Most people would probably agree that there is a strong correlation between someone’s composition skills and his or her ability to communicate ideas (at least on paper) to others. However, some writing averse souls might ask, “Why should I care about developing these capabilities if I work in a field, which does not require me to craft lengthy communiques or other documents?” In answer to this question, I believe that all individuals should attempt to become proficient writers because, by doing so, they might also be able to develop business-savvy traits related to the identification of key elements in a process, the ability to see the big picture, and the mastery of root cause analysis concepts. As such, even workers who rarely draft memos, much less essays or business plans, should take the time to learn the ins and outs of good composition.
Learning to “Separate the Wheat from the Chaff”
Good writers are usually adept at, to borrow an old cliche, “separating the wheat from the chaff.” They are able to identify and use relevant supporting information. Likewise, they can readily ascertain and remove data that is not germane to the topic. As it turns out, a person who wants to run an efficient enterprise needs to possess these same traits. After all, one must have a knack for zeroing in on the most productive elements of a process or product (and eliminating "waste") if he or she wants to get the most out of it. Therefore, individuals might be able to enhance their efficiency-related skills by working to improve their writing skills. I believe that these men and women sometimes can also use this training to help them strengthen their abilities to grasp big picture concepts.
Writing Skills and Big Picture Thinking
Usually, people who want to move up the corporate ladder need to be able to recognize and understand the meta-trends and meta-narratives, which are pertinent to their particular line of work. While the ability to ‘see the big picture’ is to some extent innate (eg. related to one’s I.Q.), some studies show that an individual can improve his or her abilities in this area by mastering writing-related concepts. To wit, if one is going to create a viable narrative, he or she needs to be able to craft a strong thesis and ensure that all of the components in the paper logically refer back to this main argument. In order to pull this feat off, the person will need to be able to think strategically—to be cognizant of how each piece fits within a larger pattern. In this way, someone who works to master the P’s and Q’s of good composition might, as a byproduct, also tend to see an improvement in his or her meta-analytical skills.
The Flip Side of the Coin – Root Cause Analysis
People who spend time developing their writing skills might also enhance their abilities to ascertain the root cause(s) of a phenomenon. In my experience, individuals who are adept at crafting strong essays are also good at zeroing in on a narrative’s underlying argument or idea. Translating this skill to the business world, they are able to identify a corporate infrastructure’s key weaknesses or ascertain the primary causes of a problem. Most readers would probably agree that companies covet men and women who possess this skill.
Summing Things Up
In short, I believe that all people, even ones who rarely have to create any type of document, might derive benefits from learning how to write well. That is because individuals who seek to master grammatical techniques can sometimes, as a byproduct of this process, strengthen their abilities to pinpoint the important elements in a process, improve their meta-analytical skills, and enhance their capabilities to identify the root cause(s) of a problem or issue. In this way, men and women who work hard to master composition-related concepts will not only become better communicators, they will also develop other important skills, which will likely improve their chances of moving up the corporate ladder.
#writing #learning #skills #business #education
-- Anthony Matthew Hopper
Note: I originally published this post on LinkedIn. All citations are embedded as links within the text.
Photo: The photograph is mine (taken on 12/20/2015)