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How to Write the Dreaded Performance Appraisal: 5 Focused Steps

by Mary Cullen on Tue, Dec 16, 2014

THEY'RE REQUIRED, SO SHINE

It's that time of year. While a performance appraisal really can be an opportunity to shine, many professionals dread writing them. It is very hard to judge our own performance, yet managers need and require this input.

This article will explain how to write a performance appraisal that will get you promoted and also how to help employees better summarize their work performance.

Many companies use simple templates, with limited space, to gather performance appraisals. If this is the case in your company, ask for more information from your direct reports or share more information in a separate document about your own work performance. This will help employees and managers focus on goals, articulate specific achievements, and provide the information to communicate your team's progress to senior management.

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Topics: Business Writing Skills, Writing for Business Newsletter

Avoid Run-On Sentences in Your Business Writing

by Katie Almeida Spencer on Mon, Oct 27, 2014

This statement contains an error. Find and correct it:

The next few weeks will be busy. Both the website update and the app launch have deadlines in December. Huang is our most diligent employee, I would like him on my team.

Run-on sentences and sentence fragments are becoming more and more common, and seem to be a tricky area for many people. I certainly have been guilty of all of these before, particularly when I am texting. While I think it is somewhat inconsequential to have a grammatical mistake in a quick text dashed off to a friend, these types of mistakes become problematic when they spill into more formal business contexts such as emails, letters, and memos.

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Topics: Business Grammar, Writing for Business Newsletter

Foster this Advanced Business Writing Skill

by Mary Cullen on Tue, May 27, 2014

There is one business writing skill that separates advanced business writers from those who are merely functionally proficient. It is the ability to synthesize complex ideas and extract the significant nuggets of information that are relevant to a particular reader and situation.

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Topics: Writing for Business Newsletter, Executive Summary Writing

How to Collaboratively Write a Business Report with Colleagues

by Mary Cullen on Mon, Feb 3, 2014

Do you collaboratively write reports with colleagues? Do you find it hard to keep a sense of coherence across the report and unity in the work team?

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Topics: Business Report Writing, Writing for Business Newsletter

#1 Business Writing Recommendation for Everything You Write at Work

by Mary Cullen on Thu, Jun 27, 2013

There are two fundamental questions that you should ask yourself before you write anything in business. Actually, you should ask yourself these questions before any kind of business communication in business, whether it takes the form of meetings, discussions, presentations, email, or major documents.

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Topics: Business Writing Skills, Writing for Business Newsletter

Crafting Business Writing Goals for Performance Reviews

by Mary Cullen on Thu, Feb 28, 2013

To accurately measure employee business writing, it is critical to link the business goals of the employee's key documents to specific writing attributes. "Better report writing"  or "more clear email" is too vague and impossible to measure. 

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Topics: Business Writing Skills, Business Writing Resources, Writing for Business Newsletter

Business Grammar: What's Wrong with Mainstreamification?

by Mary Cullen on Thu, Feb 28, 2013

This one paragraph contains a business grammar error. Find and correct it.

Social media is here to stay. No longer is the support for this coming only from techies, teens, and social media consultants. Forbes, Financial Times, Business Week and the NY Times even concur that in 2012, the mainstreamification of social media in business became official.

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Topics: Business Grammar, Writing for Business Newsletter

Writing an Executive Summary that Emotes Confidence

by Mary Cullen on Wed, Jan 30, 2013

This article illustrates a simple rhetorical strategy, to apply at the sentence level, to increase your readers’ perception of your executive ability. This is a very useful strategy for all executive writing, but it is particulary important when writing an executive summary.

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Topics: Writing for Business Newsletter, Executive Summary Writing

Top Business Jargon to Avoid

by Mary Cullen on Thu, Oct 11, 2012

Forbes Magazine conducted a Jargon Madness tournament on Twitter, asking readers to submit the business writing jargon that most annoyed them. The "winners" advanced to qualifying and final rounds. From Forbes:

The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or join a tiger team, by all means do it. Just don’t say you’re doing it. Because--and please believe us--all that meaningless business jargon makes you sound like a complete moron. 

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Topics: Business Writing Style, Writing for Business Newsletter

Business Writing Style Top Tip: Positive Language

by Mary Cullen on Mon, Jul 16, 2012

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Topics: Business Writing Style, Writing for Business Newsletter