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  • Kim Meninger

Writing with Confidence in the Workplace

Updated: May 12, 2023

Writing with Confidence in the Workplace

In this episode of the Impostor Syndrome Files, we talk about our addiction to the status quo. Each one of us is bombarded with messages about what we should do and who we should be. But those “shoulds” are rarely a recipe for happiness and fulfillment. My guest, Kathryn Burmeister, shares her journey of transitioning from a lawyer, a role she always dreamed about, to an entrepreneur focused on helping other lawyers find greater happiness in their lives. We also discuss our own mental health journeys and why it’s so important to have these conversations.

About My Guest:

Erin Lebacqz created the High-Value Writing program to help business writers develop more clarity and confidence in their writing. Her new book, High-Value Writing: Real Strategies for Real-World Writing, is based on conversations with thousands of writers around the world, and provides down-to-earth strategies and examples. Erin has been teaching writing for 25 years, both in the United States and internationally.


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Kim Meninger Welcome, Erin, so great to meet you. And I’m very excited to talk with you today. I’d love to start by inviting you to introduce yourself.

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, well, thanks, Kim. Hi, everyone, I’m glad to be here. I’ve been teaching since the late 90s. I’ve taught writing the whole time because I saw how that topic is empowering for others when we build that skill. And over the course of that time, you know, I started with a little high school, and then mainly taught university writing a little bit around the world, but mostly in the US, and then switched over to teaching in businesses. And it’s been intriguing, because the whole time I’ve kind of observed Ooh, people don’t feel super confident about their writing, we are all very nervous. But people want to feel confident, and we can get more opportunities when we do. And so that’s why I created the high-value writing program to help people just realize, you know, we can be independent and confident about our writing, we can analyze the situation and make good decisions. We don’t have to have gone to a fancy school or been born with this huge writing talent, we can do it through logic, and we can all do it. And that’s what my business is about now, helping people be clear and confident and also connect with others through written communication.

Kim Meninger So I think this is such a great service because I think we take for granted sometimes that everyone has the same writing background, or the, has the same experience. And that’s not true. And I am imagining that there are lots of different kinds of confidence issues that come up when it comes to writing, whether it’s, I’m not a native English speaker, or, you know, this is not something I feel comfortable doing. And I’m worried that people are going to judge me for it. So I’m curious. You mentioned doing this for business, do people come to you on their own? Or do you? Do you offer this as a course within a business? And then people come from there? Like, how do people find you, I guess, is the question I’m trying to ask.

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, thanks. It’s a mix. Sometimes I work with people one on one, often someone who’s kind of new to a high level of leadership and feeling nervous, like, oh, my gosh, everyone’s gonna see my writing now. And I’m also representing my business and also trying to motivate and lead my team through my words. It’s kind of daunting at first, or, but more commonly, I’ll present in a leadership development program, or for an all-hands learning session, or at a conference just events about how can we bring emotional intelligence to our writing, because there is another human being that we’re writing to. And we don’t want to lose that moment to build trust and build a positive relationship. Because our words could be making people feel different ways, right? So yeah, it’s a little bit of one on one, but more often, either sort of speeches and presentations, like interactive learning, or workshops for a particular business.

Kim Meninger So what would you say are the key challenges? Or what makes it hard for people to write?

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, I’m glad you asked. Because it’s just really interesting, isn’t it, that we’re all kind of nervous about this. And yet, it’s not talked about very often, I often compare it to something like other daily skills like cooking, you know, or fixing something around the house, we often need to cook or manage a house every day. And so we go, ooh, let me look on a blog and get a recipe. And it’s out in the open. But with writing, we’re all kind of secretly nervous. And we all do it each day. But we don’t really have those opportunities to just talk about it, honestly. And I think the main challenge comes from the fact that as we learn writing growing up, there’s a lot of mythology around it, such as you have to write in one certain way to look smart, or you have to write in one certain way to be good, or a good student or a good employee. And that is not true at all, we should always adapt our writing to the given situation. And so each of us are experts in our own situations. And by thinking about them, we can figure out what to do in our writing. But most people feel really nervous because we all got brought up writing for one reason, which was to show that we were good, like, Hey, look at my paper. I know, vocab words. I know how to cite my sources. I’m so good. I’ve proven myself. And I’ve been judged, right? But that’s just writing in school. But because we only talk about writing at that time in our life, I think we don’t realize later Hey, actually, my writing is quite different now. And it’s not really that level of a judgy situation. But we haven’t been told well how now should I write? I no longer want to write like an essay, like when I was in school, but how should I write instead at work now and we don’t really tell people that it’s going to be different. And so they come into the career, place, and try their best. And as we all go forward, we’re just trying to sound good and be it not too bureaucratic sounding but not too casual, and it can feel like quite a mystery or a moving target for folks,

Kim Meninger That is so fascinating because I had never thought about it that way. But when we are writing growing up, we’re writing to be judged. And it’s only natural that that would stick with you as you go through your life. And if there’s a conscious message that says, writing is changed, right? We are programmed to think about it in very limited, very anxiety-provoking ways. I’m curious if you have and I’m I know, this is a really difficult, or very open-ended question. But what’s good writing?

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, I think good writing is writing that is usable by your reader. Note, I say, not just readable, but usable. Another difference, we grew up writing to show what we know, now we’re writing for someone to use what we wrote, maybe we are just telling them something sometimes. But often, the reader needs to act upon whatever we wrote, or at least kind of understand it or reply. And so I think good writing is writing that a reader can open up the email or whatever, and say, Oh, look, it’s something that totally works. For me, this is so easy to understand than us.

Kim Meninger And one thing that always stands out to me around email, and we hear this all the time is the, you can’t read tone, right? So when you’re writing as your primary form of communication within a workplace, you really piqued my interest when you talked about emotional intelligence in writing, because people have different styles. And sometimes someone’s just really busy. And they write a one-word answer, or one-sentence answer. And then everybody thinks, oh, my gosh, they’re mad at me, or they’re so rude. Or, you know, we draw so many conclusions from other people’s writing that it’s not just the writing, it’s, it’s, almost feels like the experience of the relationship that comes through that.

Erin Lebacqz Right, definitely. I think that’s exactly it. I’m glad you put it that way. Because we’ve got our writer and we’ve got our reader, they both need to bring a little bit of emotional intelligence to the situation, because their relationship is at stake. You’re absolutely right. And the writer has to kind of think, okay, with my writing, EQ, how can I phrase things in a way that I expect will be interpreted as I hoped, you know, that I hope my tone will come through? And we can do that through things like intentional verb choice. Verbs are often where tone comes through. Also, hierarchy and power come through in verbs. So for example, a leader who’s holding a little Brown Bag Lunch could say, please join me at the Brown Bag Thursday, or they could say, Please attend the Brown Bag Thursday. And if my supervisor said, please join me or please attend, I would have a different reaction. I would maybe feel like joining sounds kind of fun. And like they want the full me attending, I might think, well, I don’t know, do I just put my name on the list? Or what? So one of the ideas, you know, from that writer’s EQ point of view, we can think, Alright, how is this going to be probably digested or sound on the other side? And then for a reader EQ, like you were saying, we can sometimes feel it’s very easy to feel hurt or defensive from an email. But we do want to assume benevolent intent, at least at first. When we’re getting to know someone, for example, I had a sort of liaison somewhere, I would teach a lot. And she would always include my first name, in her email sentences in a way that I thought sounded a little condescending. Like, that’ll be fine, comma, Erin. And I go, am I in trouble? But then I realized, well, she probably is trying to be relational by using my name. I bet she doesn’t mean to be condescending. And, so, we have to, on both sides, try to think what might be the intention. But certainly, as writers, that’s where we have the opportunity to think, okay, who is this person? How are they going to react to this information? And how can I craft this message so that it’s respectful of them and their needs and where they’re at in their own lives and their own projects?

Kim Meninger And what you’re making me think of is that there’s work that goes into writing, right and not to create a sense, that’s it, not to encourage people to overthink, because I know that that can also become a problem. But that intentionality is important. And I think that that’s maybe something that we don’t always think about because we’re quickly running through our emails, trying to get our inboxes cleaned up trying to meet deadlines that we’re not necessarily giving it the level of attention that it deserves, given the stakes that are involved.

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, that’s exactly I use this same exact word intention. People say what’s high-value writing? And I say, well, it’s writing with meaning and intention, as opposed to just writing with words, right, which again, we’re just taught, hey, put some words on there, as long as they’re grammatically correct, and you met my word count, and you use fancy vocab, you’re good to go. But at this point, the intention should be about the relationship with that other person. And also, you were mentioning Kim, the idea that all this work goes into our writing. And it’s so true. And the other truth is that if we as writers don’t do that work ahead when we send the email to the reader, guess who’s going to do it, the reader? Or maybe they’re not, maybe they’ll say, You know what, it’s too hard to fight my way through this email, never mind. Or we’re forcing them to do the work of finding, oh, maybe I’m the reader. And I think well, I want to know how soon this is, well, I want to know what I need to do. Well, I want to know, if I can invite someone, if they have to hunt to find that information, then we’ve left the work for them, which is not really the best way to manage a relationship and build trust, right, we have to do the work ourselves, just like we would, in an important conversation with someone where we would try to bring our best self and manage any kind of like difficulties we may have as a person, while we’re talking to them.

Kim Meninger Well, and I, I also am thinking about how important it is for managers when communicating with their employees, especially now that so many workplaces are hybrid or virtual that so much communication does happen in writing. And, you know, I think about this from the perspective of the employee to have, I don’t necessarily feel comfortable asking questions, or I may have self-doubt. And I start to think, well, I should know the answer to this. Or if I ask this question, then I’m going to out myself as not being competent enough, when in actuality, as you’re describing the person writing the message, didn’t make the effort to actually answer the questions. And so it creates not just a disconnect in the communication, but also a sense of fear or undermines the trust.

Erin Lebacqz Totally agree. I mean, that scenario you described, I would be so nervous as that direct report, I’d be think, especially because maybe in the old days, when we’d see each other at work, I could casually say, hey, when was that meeting again, out loud, and not feel like they’re gonna think that I’m dumb or whatever. But when we write, it just feels so serious that we think oh, my god, am I really outing myself, and it’s gonna go down in posterity. So yes, I think the managers, this is why I love talking with leadership development groups and emerging leaders. That’s our opportunity. You know, I’ve noticed some, some learning teams or teams, in general, will spend a lot of money on culture, right on trying to have a welcoming, inclusive culture, which is super important. But then they’ll turn around and send out a condescending all-hands email, and that the culture is gone right there in one fell swoop. And so yeah, managers have the opportunity to write in a way that builds community that reduces alienation. And that takes out some hierarchy to so that people can feel more comfortable in their work team, even when they’re far apart. And I think on that note, you know, we also want to consider many of our employees. Now many of our team members are really young, I have a couple of different friends who’ve told me that their 20-year-old children have their first career jobs, or maybe 22, like right after college even. And they’re at home, you know, in their very first career job, having no idea how to behave, right, because we all learned by being there when we started our careers, and they don’t know. And they’re just sitting at home feeling nervous and lonely. And so that’s the opportunity for the managers to help bring them in through intentional writing since that’s often the way that they’ll communicate with each other.

Kim Meninger So I keep coming back in my mind to this idea that there’s a lot at stake. How can we, how do you convey that without putting too much pressure on? How do you balance this, to say, this is important? But I don’t want to fuel your anxiety yourself.

Erin Lebacqz I know, right? Yeah. It’s kind of a toughy. Sometimes, and I will say one thing about my work is that I often don’t have to convince people that it matters because especially since COVID, all of a sudden everybody thinks, oh my gosh, my writing is, my writing is the new speaking, right? And they’re kind of like, I need to look at this, but it is true. Some people maybe don’t realize the emotional impact that writing can have as well as the informational impact and may or may not realize what’s at stake. So usually I’ll try it To create a scenario where we all feel what a reader would feel in response to certain sentences, you know, like I could say, in a class, hey, if somebody needed to be redirected, let’s and I would never, you know, use a student name, I usually use myself, but I would say something like, Erin, your report did not provide the information I needed. And then it’s kind of like, we all feel like, ah, you know, I tried, I tried on my report, and then we feel that emotional response, and we think, Okay, well, how could this be phrased differently? Like, Erin, I’m looking for x and y, can you let me know where it is in the report? You know, is there some way we could phrase this where the person doesn’t feel targeted? Because and then everyone in the room, we feel oh, my gosh, when I feel targeted, I immediately start getting defensive, and feel, I feel disrespected, like, Hey, I tried on the report, do you want to talk about the good things that I did, or, or just that one bad thing, right. So we really have to phrase you know, and the example with that example, is working with how we use the word you, we have to be very careful in any negative situation about using you or your and so there are sort of strategies we can use to make sure that we take the emotional heat out of even negative writing, and make sure that we talk about in that example, the matter at hand, which I think in my example was a report. And we wouldn’t need to say Erin, your, your report is wonky, or you messed up in this report, all we have to talk about is “the” report, we don’t have to say you or me at all, let’s just talk about oh, look, page seven needs more evidence. It’s not about you or me, it’s about the report. And so we can do a lot of things through intention in that way to make sure we’re not accidentally making people feel unincluded or overly criticized, etc.

Kim Meninger That’s such a great point. Because we are so sensitive to that type of language, especially if we already feel somewhat. I’m trying to think of the right way to say this. But if we don’t feel as entirely connected to our workplace, either, because we are different from people around us. Or maybe we are in a brand new job where we don’t know how much we can trust the people around us, we’re going to be reading into every communication that we get. And that’s going to lead to a lot of over-analysis.

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, a lot of time spent stressing definitely.

Kim Meninger Is there? A, I guess I’m wondering if, if we sort of break this down into things for people to think about, is there pre-work you would recommend? Like, are there things that I should think about before I even start formulating the message?

Erin Lebacqz Mm-hmm. Definitely. Yeah, I think most of our work in writing should be thinking, not writing itself. And this is why whenever people tell me that they don’t, you know, often people will say, Well, I’m not a good writer, that’ll be a quote that I hear often. And it’s kind of like, well, I bet you know, someone may have told you that. Or you may feel like that because of a comment on your paper. But we can all be good writers because writer writing is really about thinking. And you know, it’s not about just sitting there and then magic happening. And it comes out of our hands on the computer so perfectly. It’s more about what you were mentioning, Kim is the pre-work. And so again, like I mentioned earlier, there is no one correct way to write. But we can figure out how to write by looking at two things, which is who will be reading this and what is my goal? And when we look at who will be reading this, you know, maybe I’m writing. You know, Kim and I are a great example. This is our first time talking out loud to or seeing each other on a video or anything like that we’ve built this relationship through writing so far. We both felt respectful and excited for the episode. And so the pre-work would be well I want to think about Kim, who is she okay, she has a podcast about impostor syndrome and learning. Obviously, these are values of hers, for people to be authentically themselves and confident. So I’m already realizing what’s important to Kim. And then I can even think well, what’s important to her in this email right now? All right, let me make sure I say that early. Don’t wait till the end for the very thing she’s looking for. And so most of the decisions I need to make can be made by thinking about trying to get into Kim’s shoes. And then the other question being what is my goal? I can then think, Alright, is my goal. What’s my informational goal? Is it to say oh, hey, I’d love to talk with you on October 17. That’s a goal. We always have an informational goal, but we usually have a relational goal to which is to maybe show that we’re trustworthy or to show that we want to collaborate on the particular topic, or to show that we thought about the other person’s realities even as we ask for resources or whatever it is. And so those two questions are the pre-work. And when then when it comes time to write, we’ve actually thought, Okay, here’s this human being, I want them to, or I’m hoping that they will sign up for one of my classes, feel totally excited. And, you know, trust me for a future project, all of that has to go into how I create that message. But again, we grew up more to thinking about correct and incorrect, which really has very little to do with how we write now, we all have spellcheck, and of course, grammar, you know, we do have to think about it often. But really, the relationship is what the writing is about today. And so it’s all about shifting perspective into the shoes of the other person a little more.

Kim Meninger I wonder what you think about as the, the extension of the training, because I think about this myself, too, as somebody who will often come into an organization and do you know, maybe, maybe one session, maybe a few, how do they continue to build the momentum? And when you’re not there anymore? What is it that they can do to, to continue to develop this skill? Without you?

Erin Lebacqz Right? Yeah, I’ll answer that generally. And then also, a little more specifically, when it’s my class, but in general, I encourage in fact, last Wednesday, I taught the first half of a session that the other half will be this Wednesday, which is really fun when it’s two sessions because there’s time in between. And what I asked them to do with their time is the same thing I would say as an answer, which is to observe the emails that you receive, and observe your reactions as a reader, for example, Did you receive an email that you didn’t even have to open because the subject line was so clear that you already knew Hey, I better set aside 10 minutes later to take care of this thing they want me to do? What kind of subject lines make your life easy as a reader? When you open the email do you feel like it’s friendly? Or do you feel like you don’t want to read it? Do you get a wall of text? Or do you get something pretty like headings and bullets and something that you can easily scan and start just you are the expert because we are all readers? So we’re all the expert of what works for a reader. So as long as we stay in that perception, as we receive people’s communications, we can continue learning by observing what does or doesn’t work for a reader. I used to worry about that a lot more than I do have a YouTube channel now. So it makes it a little easier with the YouTube channel in the book, which is I wrote for my students, because same thing, they would say, well, thank you. This was great, but how can I practice? So now I have, you know, two places to send people. But the truth is, we can practice on our own since we have the expertise of being a reader.

Kim Meninger That’s such a great point. And I don’t think it’s something that we necessarily consciously think about, at least not regularly, because we are so busy, and we’re pulled in so many different directions, but to raise your consciousness enough to really think about my own emotional response to the emails that I’m getting can help guide how I think about how I deliver the message. Right? To the, to the, to my readers, I think that’s a really great way to just change your thinking or create more awareness around it.

Erin Lebacqz Mm-hmm. Yeah, it’s kind of a lucky situation, because we’re all worried about writing well, but we all have a free and constant insight into the situation. Because even if you’re not reading that many emails today, you know, you might be reading texts, or posts on social media, you know, these are all opportunities to see Oh, look how that made me feel excited. But that one made me feel kind of annoyed or offended or whatever.

Kim Meninger Yeah, that’s true. And I, I think about writing as its own form of communication. But I also think of it as great for lack of a better term practice ground for verbal communication too because it does allow for editing in a way that when we’re in the moment, we don’t necessarily have the ability to do and so I wonder if you think about that, too, if just, if you are conscious enough about how you’re writing, it’s likely to influence how you’re showing up, even in real-time communication with other people too.

Erin Lebacqz I think definitely. An example that I’ve seen is people who’ve worked hard to make their writing not sound accusatory or blaming, are able to take the skills into speech. For example, if we’re all in a meeting and the coffee all got ran out and burned up because I left it on, we could say well Erin left on the empty coffee pot and now it’s messed up. Or we could say the empty coffee pot was left on. We have a choice whether to blame Erin or not. When I said Erin left it on that was active voice when I said it was left on that was passive. And I’ve noticed some people are becoming very skilled at being not blaming in their writing and saying something like, we don’t have all the numbers yet, when we have them, you know, instead of saying, well, until Erin sends her numbers or whatever, and then I noticed people doing that in, in sort of real-life verbal exchanges, too. You know, and we can even do that at home, like, oh, did the dog get walked? You know, did the dishes get done? Like, we don’t have to call out the other person of whether they did it? And so I’ll see those skills translate a little.

Kim Meninger Yeah, that’s a good point, too, about the transferability to our personal lives. Is there anything that you encounter that’s particularly challenging? I, I’m cognizant of the fact that we’re talking about not blaming people, but I’m wondering, are there certain? I don’t know personality types or certain things that just make it more difficult to adopt some of these practices or anything that is worth emphasizing or thinking about differently.

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, I think with that question, in particular, and I’m still sort of learning about this. So I’ll tell you what I’ve noticed. So far, I think personality has a lot to do with maybe, well, both writing and reading, but especially reading because I think our personality impacts how we like to receive and use information. For example, some people like to get all the details of a given plan, you know, we’re going to have the presentation at two, we’re going to follow it up with notes, then we’re going to send everybody a book, then we’re going to have some online follow-up session. And, for me, I happen to have a personality where I like getting a bunch of information and then trying to sort it and remember it. A lot of people do not like that. A lot of people would say, you know, okay, let’s talk about the presentation at two. But I don’t need to know, the next two weeks of information right now. I could know that later. And so as a writer, we want to manage how much information do we share at a given time. And I had a recent talk, there’s an inner, it’s an interview up on my channel with a personality expert. And the one tidbit we kind of unearthed is that, in her opinion, and listeners, you know, we can see if this is true with ourselves, she said introverts tend to want detail context, foundational, historic background, and they’re okay with like, Hey, here’s a bunch of information about the whole process. And then she said extroverts prefer to have information that’s about what they or their team are going to do now, practical, applied to the moment, and there’s no need to overburden and confuse the situation with more paragraphs about the future. I totally understand both of those points of view. And so and when I’ve brought it up in classes, people are mostly saying like, Yeah, I’m kind of introverted, and I tend to be an explainer in my emails, or I tend to want explanation. And so I would say, for all of us, just kind of gauge Are you? Do you feel like you’re an over-explainer, or an under-explainer? Do you want all the information, maybe you’re an introvert and you want all the detail? That’s great. But check if your reader is the same way as you before you send it all to them. And extroverts, you know, you might be thinking, just tell me what’s important for my team’s meeting today. Well, what if the person you’re writing to is someone who likes foundational background? So that’s one of the biggies is literally just how much should I say? How much detail should I give versus manage myself and hold back the detail? Like, I personally have to do not overdo the detail for what some readers would want.

Kim Meninger So what about when you’re writing, writing to multiple readers? Yeah. So you’ve got a distribution list of people who maybe are, you know, composed of a variety of different personality types? Do you? Do you pick one and or do you, how do you, how do you navigate that?

Erin Lebacqz Hard, right? Yeah, and most of us write to either groups, or even just, we write to two colleagues and CC two supervisors, or whatever we’re dealing with a lot of interests at once. In these scenarios, I recommend that what we lead with what we think everyone would want, which is usually the bottom line, both all personality types do need to know the main point of the message. And we all want the bottom line what’s happening, what is this for? So we can start with what everyone would need and have your first paragraph be like the main point, the call to action if there is one, and then you can say, you know, for background and example see below and then have your next paragraph have a nice little heading, historical background or context or whatever. And then a bunch of information there for how did this even come about because there are people on your list who want that. And there are plenty who don’t. And then you could even have another heading of examples and talk about that point being start with what we all want. And then give options slash resources that can also include hyperlinks, for people who want more. But don’t start with the details that only some people want. Start with what we all want, as much as you can, which is usually the main point.

Kim Meninger That makes perfect sense. And that brings me to a question about niceties. Because there’s people in the workplace that are just bottom-line for me, right? I just all business, I don’t have time to talk about my weekend. I don’t want to hear about yours. What? How important is it to be, to include that kind of language of, Hope you’re doing well, right?

Erin Lebacqz Right, right. I mean, I think as in everything, I always tell people in workshops that I have an annoying answer for so many questions, which is it depends on the situation. But it depends on the relationship. So it depends. I do that well, also, it depends on who we are, and what’s authentic. So we’ve got a mix, I need to show up authentically. And I need to show up in a way that works for my reader. So for me authentically, naturally, I do want to say those things. So I do say I hope you’re having a good week or whatever. But if I know that that person really isn’t into that, I won’t do it. So as I get to know the person, I’ll adjust my defaults to what’s better for them. I think when we don’t know somebody or it’s a new relationship, we would want to err on the side of being slightly more formal, and also including more friendly things, because we don’t know them yet. We don’t know how friendly they prefer to be in an email. So we want to have the formality and respect. But also, I hope you had a nice weekend. Or we can mirror we can try to mirror what we see from them. This happens to me a lot because I come out of education, and I come out of California. And those are two distinct cultures. And then I’ll work with people who come out of finance, and New Hampshire. And those are two distinct cultures. And they’re very different than mine. And so I realized, okay, I might be a little overly friendly, right? You know, for this scenario, I might be a little under formal for this scenario, I might need to be the one to adjust. Or I’ll just observe the emails I get from them, what seems to be copacetic? You know, are we all being very friendly? Or are we all really keeping each other at a distance? So we can kind of observe as we read to try to learn about that, too.

Kim Meninger I think mirroring and what you’re talking about is a great idea. Because that’s really how you get the best insight into what people want is to try to pay attention to what they’re doing. And then yeah, mirror that back to them. Is there anything that you think about? And I know, obviously, we’re trying to squeeze a lot into a short time, but anything that you think about a lot that we haven’t talked about yet that you think is important to include in this conversation?

Erin Lebacqz I’m just I think one more thing we could all consider about our reader, usually, and I’ll just go with emails, since that’s the most common still workplace communication. I think, usually when we get an email, and you can test this with yourself, we’re thinking, What is this for? And do I have to do something? You know, why am I getting this? What is this all about? And do I have a role? So it would be nice, it’s kind for us as writers to put that information in paragraph one for our readers. Because they are probably wondering, What is this for? Do what should I start getting prepared for either emotionally or practically speaking? And so don’t bury the lede. Don’t, don’t bury their call your call to action. Keep that stuff available for your readers really early.

Kim Meninger That’s a great point. This has been such a great conversation. Erin, how can people find you if they want to learn more about you and your work?

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, I’d love to connect with folks. I’m on LinkedIn, and I some options that you all have for learning more about writing. My YouTube channel is High-Value Writing, and there’s a new video each week if you subscribe, you’ll always get them obviously that’s all free. Then I have a book called High-Value Writing that’s out on Amazon, etc. So that’s a good way to learn. And then actually today I’m premiering show. It’s going to be at 4 pm pacific time every Monday on Win-Win Women TV where I talk about writing and so people can hop on LinkedIn. I’ve put the link up and everything like that. So get in touch or come to my website so you can get on the list and I can keep you posted about that kind of thing but yeah I’d love to talk with folks and connect that way.

Kim Meninger That’s wonderful well thank you so much this has been great, Erin.

Erin Lebacqz Yeah, thanks I really enjoyed talking with you.

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