Thursday, January 26, 2012

English 101 - Writing Effective Paperwork

Using the right words is really important when submitting your proposal for the Management's approval. Choosing how to position your proposal paper is also an art by itself so that you know what to highlight to capture their attention and what other less important items to put later in appendices or somewhere in the proposal content.

One simple example, would you able to differentiate between the 2 statements below? Which one is correct and which one is not?

1. Once approved, we shall proceed to equip the data centre with the latest firewall appliance to secure our network;

2. Upon approval, we shall proceed to equip the data centre with the latest firewall appliance to secure our network.

Answer: Both statements are correct! Nevertheless, as my previous GM put it, it is a matter of "perception".

If you choose Statement 1, it seems as if you will only take action after getting the approval. It can be after 1 day, 1 week delay or even after 1 month then only you will carry out the tasks and do the necessary.

On the contrary, if you choose Statement 2, it gives the impression that you are already in the "ready-to-go" mode and will take action the soonest you get the required approval.

The secret is, the Management really appreciates these positive tones in your paperwork. Your paper pretty much illustrates who you are as a Manager or as an important person in the company. Hence, choose your words nicely and structure your paperwork neatly to increase the chance of your proposal getting approved. Trust me, it works! :) All the best.