Workplace writing should focus on what can be done, not what can’t. Even in a bad situation, a voice that focuses on the positive rather than on the negative helps keep business moving forward.
How can I sound informed?
You can sound informed by stating your position objectively, considering both pros and cons, and using concessions and qualifiers.
What do you think? I’m pretty sure the scrubber system will be worth it for you.
While the scrubber system is more costly than alternatives, its benefits warrant the cost. When the scrubber is fully operational, the power plant will exceed the EPA’s current clean-air standards.
How can I sound positive?
Focus on solutions rather than problems, on successes rather than failures. Say what can be done instead of what cannot.
If you don’t trash those cheap oxygen suits, you’ll never pass the OSHA inspection!
To protect our undercoaters, we should purchase OSHA-approved oxygen suits.
How can I offer constructive criticism?
Balance discussion of weaknesses with praise of strengths. Also, direct criticism to the topic, not personalities.
Your bid was rejected because it lacked overall value. Better luck next time.
Though your bid was competitive on cost, another bid provided better overall value.
Can I use humor?
When writing to close colleagues about everyday issues, you can use humor that does not denigrate anyone. However, remember that even private communications can become public. When writing to supervisors, clients, or employees, avoid humor, which is often misinterpreted.
When guests turn into squatters, we can’t give you their room. You wouldn’t want to share a bed, would you?
We apologize that we cannot provide your reserved room, but we can offer you a free upgrade in compensation.