The bottom line is that ineffective communication leads to lost time and profits. Therefore, good communication is essential; written communication even more so given the high chance for misinterpretation. With so many communication tools available today, the best channel should be used to talk to internal and external audiences. Every written word – whether to staff, client, vendor, public – has a purpose. For instance, you might use a social media platform to get a point across, send direct mail to preserve a memory, or an email to communicate next steps.
Just this week I sent an email to our controller that didn’t communicate what I was trying to convey. I left out one simple word, “I.” I casually wrote, “The wire hasn’t cleared, just let them know this is happening.” She took it that I was asking her to let the client know, when I was trying to tell her that I had taken care of it. That simple word made all the difference. Had neither of us taken action, we wouldn’t have uncovered a mistake that would have impacted payroll. Taking time to be thoughtful about written communication is one of the most important things a person can do to prevent misunderstanding and process information.
—Vicki Bohlsen is Chief Executive Officer of Bohlsen Group, one of Indianapolis’ largest full-service PR and marketing firms.