Written communication in the workplace is of utmost importance. I have previously written about User-Centered Design (UCD), and now will write about the use of both User-Centered Design as well as Rhetorical Awareness in the workplace. It may now seem difficult for you, millennial, but with a few helpful guidelines, you will be well on your way to being an efficient writer in the workplace. Purdue Owl explains that rhetorical awareness for workplace writing must include persuasive writing. Due to the need for persuasive writing, a rhetorical situation should take place. This situation should include audience, purpose, context, and stakeholders.
Audience and Purpose
By understanding your audience, you can adapt to how you believe they will respond best and understand your purpose clearly. An audience-centered approach to communication is a great idea for writing in the workplace. This approach requires one to prepare prior to writing. This is, you must prepare your purpose. By knowing exactly what you are going to write, you can map out your email or document completely. You must then adapt your purpose to your audience. Tell them the goals of the document and why it is being written. If your audience is able to understand the purpose with few to no questions, you know you have successfully accomplished the audience-centered approach to rhetorical awareness.
When you are thinking about context as a piece of rhetorical awareness, think about the situation or occasion that you are informing your recipient about, why you are informing them, and how you are informing them. As a millennial writer, you should shape the way you write sentences based on contexts. Since you are new to the work place, most of your contexts in your written communication will most likely be work-based contexts or project-based contexts. Those receiving your emails will be extremely appreciative to know what the context of the email is in the first few sentences. That is, you should let them know if you are writing to them about a certain job task they have been working on or a new task or project that you wish for them to begin.
Stakeholders are very important to remember when writing with rhetorical awareness. You must write your documents and emails in such a professional manner in the off chance that the head of the company will be reading your writing. Your emails must be appropriate, professional, clear, and concise. Do not worry millennial, we have all felt the stress of sending an email to an important person. Take a deep breath and remember what you have learned. Be polite and to the point and you will impress your co-workers, boss, and also those at the top.
Now knowing the parts of a rhetorical situation, millennial, we are going to focus on persuasive writing as a part of rhetorical awareness. In the business world, it is crucial to establish a persuasive tone in your writing. You want to be able to persuade co-workers to work toward company goals or to listen to each person’s ideas and suggestions. The power of persuasion can also help bond cohesive work groups. To be a successful persuasive written communicator, you must first establish credibility. It is known that people listen better when they feel that someone has authority over them in a certain aspect of their job. Try not to sound overbearing or extremely strict, but rather let your co-workers know that you have complete control over the goals of the company and that they should feel safe with you having some degree of power. In addition to establishing credibility, convey benefits to your co-workers. When asking them to complete a task, let them know what is in it for them. When asking individuals to work over-time, remind them of the bonus they will be receiving during the holidays. Make your co-workers feel that they are of extreme importance to the company, which of course they are.
And with that, millennial, I think you should greatly understand how to implement rhetorical awareness into your workplace written communication. Best of luck!