, chances are that you will upset your reader and damage the relationship even if you did not intend to.
Recognising that anger and effectively dealing with it, or realising that we are angry and waiting to send that email at another time, is a much safer route.
03. Build a relationship with the reader.
Just like verbal communication, written communication is an opportunity to connect with the reader and establish rapport. Whether it’s a once-off communication or regular correspondence, those with a high level of EQ can build better relationships with their readers.
Looking to improve employees’ business writing skills? Our Business Writing Training course is designed to give your team the EQ edge when preparing important documents and everyday business writing. You can find out more here or call 1300 186 442 to get in touch with our facilitators.