Professional Threats

You read safety tips from locking your car to taking flu shots, or from looking both ways as you cross the street to avoiding trans fats. Almost everyone reads or hears ads about personal safety – internal and external. You probably pay heed to most of them because the “billboards” of messages on the internet, television, radio, newspapers and actual billboard drown our vision daily. What about professional threats? No, I’m not talking about workplace bullies, I’m talking about communication.

When you send out e-mails, cover letters, memos, letters, briefs, and other written documents with poor punctuation, grammar and/or syntax, it is a threat to your career. You may not notice it just now, and you may not get pulled into your manager’s office for unbecoming “behavior,” but a client, prospect, vendor, or manager will notice.

What does it say to you when you read an e-mail or the like that is poorly written? What do you think when you hear someone in a managerial position use poor English? What you think of them, they in turn think of you when you use the wrong punctuation, grammar, syntax or word.

Proof. Ask someone if you don’t know the right way to write or punctuate a sentence or spell a word,use a grammar reference manual, get an app or have a software program to help. It’s a crime to get passed over for a promotion, a job or lose a prospect because of the “silent killer” to your profession: poor communication.

When you need help, ask or look something up. If you want or need training, let me know, I’m happy to help too.

Those safety tips you see and hear daily are vital to you health, and the communication tips you can ask about or look up are vital to your professional health.

Here’s to a healthy writing and speaking future.

Happy October.

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