deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

Your Colleagues Don't Read Anything You Write. Here Are 8 Ways to Change That.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/smarter-living/your-colleagues-dont-read-anything-you-write-here-are-8-ways-to-change-that.html

nytimes.com

Your Colleagues Don't Read Anything You Write. Here Are 8 Ways to Change That.
Long emails and dense, difficult to decipher memos mean modern office communication goes ignored more often than it's understood. For over a decade, I taught college students how to communicate in professional settings. Every class began with a single, all-consuming thesis: "Nobody will ever want to read anything you write at work.

9

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Too much noise, too little attention

Too much noise, too little attention

Nobody wants to read anything you write at work. It's not personal though. We just happen to live in a world where there is so much information asking for our attention.

We can take action and make it easy for our colleagues to read our emails, messages, texts, and memos.

126 SAVES

192 READS

VIEW

Write less often

Things that are rare and dwindling become more attractive and are perceived as more valuable. The less we write, the more valuable our writing becomes. 

Refrain from responding immediately. If another recipient should answer, give the person the right of first response. Ask yourself:

  • Do I need to send this now?
  • If not, do I need to send it at all?
  • If so, does more than one person really need it?

126 SAVES

163 READS

Fewer words

We long for clarity and for other people to say what they mean in as few words as possible.

Making wordy sentences that lose their fluency due to needless complexity in a text negatively affects the receiver of your message. In short: big is bad.

121 SAVES

155 READS

Action words in your subject line

Action words in your subject line

Tell your recipients from the start what you expect.

If they need to read and comment on it before a Tuesday afternoon meeting, instead of "Agenda for Tuesday," use "PLEASE COMMENT: Agenda for Tuesday."

124 SAVES

169 READS

"Listen" more

Communication is eighty percent listening and twenty percent talking.

In writing, ask clear, concise questions, so they know they'll be heard.

131 SAVES

156 READS

Don’t answer, ask

When you discover problems, don't compose an email with a long explanation, opinion or instruction as this will make co-workers less inclined to take ownership.

Instead, use one or two sentences to describe the situation, then ask a single question and let the team contribute.

148 SAVES

162 READS

Lead with the need

Because most of us start rambling with our insecurities - don't try to write a final draft on the first try. Allow yourself a few first drafts, then flip it.

Take the final sentence, the conclusion, and move it to the top. This inversion forces you to lead with the need. Then, you'll find that you can eliminate much of the rest.

134 SAVES

149 READS

People-proof TL;DR

Especially for memos, agendas, and group emails, add a TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) summary.

Follow this formula: Who does what by when and how are we going to track progress. Write this person by person if needed. If the TL;DR clearly summarizes everything, send only the TL;DR.

92 SAVES

135 READS

"You", "them", "we"

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask, “What’s in it for them?”

When we seek assistance or buy-in, asking for an opinion produces a critic. Asking for advice provides a partner.

Pay attention to your pronouns as well: "You" is selfish. "Them " is selfish. But "we " means working together.

121 SAVES

148 READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The value of solid writing skills

  • Being a good writer helps you stand out from the crowd.
  • Repeated writing mistakes affect your reputation and credibility in the future.
  • Your writing is ...

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut

"Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing.

The “5 Ws + H” method

... for establishing what and how you will write:

  • Who: Who is my audience?
  • What: What do they need to know?
  • When: When does this apply, when did this happen, or when do they need to know it by?
  • Where: Where is this happening?
  • Why: Why do they need this information?
  • How: How should they use this information?

10 more ideas

Jordan Peterson
"Thinking makes you act effectively in the world.  Thinking makes you win the battles you undertake...If you ..."

Jordan Peterson

The Levels of Resolution

An essay exists at multiple levels:

  • The choice of words
  • The formation of sentences
  • The arrangement of sentences in a paragraph
  • The arrangement of paragraphs in a logical progression, beginning to end
  • The essay as a whole

A good essay works at every one of those levels simultaneously.

Step 1: Choose Topic, Read & Take Notes

Writing begins with these 3 steps:

  • Pick a topic: because your essay should answer a central question.
  • Make a reading list: You should aim to read 5-10 books before you write an essay. And plenty of online sources. 
  • Take Notes: of everything that catches your attention. 

Tools for Thinking Better

You don't need to master every detail of every subject to become a world-class thinker.

If you can master the fundamentals of each discipline, then you can develop a remarkably accurate and u...

Mental Models: Out of Box Thinking

Mental models are the various thinking frameworks that are used to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems.

Just raw intelligence is not enough to solve problems. A different or a broader set of mental models can provide a different view of the problem, leading to an unconventional, new solution not thought of before.

Mental Models: Examples

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. They are beliefs, worldviews or frameworks of thinking. You carry a certain kind of thinking in you to arrive at a solution to a problem.

Some examples:

  • Demand and Supply: to understand the economy
  • Game Theory: to understand trust and relationships
  • Entropy: to understand disorder and decay