Who is an “effective leader” and what does it takes on how to improve writing skills when it comes to leadership? It’s the person who can communicate his ideas clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing, and empower other people to be their best.
Can you name yourself an effective leader? Do you have high writing skills? If you don’t, there is nothing to worry about. Put some extra effort into writing practice, and you will improve your skills.
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Today, we will give you some tips to help you to revisit your approach to writing and up level your skills.
Why writing skills are important for leaders?
Do you still doubt whether you should put time and effort into improving your writing skills? Here are five reasons why writing skills are important for your leadership success:
- Good writing skills demonstrate your ability to communicate with your team members effectively.
- Good writing skills demonstrate your ability to communicate your ideas clearly and be convincing when talking to clients.
- Good writing skills show your expertise in your field and help to improve credibility.
- High writing skills help to build a strong personal brand.
- High writing skills prevent miscommunications and conflicts in the workplace.
Now let’s talk about what you should do to perfect your writing.
1. Access your skills
The first thing you should do is to access your current writing skills.
What issues do you face in writing? What makes you believe that your writing skill level is not high enough? Are your sentences poorly structured? Do you make tons of grammar mistakes?
If it’s challenging for you to spot issues in your own writing, get outside help. Ask your colleagues, your team members, or your friends to point out the mistakes you make. It will help you understand what learning objectives you should set.
Read more: 5 Tips To Help You Speak Well
2. Set learning objectives
As a leader, you know that objective setting is important. Only when you have a clear understanding of what result you want to achieve; you can choose the right strategy.
Ask yourself a question, “How exactly should I improve my writing skills to become a better leader?” Come up with the answer, and write learning objectives.
Your learning objectives must be measurable, attainable, specific, and time-bound. Here are a few examples:
- To decrease email editing time by 15% by February 2021.
- To increase report writing speed by 20% and be able to deliver a 10-page report within 5 hours by the end of January.
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3. Take every opportunity to practice
As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. If you want to become a better writer, you should practice writing as often as possible. Basically, you need to make writing a part of your daily routine.
- Write to-do lists
- Start journaling
- Write down all business ideas that come to your mind
- Write emails instead of making calls
The more time you spend writing, the more you will advance your skills. Regular writing will change the way your brain works – you will articulate your ideas faster and more clearly.
Read more: 3 Ways To Help You Become A Great Listener.
4. Become a blogger
Do you lack the motivation to practice? Challenge yourself – start a blog. You will need to create new content on a weekly basis – it will motivate you to keep writing.
Choose a blogging niche that is relevant to the field of your expertise or interests. It must be something you are an expert at. You can write about leadership, your industry trends, or a hobby like golf or watercolor painting.
Pick whatever theme appeals to you, define your target audience, and just jump into writing. Strive to add value to your readers, and then blogging will help you improve not only your writing skills but also build a personal brand.
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5. Leverage new technologies
We live in the digital world, and we should get the most out of advanced technological solutions that are currently available.
Do you want to become a more proficient writer and a more effective leader? Start using writing tools – AI-powered proofreaders (like Grammarly) and readability checkers (like Hemingway App).
How do these tools work? They automatically define and highlight the mistakes and typos made. Besides, these tools flag vague or bland words and suggest vivid synonyms.
How can the use of these tools benefit you as a leader?
Firstly, the use of these tools will help you immediately improve the quality of your writing. All your emails and reports will be written in perfect grammar and will be easy to read. It will positively influence your credibility and reputation.
Secondly, these tools will help you identify your typical mistakes and define the writing issues you should work on. It will allow you to focus on the aspects that need improvement and boost your efforts.
Red more: 5 Traits Of A Good Employer And Leader
6. Enroll in online writing courses
There are many skills you can learn with online courses, and leadership writing is one of them.
You can enroll in a writing course today and start working on improving your skills from home.
The best thing about online education is that you decide what you want to study, when, and for how long. You can improve your creative writing, business writing, grammar skills, or all these skills. You can study for one week or a few months – it all depends on what level of proficiency you want to achieve.
Don’t have money to sign in for a paid course? It’s not a problem. There are lots of free options out there. Check available classes at Coursera, Udemy, SkillShare, and other educational platforms. Read reviews, and find a course that meets your needs.
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7. Become an attentive reader
How many books do you read every month? Try to read more books in the coming months. It will help you to improve your writing skills.
Numerous studies proved that people who read self-selected literature for pleasure perform much better. They memorize the spelling of sophisticated words, better understand the correct structure of complex sentences, and use idioms more accurately.
You can choose any books you like. It can be anything from self-help books and books about leadership to sci-fi novels and memoirs.
Your task is to analyze each author’s writing style and find something you can apply to your practice. For instance, if you read a book where the author used only short sentences, you can try to use the same sentence structure when writing a monthly report.
Some leaders read journals, blogs, and documents that relate to their jobs and do not read any books at all. And that’s a problem. If you want to expand your vocabulary and level up your skills, you need to read well-written books.
Ask your friends to suggest good books to read. Write a reading list for the year or for the season, and start working on it. Read at least a few pages daily, and you will see how your life will change.
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8. Find an accountability partner
When people want to improve their fitness skills, they find an accountability partner to motivate themselves not to skip workouts. You can use the same approach to enhance your writing skills.
Accountability partners help each other set and maintain writing and reading goals. The premise is that knowing someone else is watching your progress raises the bar and boosts motivation to keep going.
Who can be your accountability partner? It can be your spouse, friend, business partner, or even someone you have never met before. You can find a “virtual accountability partner” online. Yep, there is such a thing.
All you need to do is to keep on top of each other by checking in at least once daily via messaging app whether you have written a few pages or finished reading a book. That feeling of support and supervision will not allow you to stop practicing and get off track.
Read more: 21 Characteristics Of Mentally Strong People
9. Be open to feedbacks
Don’t try to convince your team that you’re perfect. There is nothing perfect in this world.
Leaders, just like other team players, make mistakes. So, if you make mistakes in writing, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You should be open to feedback, both positive and negative, and do your best to improve your skills.
Ask your team and your business partners to point out the typical mistakes you make. Well, no one wants to accept the fact that he is doing something wrong. But once you accept that, you will increase your chances of improving your writing skills.
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10. Focus on improving readability
You are probably one of those who write great texts but don’t format them the right way. You don’t really need to change the way you write. You just need to change the way you format your writing.
If your emails and reports look like a wall of text, this advice is for you. Try to keep your paragraphs short, best at three sentences or fewer. Add bulleted lists where possible and include subheadings.
Incorporate these little changes, and you will add clarity to your writing. It will be easier for your clients and team members to understand your ideas.
Read more: 5 Tips For Building Strong Connections
11. Never skip proofreading
Make it a habit to check the correctness of everything you’re writing. Whether you write a short text message or lengthy corporate document, don’t forget to proofread it. Try to spot the typos and mistakes and correct them before others notice them.
You can rely on online grammar checkers or proofread everything by yourself. Choose whatever works for you.
Why can’t you ignore the importance of proofreading? As a leader, you should strive for excellence in everything you do. You should use perfect grammar to strengthen your credibility and inspire excellence in your team.
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12. How to improve writing skills? Keep it simple
Some leaders try to look smarter than they really are. They write everything in sophisticated language and overuse industry-specific jargon. Eventually, they create texts that are hard to read and hard to understand. Such an approach to writing worsens communication rather than improve it.
As a leader, you communicate with many different people. You should understand that some of them have backgrounds similar to yours, others don’t. If you want to make your texts accessible to everyone, you should keep your writing simple.
Good writing is simple writing. So, try to avoid complexity at all means:
- Avoid passive voice.
- Don’t use sophisticated words where simple alternatives can be used.
- Keep sentences short. Break long, complex sentences into simple sentences, if possible.
- Don’t use technical terms if you are not sure whether the reader knows them.
- Avoid wordiness. Substitute long phrases with synonyms. For instance, use “to” instead “in order to” where possible.
13. Write outlines
Every well-written report, blog post, and corporate document starts with crafting an outline.
Don’t rush into writing a paper. Outline your plan first. Think about the key points you want to present and the supporting arguments you want to provide. Ensure that your ideas don’t contradict one another and flow logically from one point to the next.
If you create an outline, you will spend less time writing and editing your paper. You will boost the effectiveness of your work and deliver better results.
14. Turn writing into an enjoyable process
Do you have negative attitudes toward the writing? You should change that.
Buy a nice writing notebook and a fancy pen. Create a special playlist for writing. Indulge yourself with a cup of delicious coffee before you start writing.
Turn the writing practice into the ritual you truly enjoy, and then you will not lose your motivation. Also, try to schedule regular practice times. It will help you to make writing your new habit.
15. Know your target audience
Every time you start working on a new document, ask yourself a question, “Who will read it?” Define your audience and adjust your writing style accordingly. Change the structure of your report or email, and be mindful about the wording.
Take the first step today toward your writing skills improvement!
You can improve your leadership writing in many ways. So please, don’t waste your time and make the first step today. Assess your writing skills, set learning objectives, and develop a strategy.
Become a better writer and inspire your team members to follow your example and become better versions of themselves.