The First-Time Manager

By Loren B. Belker; Gary S. Topchik | Go to book overview

28
The Written Word

It’s a source of amazement and some amusement that many articulate people are reduced to blubbering incompetents when required to put their thoughts down in a written form.

Some people are intimidated by a blank piece of paper or computer screen. Let’s examine why this feeling of panic overtakes individuals who otherwise appear to be competent and confident.

First, we have the test syndrome. Some people panic when taking examinations. All they have is that blank sheet of paper and the material inside their head, which must be up to translating information to paper. Pass or fail depends on what is scratched on that threatening blank sheet.

A second reason people may not feel confident about using the written word is that they do not read much themselves. They get through what they consider required reading for work, but they don’t read for pleasure or for personal or professional development. Instead, they watch too much television, which is more passive than reading. You don’t learn much about good writing by watching television. You learn about good writing by reading. Clearly, television is not to be blamed for all the social ills attributed to it. However, few would quarrel that it has lessened the time many people spend reading, which in turn has had an adverse effect on many people’s writing skills.

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