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Do your colleagues and employees rely on your writing and editing skills? Are you frequently asked to look over others’ writing or give projects a “quick look”?

Congratulations! Your co-workers obviously respect and admire your writing skills and keen eye for small errors. You should feel flattered. However, this can quickly become frustrating. When others ask for your help, it’s hard to refuse, even though you have a full workload.

Poor writing skills in business can cause larger problems, too. If employees frequently send out poorly written communications or produce documents peppered with errors, your clients, customers, and competitors may believe that your business isn’t concerned with details. Worse, if your emails or proposals to clients are unclear, they may think that your business doesn’t fully value the relationship.

How can you improve communications skills at your office or business? Here are a few ideas:

  1. When a co-worker approaches you to edit some of their writing, offer to sit down with them and go through the document together. Your co-worker may appreciate the opportunity to learn your editing process.
  2. Create an “editing checklist” for your office or department. List grammar and spelling mistakes that you frequently see. Include other questions for the writer to ask themselves, such as “Is the tone appropriate?” or “Will this make sense for someone with no prior knowledge of the topic?”
  3. Offer writing workshops—or webinars—for your department. Workshops will offer you and your co-workers the opportunity to assess writing skills, identify areas to improve, and practice new techniques.
  4. Emphasize high-quality writing as vital for your business’ success. Ask your managers and executives to do the same.
  5. Finally, if the editorial projects are piling up and distracting you from your responsibilities, it’s time to hire an outside writer or editor to write and polish high-priority your organization’s projects and communications. This investment will help improve your company’s reputation and, ultimately, improve business. 

Are you your office proofreader? We’d love to hear about your experiences! Please share them in the comments below.

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