Successful written communications key to business success

March 22. Soft skills may be the most important ones in the midst of a rapidly changing workforce. Even Warren Buffett has said the best skills a person can have to be successful are good communication skills.

We can all put on our Zoom shirts and have our virtual background, but the reality is that most of us are communicating via the written word a considerable portion of our days.

“Whether people are working from home or in an in-office environment, their ability to write simply and well becomes their professional image,” says Dr. Susan Luck, professor of business administration at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer. She is also the author of the book “Zen and the Art of Business Communication.”

Email woes

Email was supposed to save us time, she said in a WalletHub study of 2021’s Most & Least Innovative States, in which North Carolina ranked No. 19.

Yet some studies say it adds as much as three more hours a day to our workloads.

“No matter what job you are in or what field, you need critical thinking skills and good listening skills. Being able to listen not only for what is being said but for what is not being said, then use that information to create questions that lead to better productivity or service, is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to thrive in our changing work worlds,” she said.

Emails are often no more than what’s “rumbling around” in someone’s head rather than a clear message.

Trained to tune out?

“The consequences of these poorly constructed messages run deeper than taking up the other person’s time, however. What happens is we become used to poorly constructed messages and tune them out. Our eyes may fly over them, but we really do not focus on the message or take it in. That lack of comprehension does harm our critical thinking skills, which in turn also harms our listening skills,” Luck says.

It’s often said that half the jobs people will have in seven years do not exist yet.

One of the strongest common denominators in the new jobs, whether it is explaining the findings from data analytics or producing social media marketing, or managing virtual teams, is the growing need for strong communication skills and thinking skills.

To see how all 50 states scored on WalletHub’s innovation run-down, click here.


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