During our Business writing course, we are often asked, how to perfect email or letter writing? Answer to this question is very simple. Do not chase perfection right from first email, rather chase excellence in business writing.
In this fast life, it is difficult to wait for perfect products. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, coca-cola keep on updating their existing ones and keep on introducing new ones. Key to success is excellence and not perfection. If you wait for perfection chances are you will miss the opportunity. Many business people talk about excellence. But, then what is excellence? Pursuing excellence is nothing but creating best possible result within given resources. Next question is why you should chase excellence especially in writing emails.
Wait for perfect opening and miss deadline
Most of the people we meet ask, how to write a perfect opening. The bad news is, if you wait for perfect opening you may not finish the letter in time. Do not strive for perfection. Rather brainstorm – start looking for relevant points, illustrations or anecdotes depending on the type of business document you are writing.
Purpose is important than literary value
Every business document has a purpose. It can be change expected in policies, behaviours, communication etc. After relevant points, you must include “call to action” message which should be loud and clear for the reader. If you focus on literary content more than purpose, and start using thesaurus on every word, you may end up coming across as a confused writer.
Nikhil is a Purchase Manager in Home Appliances Division at an Indian Corporation. He has to reply to at least 150 mails in a day. Most of them are addressed to his suppliers and many to his senior management. He initially used to wait for perfect opening and best possible lexical terms. His mails were for sure were appreciated for freshness, but he could reply to hardly 50 mails in a day. Many of his juniors and suppliers were not happy because of the delay in reply. Moreover, he himself could achieve little more than writing mails and meeting people throughout his busy day. At the end of the week he used leave office late in evening as he was replying to pending emails. In the process, his tired approach was reflected in his mails.
We advised him to change his style of email writing. He not only replies to all of his emails, he leaves office in time. You may find the tips on how to write effective mails here.
After explaining these points with relevant example people start accepting the point that they must focus on the excellence more than anything else. It takes years of writing practice to come up with really good writing skills.
Graph for learning new skills is as shown in image; this is s-shaped curve. Initially we, humans, take a lot of time as our mind tries to stick older concepts or resists learning and adapting to new ideas. As the resistance fades away, learning gathers momentum, paving way for new ideas. It again reaches saturation after some period. This holds true for most of the skills including Email Writing. In order to write better emails you may click here.
We hope this helps you understand why excellence is important. Your likes, comments and shares are always welcome.