The Problem Isn’t Talking…

The problem isn’t talking for us Millennial’s, I am sure that there are many people out there that are great communicators with their co-workerScreen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.26.55 AMs and can get across their intentions without a problem. Face-To-Face is relatively easy. However, when it comes to properly conducting ourselves behind our screen with emails and official documents in the workplace, we may not be quite as stellar.

But have no fear; because like the helpful hints we received for combating stereotypes about our generation, we can also become better writers in workplace documents through rhetorical awareness and user-centered design. Practice makes perfect, and we can become some of the best communicators around with just a few helpful hints. Writing well in the workplace is key if we want to climb the corporate ladder one day.

Lets begin with a little example, because personally I can see things a little more clearly when there is a real world application:

You have just sat down at your computer to write an email to a few co-workers at your office about an upcoming budget meeting that needs to be held. In the email you need to address a few things like the date, what needs to be done beforehand, and what should be tackled in this meeting. There are some people on the email list that absolutely need to come, and others not so much (it is okay for them to just be ‘present’ for the email process.)

My words of advise to anyone starting an email of importance is to first…plan it out. I know it may seem so simple and maybe a given to some of the “pros” out there, but pull up a word document or a blank sheet of paper and draft it up. Get down the things you know must be addressed. Figure out whom this directly applies to, the task you are trying to achieve, or maybe what your intended audience needs out of you, and anything else that you feel is important.

In our made up example (you have already addressed the when and you are trying to figure out how to word what needs to be done before the meeting) this is what you have come up with:

Before we host our meeting, a few things need to be tackled and other tasks delegated.

  1. We need a break down of all expenses for the year and have them presented at the meeting.
  2. And all of our financials for the year need to be drafted and ready for review.

Like Susan Adams said in 10 Tips for Better Business Writing, “Start by writing short, declarative sentences. Never use a long word where a short one will do. (No need to write “utilize” when “use” works just as well.) Be ruthless about self-editing; if you don’t need a word, cut it.” In our real world example we did just so; the sentences are short and get straight to the point. There is no need for fluff or the extra “verbage” in an official workplace document because we are not trying to meet a word requirement in a college essay here. All we are trying to do is to let our co-workers know what we want completed before the meeting we need to have.Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.26.34 AM

And before you send it off, be sure that your entire document is bullet proof in regards to grammar and punctuation. In the article, Writing Skills: More Important Than Ever On The JobKatherine Hansen says, “The College Board’s study noted that the most sought-after skills are accuracy clarity spelling punctuation grammar and conciseness.” If this doesn’t give you the evidence you need to PROOF READ PROOF READ and PROOF READ again…I don’t know what will. Having misspelled words and incorrect grammar discredits you as a writer/leader.

With that being said; don’t over think things too much when it comes to composing an email or writing something for work. There is a happy medium here. Just get down the basics; who, what, when, where, and why? Back to the kindergarten days we go! Once us Millennial’s get this nailed, we are one step closer to proving to older generations that we are ready for the workplace.

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Published by

Savannah Parks

Hey Guys! Savannah here! I am a Junior at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am a Finance major and will be receiving the Real Estate Certificate as well. I am the oldest of 3 siblings, and fun fact; all of my siblings are adopted! Born and raised here in Colorado, and honestly, I never want to leave. All of my family resides here in CO and I can't imagine leaving them. There are so many places I want my life to go, but right now I am totally content with where I am at in school, the friends i keep, and just life in general. I am HAPPY!

12 thoughts on “The Problem Isn’t Talking…

  1. I think that is a great hook with the, “The problem is talking for us Millennial’s,” I think it is a great way to get people’s attention and want to read further. The example you put in there is also well done. I agree with you in that, I learn better through examples. Application is the best way to learn something. I think it is a common misconception that emails should be long, if that is the case definitely use another form of communication with the person you are trying to reach. There can be a lot of lost in translation with a bunch of words on a page, so definitely keep it as short and specific as possible.

  2. You did a wonderful job at addressing user-centered design and rhetorical awareness right off the bat, in turn, allowing you to further describe both in detail later in your post. I also enjoyed how you began by providing an example so that the audience has a reference that they can address. Throughout your entire post you explain how to incorporate strategies within an email. Since this is a more specific example it is much easier for me to picture how I can utilize your advice within my own writing. The format and structure of your post was easy to read and therefore easier to comprehend. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  3. It all starts with the title, and I believe your title is very enticing. It draws the reader in and begs the question of what exactly is the problem if talking is not it. Additionally, I like how you mentioned the two topics for this blog post, but did not just explain both and call it a day. There was a creative approach to this making it an interesting read rather than definitions like a textbook. The use of an example also enhances the intrigue and benefit of your post, allowing the reader to think of your suggestions in a very real sense. The only issues I could find were minor grammatical errors. Otherwise, I thought it was a unique and well-presented post.

  4. Your post was so refreshing to read because it had a different approach and conveyed the information in a clear, concise way. I especially liked how you added an example and formatted it differently than the rest of your post. It was very easy to follow and helped add more depth to your piece as a whole. Similar to you, I also learn better from real world application, so I appreciate that you added that tidbit in. As a whole, the formatting of your post was great. I liked the numbered bullet points because it prevented me from feeling bombarded with too much information. Overall, great work!

  5. I really enjoyed this post as it was easy to read as well as understand. You stated your advice in a tone that was inviting and appropriate for millennials. I also really liked your example. It is so accurate that there is a need for a plan when writing an email that needs to entail certain things. Pointing out that the use for short, concise sentences designated with me because I often am too wordy when drafting emails. This post gives great advice as well as hope for millennials, letting them know that they can move past the difficulty of writing and prove to other generations that we can be effective and knowledgeable writers. I look forward to reading your other posts!

  6. Savannah! This article was so well written and so easy to follow!! I liked how you made the comparison with face to face vs. written communication and how important it is to keep both professional in specific situations. I completely agree with your paragraph about how important proof reading is. It definitely for me especially can be so easy to just write a quick email and think nothing of it and then realize that that was meant to be way more professional than it sounded. Again i really liked your statement about not over thinking it because i definitely get nervous sometimes when sending the more important emails and then i re read them and think i sound like a robot so this is really helpful advice

  7. This is a great blog post Savannah. When you state that the problem for us is not talking, but rather our effectiveness at communicating through digital interface is a strong start to your post. I have no problem communicating face to face, but its through an online medium where I know I sometimes struggle, and that goes for the majority of millennials. The use of your example really helps drive an understanding into what it is you are trying to communicate. It gives me something to relate to. I also agree with how you stress the importance of proof reading. It is hard to take an email seriously that is riddled with grammatical errors.

  8. I think you start off with a really solid point. I can totally identify with effective digital communication not being my strong suit. You do a great job connecting with your audience (millennial readers). I liked that you dew a direct quote/example scenario to guide your thinking. I think if you made it a block quote (formatting) it would help the flow of the post. I like the image you used but it’s a little small and distracts from the flow of your post a little bit. However, more importantly, your content and sources are stellar and I felt engaged for the whole post. Nice work!

  9. I thought your title provided a good hook and motivated me to explore more into the post. The real world example you provided in the third paragraph was a really nice and different touch. It was a great way to connect to your readers because I also learn better and see things more quickly when there is an actual example to work off of. The way you continued to use this example throughout the post was also really nice. It helped me understand the goal of your teachings in a simple and unblemished manor. Finally I enjoyed how you capitalized all the letters for “PROOF READ”. This really brought out the importance of proof reading and was a nice visual element to include. Very good post!

  10. Hi Savannah!
    I really like how you incorporated an example into your work. It’s something that I personally haven’t seen yet, so it was a nice change of pace! I also like relating problems to different scenarios, because I think it makes it easier to come up with solutions, so nice job! I also really liked how you talked about sticking to the basics. Sometimes professional emails can be really intimidating so it’s nice to be reassured that it’s not as complicated as it seems. It was also cool how you related it back to your last post about millennial stereotypes, so if people had read that before it would be a nice connection point.

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