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❶Say thank you for gifts, even if you do not really like them.

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Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

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Technical Communication Oct 14, Communicating Effectively on the Job Mar 4, Oliu and Charles T. Read this and over 1 million books with Kindle Unlimited. The Essentials of Technical Communication Dec 15, Developing Leaders for a Networked World Jan 31, Only 18 left in stock - order soon.

Available for immediate download. Business and Administrative Communication Jan 29, Locker and Donna S. See newer edition of this book. The Handbook of Technical Writing Feb 12, Alred and Charles T. Exclusively for Prime Members. Previous Page 1 2 Markel Mike Markel Charles T. Harvard Business Review Guides. Which is preferable for Alaska natives, Eskimo or Inuit? Follow the preference of the people you are writing about. Inupiat Eskimos, a Yup'ik Eskimo community Some immigrants will be refugees, but certainly not all of them.

Acceptable, when clearly relevant, to describe people with more than one racial heritage. Generally acceptable to describe males or females younger than While the terms are essentially interchangeable in many common uses, each has become politicized by the abortion debate even in uses not involving abortion Fetus , which refers to the stage in human development from the eighth week of pregnancy to birth, is preferred in many cases, including almost all scientific and medical uses Weiss said her love for her unborn baby was the strongest feeling she had ever felt.

Those two pages are worth the price of the book. Acceptable in broad references as a term for people who do not conform to the traditional view of two genders When talking about individuals, be specific about how a person describes or expresses gender identity and behavior. Roberta identifies as being both male and female. In brief, it explains: Likewise, victim can create confusion because it can variously mean someone killed, injured or subjected to mistreatment such as sexual misconduct.

Be specific if there is room for confusion: The ceremony honored people wounded in the mass shooting The play told the stories of those killed in the hurricane. Which of these terms- -Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Progressive-- should actually be capitalized? With this year's new guidance on highly charged topics, it's definitely worth it. There's also a long-awaited entry on bulleted lists.

Thank you, Associated Press! Do you struggle with appropriate language when writing about sensitive topics? Please share your questions and comments. A man recently contacted me about wanting to be successful in his new job. He realized his writing was not what it needed to be. If you have a new job, congratulations!

Being successful in a new position requires learning and doing new things and accomplishing old things new ways. To write successfully in your new position, take the practical steps below. If you have more tips for new writers on the job, please share them. And please share these ideas with your friends in new roles. Learn your supervisor's preferences and expectations.

The sooner you find out what your supervisor needs from your writing, the sooner you will be able to provide it. Learn the answers to these questions:. Regard your supervisor as a customer. The individual may prefer a style of writing that seems ineffective to you. But when it comes to writing, your supervisor is your customer--and the customer is right.

If your boss wants rich details rather than highlights, do your best to provide them. Assess and follow the company's style. Each organization has its own style of communication. Understanding and following that style makes sense because what succeeded at one company may flop at another.

Pay attention to what people do in these areas:. Find out whether the company has a corporate style guide. Some companies have a style guide available on the intranet. It may cover how to format letters and memos, how to use the company name correctly for example, Ltd.

Limited , and rules about graphics, punctuation, and usage. Purchase a reference manual. Even if your company has a corporate style guide, you will need a more detailed reference manual.

Ask coworkers for their recommendations, and choose a manual that suits your job and industry. Refresh your writing skills. Or take an online self-study class like my Business Writing Tune-Up. Find and use examples. When you take on a new writing task for instance, a trip report or a procedure , find company examples of the type of document you are writing. Unless they are badly written, examples can save you time and eliminate doubts about content and format.

Identify the best writer in your area and learn from him or her. Often one person on a team has a reputation as the most effective communicator.

Find that person, ask him or her for examples of good writing, and request feedback or suggestions on your first important pieces. When you ask for feedback, be specific about what you want. Instead of asking "What do you think? Learn about and respect propriety. Find out whether you should use titles when you address certain people. For example, in some settings, physicians and professors are addressed Dr. Do not assume that you should address individuals the way your supervisor does; your supervisor may have a longstanding relationship that warrants informality and warmth.

Adjust to the speed of communication. If you are new on the job, you probably have fewer responsibilities and less to do than others. Be realistic about how quickly others can respond to your requests and email. Although you may want a response within an hour, a day or a week may be a reasonable timeframe for others.

Maintain high writing standards. Even if people around you write sloppily, keep your standards high. Others will appreciate your good writing, and they may even copy your style! In my survey on business writing and relationships of adults, 81 percent of respondents said that a thank-you note they received had a definite positive influence on their decision to do business with a company or an individual again.

Two used the words selfish and rude to describe the lack of acknowledgment of their gifts. Beyond the professional rewards and social approval of writing thank-yous, sending thank-yous makes everyone smile: Thank-yous help people feel valued. Below are tips to help you write mighty thank-yous that bring smiles to all. If you have others, please share them in the comments. Recognize opportunities to say thank you. You have a chance to say thank you anytime someone has:.

Say thank you specifically. For example, if you are saying thank you for job-search help, mention the particular advice, critique, information, or other support you received, along with how it was beneficial to you. Here is an example sent by email:. It was so generous of you to give me resume feedback. I have made every change you suggested.

The new version looks and sounds very professional--thanks to you and your good ideas. Thank you for investing your time in me and my job search.

If you are saying thank you for a graduation gift you received through the mail and therefore couldn't say thank you in person , mention the gift and why you are grateful for it. This example can go by email or post: Thank you so much for the money! I really appreciate it. It will definitely come in handy when I leave for State College in August. I am sorry you could not come to my graduation.

I have attached a photo so you can see all of us. For wedding and shower gifts, it's standard to say thank-you in writing even if you have thanked the individual in person. You know us so well. We plan to go shopping there this weekend. It was really fun to be with you on our special day.

We'll see you again in September! Even in brief thanks at the end of emails, be specific. A vague "Thank you" is polite but not powerful. Consider elaborating enough to make your thanks meaningful:. Say thank you warmly. Use the other person's name and the personal pronouns I and we. For instance, write "Olga, we appreciate the artistry you brought to our project"--not "Your artistry is appreciated. Say thank you without saying please. The purpose of your thank-you is to express gratitude, not to ask for anything.

Be sure to focus purely on your appreciation. Here is a related example: I received a phone call from Treehouse, an organization my husband and I have supported for many years.

As I listened to the thanks of the caller, I waited for her to say something like "And now we would like you to increase your giving," which would have reduced her thanks to an appeal. I was delighted that she did no such thing. She said, "I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your ongoing support.

Thank-yous for job interviews are an exception to the rule about focusing completely on your appreciation. In such a thank-you, it is smart to remind your reader of your strengths and good fit for the job, without coming on too strong. Here is a good example of a thank-you sent by email:. Thank you for the chance to interview for the position of administrative assistant. It was a pleasure to learn about your business, and I would welcome the opportunity to work for you.

As a detailed-oriented "bean counter," I would relish keeping track of your accounts, managing the shopping cart, updating the websites, and coordinating your calendar. The schedule would be ideal for me, and walking to work would be a dream come true. Again, thank you for the opportunity to meet. Please let me know if you need any other information to make your decision.

Say thank you for gifts, even if you do not really like them. A gift is a gift, even when you wish it were something else, and a thank-you is required to support the relationship. Write a simple message like this one:. Jeff, thank you for the lovely fruit basket. It was very thoughtful of you to think of me. I am sharing the grapefruit with the team, and everyone is enjoying the luscious, healthy treat.

Use whatever communication medium will help you get your message out: Here are brief guidelines:. Thank-yous generally take just a couple of minutes to write and send. The good feelings they generate will live on. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true: If you do not thank someone for their gifts or other contributions to your success, they are likely to remember the oversight.

Write mighty thank-yous to nurture and build your work relationships. Do you need a gift for a new grad or someone who's working toward a promotion? Consider Business Writing With Heart. It's filled with examples and advice on writing reminders, saying no, giving feedback, apologizing, replying to angry messages, and more.

Get the paperback from me at Syntax Training. Or buy from Amazon without the discount. I expect a book on communication—which is what storytelling is—to teach me something new or remind me of truths I had better not forget. The best stories trigger an emotional response, which is key to provoking empathy in our audience and unlocking decision-making. By adding one simple sentence, I could take the story from charming to profound. Not all stories have happy endings.

This point is obvious in life, but it may not be obvious in corporate storytelling, where we typically want to look good. Perhaps the story would end happily: But maybe the ending would be more sobering: The first is a story about crack customer service; the second version tells of a lesson learned. That point reminded me to add a helpful blemish I had been thinking about to tone down the sunny sweetness of one of my stories.

When I took the story a shade darker, a truthful shade that was available to me, it added a deeper meaning. Thank you, Rob Biesenbach! Is the character real and relatable?

Bring your story down to the human level. If a problem exists, it must surely affect actual people! Is there sufficient conflict? Are the stakes high enough? For a story to work, there has to be something important at stake—a serious problem that cries out for action.

Is there clear cause and effect? Causality is more meaningful to us than mere coincidence. Is there an emotional core? When your audience feels something, they are more likely to do something to act in the way you want them to act. I found many wise gems and practical tips in Unleash the Power of Story. I like the way Biesenbach hammers home the point that you must recognize and gather new stories.

A last-minute Google search for a moving tale will not yield fresh results. I also appreciated the section on separating good details from bad ones. Good details set the scene and bring a story to life.

Bad details bog it down. According to Biesenbach, three ways to make details more effective are to simplify dates, make numbers more meaningful, and omit proper nouns. Here is some of his advice:. Simplify Dates Dates tend to trip people up. Was it a Tuesday or a Wednesday? The 12th or the 14th? Make Numbers More Meaningful Raw numbers should be rounded: Omit Proper Nouns Just about anything in capital letters is ripe for trimming, starting with names.

A good rule of thumb is "name the known and omit the obscure. If you would like to refresh your ideas about storytelling or think about the topic for the first time , I recommend this book. At pages, Unleashing the Power of Storytelling: This text grabbed my attention on the Sulphur Banks trail:. Why deal with spelling in a national park?

When you think about whether to use U. For Canada, a gray area or grey? One word is always spelled the same way: Each of the three short passages below has one error in the choice of a word. Can you find all three errors? Bishara's most recent position was principal designer for Barton and Bloss. In the interviews we conducted, his interviewers gave him the highest amount of positive comments compared with the other applicants. Su was not able to meet with him. During our vacation in Washington, D.

It will be fun to visit awhile and enjoy our capital and its many treasures. When writing to individuals who do not speak your language fluently, use words with fewer alternate meanings, i.

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