As I walked into the dimly lit church on Christmas Eve, I reverently bowed my head and quickly followed my family into our usual pew. I reflected on the year, the ups, downs, and everything in between. Then all of the sudden, all eyes turned to a beautiful woman cantering the endless rows of people. As I listened to her melodic voice echo through every corner of the room, I felt my eyes shut as I entered my most familiar ‘bliss’. Just as my euphoric trance was entering its climax, a noise that resembled a cacophonous noise pierced the air. My eyes shot open as I scanned the room looking for the terrible creature that ruined this amazing peaceful moment. All eyes fell upon my sister, who was singing her tone-deaf heart out.
We can be completely blind to the way we come across to other people. In our heads we hear a melodious mockingbird, singing the morning away, while others could hear noises that resemble a dying cat. Whether it be your singing voice or the manner in which you speak to your coworkers, tone affects everything.
Millennials are notorious for their acclaimed “attitudes”. We have taken the sassy burden upon us. We have successfully caused the birth of the phrase “Don’t use that tone with me” and have coined the eye roll in every form. Tone is an important indicator in our everyday conversation. But have you ever thought about how your tone might affect your workplace interactions? Luckily, there are a couple of quick tips you can keep in mind to help you out in writing that email that has been burning in the back of your mind to that guy three cubicles down that so obviously has no idea what his job description is.
Speak With Purpose
Your words are precious, so why waste a single character on those who don’t care? Make sure that everything you write has significance in the reader’s eyes. You want to be as concise and efficient in your writing as possible. Remember to write in a positive light as well. Change all of the ‘hope’ in your writing to ‘looking forward to’, and all of that ‘Have Not’ that clouds your resumes should be turned into what you do ‘Have’. You should speak of yourself in the most encouraging way, because if not you then who?
Just spitballing off of encouraging yourself, but, why not believe in yourself while you are at it? Every word should scream, ‘this is me, and I’m proud of my opinion!”. There are many times in our lives where we feel our opinion’s are undervalued or overlooked. As Millennials we need to believe in ourselves! Try to avoid acting “all high and mighty”, however. Use your words to be gracious and grateful. Remind people that you value their opinion and also the time they took to read your words.
As life has lead us through many textbooks in our lives, think back to the things we were ‘supposed’ to remember. They all have one thing in common, emphasis. In one way or another, formatting was used to capture your attention and make a mark in your memory. Whether it’s the bold letters, flying presentation effects, or flashing colors, emphasis has an extreme impact on our memory of important topics. There are a couple of important things you should remember on effective emphasis.
Major vs. Minor: We have learned throughout our lives to focus on the positive and set aside the negative things that will hold us back. So why not use this in our professional writing? Focus on the Major points that support your argument or opinion. You can even stress these points multiple times to magnify their importance. Use minor thoughts or neutral points to simply support your argument. Make each email, memo, etc. about the great things you need to simply scream to the world!
Active vs. Passive: “Love is what I have for you”, said no romantic song or movie in history. Passively conveying information should be saved for scientific theory papers. Each sentence you construct should be used to actively support your argument. Focus on emphasizing your subject in your writing. When you focus more on the noun, people can identify more with the verb being done to it.
In this growing and changing nation we are a part of, it is extremely important to keep in mind the ever changing culture that surrounds us. It is tremendous to your writing to remain neutral at all times. Try to use ‘it’ or ‘they’, instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’. You should also be conscious of other groups that might be sensitive to their identification. Gender, age, or race should rarely ever be used in business professional writing.
While it might seem daunting to now think of the way your writing reads to other, don’t be scared to remain true to your opinion. Think of constructive ways to write in your workplace while still having a bit of substance. As always, be Millennial, and happy writing!