The Written Word: More Powerful Than You Think

The Written Word

In an image-driven world, it’s easy to overlook the power of words. But as any good writer knows, the written word can be far more powerful than any image.

With just a few well-chosen words, a writer can evoke emotions, create characters, and paint pictures that stay with readers long after they’ve finished the last page. The written word is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated.

Everyone in a position of authority, including every manager, supervisor, coach, and member of a team, as well as every parent, has been informed of the significance of providing positive feedback. We’ve heard that we need to do more of it. We have been given explanations for the reasons why.

When properly providing good feedback, we’ve learned all of the fundamentals, including how important it is to be timely, how important it is to be detailed, and how important it is to consider sharing it publicly when providing positive feedback.

This is sound advice, but it needs to be revised to make a long-term and enduring difference in other people’s self-image, confidence, and performance. To summarise, if you’re going to provide constructive criticism, you should think about doing more than simply expressing your sentiments verbally; instead, you should think about writing down your thoughts.

What’s The Point of Writing It Down?

The following three reasons best illustrate the importance of providing feedback in writing.

1. It is unusual. Receiving positive feedback in written form is even more uncommon, although most of us already provide (and accept) much too little.

The recipient is given an indication of how important and crucial the feedback is because we took the time to formulate our ideas and write them down.

2. It can be preserved. It is possible to keep verbal feedback, but this can only be done in the head of the receiver.

I have had other people tell me extremely nice things that I have remembered, and in some instances, I can even take you to the precise location where they told me.

However, our memories could fail us, and we will simply forget to recall those particular occurrences among the myriad other moments that make up our life.

However, this is different from something that is written down. Not only can the ideas and remarks be kept, but you can also bet that they will be kept for a very long time in most instances.

3. It will be reread and, as a result, reinforced. Verbal praise is shared and can be appreciated by the receiver, but I don’t think many people will stop the person delivering the feedback and say, “Will you tell me that again, please?”

The handwritten note, on the other hand, demonstrates the complete opposite. It will be reviewed at least twice initially, and if the input is exceptionally significant, possibly several more times in the coming days – and often even further beyond that.

Some Possible Approaches To Take

It is as easy as picking up a pen and writing sincere, honest thoughts to another person. Just do it. The following are some suggestions that can assist you in developing the practice of regularly providing others with constructive criticism in the form of written comments.

1. Send a letter. It takes a little time to write a brief note to someone. Do not procrastinate; simply write what needs to be written. It doesn’t need to be formal; all that is required is to honestly convey to the other person how you truly feel.

2. I like you because. Zig Ziglar was the one who enlightened me on this subject. He used to develop little pads that employed this sentence stem to make it easier to give someone favorable comments, and he may still produce these pads now.

The first line of the note read, “I Like You Because,” and then there were numerous blank lines for you to write the rest of your message. I have had a lot of success implementing this concept over many years and in many different settings.

You can make a notebook on a computer, paper, or index card. Using this sentence starter will get you started (and help you look for and find) the behaviours you want to reward.

3. Thank you notes. An extension of written feedback is the handwritten thank you note.

Thank you notes not only serve as an acknowledgment of the fact that someone did something for us, but they also serve as a kind of positive feedback. Most of us can write more thank-you notes than we actually do.

Make a pact with yourself to write more thank-you notes or give a little more input to the ones you already write.

4. Send them an email. This can be done by email or quickly responding to a project update to let the recipient know you like their approach.

Although it is difficult to compete with the personal touch of a handwritten note, it is also likely that an email will be saved and read again. Make sure to value the power of a short email with just three or four lines of content.

I could give you anecdotes about how valuable written feedback has been, both to the people I know and to me, and you would find these stories interesting. I have many stories about notes I have kept for years and frequently reread.

I could give you stories of people who told me that receiving some words of encouragement in the form of handwritten notes helped them get through challenging times, boosted their confidence, and significantly contributed to their success.

You are presumably familiar with some of these anecdotes, which indicates that you are aware that the premise I am arguing for, namely that written praise can be incredibly effective, is correct.

Because we know that it is beneficial and will be received in a manner that goes beyond simple gratitude, it is our duty as community leaders, educators, parents, and siblings, and simply as members of society, to provide feedback to others in this manner.

As you read these words, I bet you thought of at least one person you could communicate in writing some sound reinforcement you received.

You don’t have a choice because you already know who it is and what to say, and you’ve just been reminded of the potential consequences that action could have, so you don’t really have any other options.

Write That Note Now

In conclusion, the written word is more powerful than you think. It can be used to communicate your thoughts and feelings, and it can also be used to persuade others. Start writing to make a difference. You won’t regret it, and neither will the person who is the beneficiary of your action. Who knows, you could change someone’s life forever.

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