Written communication has been very important to our success, but not for the reasons one might assume. Yes, written communication has helped us avoid miscommunications, reinforced our brand messages, and served as a permanent record of important topics. However, the real value is in the process of composing these emails, presentations, and memos. Unlike verbal communication, which can be vague or biased and is frequently influenced by the words or actions of those on the receiving end, written communication must stand on its own and communicate a message without the context of additional words or the feedback of the “end user.”
As a team, we often force ourselves through the uncomfortable, and frequently contentious, process of writing our key message in fewer than five words. By doing so, we have no choice but to focus on what’s most important at the expense of what’s least important. This exercise has the added benefit of encouraging creativity and forcing a consensus. (We don’t stop until the five words are unanimously approved.) If we can’t agree on our message or trim it to a few words, how can we expect to effectively communicate it to any of our stakeholders? This process is why I find written communication so important to our success.
--Andrew Zengilowski is the CEO and co-founder of Selvera, a personalized, dietitian-led weight management company that empowers clients to adopt healthy, lasting lifestyle changes. Selvera delivers unparalleled service and proactive engagement through its comprehensive approach that addresses nutrition, activity, lifestyle, one-on-one expert counseling, and wireless monitoring tools. Andrew is an experienced investor in consumer, retail, and healthcare businesses.