I’m halfway through a business writing seminar and I’m seeing participants who are having problems writing because they’re not reading correctly. One particular e-mail exercise seems to cause grief for participants. The facts are laid out and include a couple of suggestions. Individuals and groups get confused with the information. They seem to get confused for two reasons.
- They don’t take the time to clarify the information that’s in front of them. They’re given time and several suggestions about pre-writing and brainstorming. Still they miss obvious points they could include in their e-mail.
- They don’t think from the reader’s point of view. Writing is only effective if you think from the reader’s point of view. That’s who you want to take action.
Out of six groups who wrote an e-mail, only two included all the information available to them. The others got sidetracked by logistics as it related to them as writers, rather than focusing on the action they want the reader to take.
All of us have probably had individuals reply and ask for clarification when we written to them. Drop a comment as to how you deal with such a situation.
Garth Roberts www.garthroberts.com