Joe Ubben – As technology continues to change the way in which we communicate, it doesn’t change the fact that we are judged by these messages. Some of my clients who are in the 20 – 30 year old age group seem to think that it’s OK to alter the English Language with abbreviations, misspellings and poor grammar. While that kind of messaging may be acceptable within your personal relationships, it clearly is not acceptable in a business environment.
Whether we like it or not, the use of Standard English grammar is important to the way customers, strategic partners,and lenders react to you and your business proposals. In a recent article titled I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why written by Kyle Wiens in the Harvard Business Review he comments that, “Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.”
Yes, language is always changing and some simple abbreviations might be tolerable in short messages, but, in the business world, what you write is who you are to the reader, especially if they don’t know you. Not taking the time to carefully craft your messages, no matter the format, is a detrimental business practice and one that can hurt you without you even realizing it.
So, next time you type a text, email, blog or proposal, take your time and write it as well as you possibly can. If you know your grammar isn’t the best, have someone else read your message before you hit “send” or “print.” Remember that your emails and text messages say a lot about you!
Joe Ubben is a Business Advisor for the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center, an organization with the mission to create a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources. Joe can be reached at email@example.com.