Writing Skills for Workplace Success

Photo Credit: http://mrg.bz/b1OTvLA conversation with Pat Wagner on ‘Writing Skills for Workplace Success,’ a hands-on program in which participants learn effective writing skills and put them into practice.

Can adults learn to write?
Yes. It can be developed through practice like any other skill. The problem is that adults with little writing experience come in with psychological barriers. Some have been called stupid by a parent or teacher, or their writing has been criticized in such a way as to scare them away from the whole process. Also, many people have an inflated view of what it means to be a writer. They assume that in order to write at all you have to be the best. It’s just not true. I made part of my living for 25 years as a professional writer. I wasn’t the best, but I was reliable, accurate, worked well with my editor, and I understood my audiences.

Can you be influential in your workplace without good writing?
It’s much harder. For better or worse, the people above you on the food chain are always looking at you, always judging, watching for talent and skills. The management in any company wants their employees to be able to express themselves well, and writing is a big part of that. In large, formal organizations employees are expected to communicate through memos, essays, reports, etc., and in these instances both good and poor writing stand out.

How can writing well advance your career?
I have competed with people for various gigs who were more qualified and experienced than me; I got the work because I was a better writer. Good writing will benefit people even if they aren’t on a career track. For example, a fry cook at a fast food restaurant might have a great idea. His supervisor says “I love it, write up a memo, and we’ll send it up the chain.” Being able to write well is key in such situations.

Gain confidence in your writing with Writing Skills for Workplace Success.

Quick tip: Practice, practice, practice.

Resources:

Writers of all skill levels can benefit from the wealth of information at Purdue’s Online Writing Lab

Great grammar tips by Grammar Girl

The always useful Chicago Manual of Style

Introducing our Independent Study Program

You want to know how to do something better: market an event, look for a job, work out a strategy for improving your relationship with a co-worker or boss, edit a newsletter, or run a meeting. But you want a learning experience that is specific to your situation, where you can discuss your issues progress one-on-one at your convenience.

When a YouTube video is too generalized, when a scheduled class does not coincide with your calendar, when you need the structure of assignments but don’t want a structured course, when your travel budget is limited, and when confidentiality is an issue, an independent study program might be the answer. Almost all of the topics in our database lend themselves to the independent study model. For example:

Do you want to help deciding whether to write a publish a book?

Do you need help writing a strategic plan? (It’s your first time.)

Do you need to prepare for a presentation for the boss of your boss?

An independent study program is more than mentoring or coaching sessions. It is your private classroom, face-to-face or virtual, where you learn information about a topic in the format that suits you best. You can receive assignments to read, write, and take action, discuss ideas with your private tutor, and customize the curriculum to suit your situation.

Personally, I did most of my college work via independent study at Goddard College and the University Without Walls program. So, I am very familiar with the model and how to make the experience productive for participants.

Don’t see a topic that fits your needs? Let’s chat and see if we can find you the people and resources you need.