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.


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

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Stress Management On-Demand Webinar

We partner with other training organizations and share our work with their audiences. After so many years of creating, broadcasting, and recording webinars, we have a decent inventory of free and fee-based programs out in the ether. We will start tracking them down and linking to them for your convenience. The free programs are a great way for you to audition some of our work, and most of the fee-based programs are reasonably priced. (The ten-year-old webinars are simple, but the ideas are still sound.)

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Stress Management

A corporate client asked me to craft a stress management program maybe 17 years ago. I quickly realized that most of the popular stress management models were really limited to “respite” tactics. Translation: Pause during the day while you continue to burn yourself out. Also, every author had their own favorite approaches, which might not fit the realities of the diversity of customers I serve. So we created a different model – a framework of four main ideas where participants could plug in their own ideas to complete. So, regardless if you work in a rural library, an urban business, or a suburban agency, you can create your own stress management model.

In January 2013, I broadcast a webinar using this model for the Public Library Association.


Although I like the webinar format, this program is well-suited for face-to-face staff meetings; most of the work is accomplished by the participants, sharing ideas with each other and the larger group. I have facilitated the program for hospice workers, government bookkeepers and accountants, librarians, and religious workers in hospitals.

Below is a list of this and related topics from our program database.

The Necessity of Joy

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Stress Management

Falling Between the Cracks: Addressing Mistakes and Misunderstandings