Learning and development

Five ways to turn your team into elite writing athletes

How is writing like sport? Well, they have more in common than you might think. And just as sportspeople improve incrementally through training, Write Online can improve your writing game with microlearning — bite-sized training content that helps you improve your writing skills day by day.

Looking around the office, you probably see many different levels of writing. Just as some people seem like natural athletes, some people seem to be natural writers. And while natural ability may be good starting point, nobody reaches the top of their game without a lot of hard work. Even naturally gifted athletes have a coach behind them, pushing them to improve.

By following our five tips, you can be the coach supporting a team of writing athletes to achieve their potential.

1: Find inspiration

Every athlete has a story about a person who inspired their love for a sport. By looking up to the greats in their fields, athletes begin to strive for greatness themselves. The same can be said of writers — witnessing excellence on the page can spark the flame of our own writing journey.

By finding a source of inspiration for your team, you can give them something to look up to: a ‘great’ of their own. Your team doesn’t need to read the classics or write like a prize-winning novelist, but the right template or exemplar can go a long way. Seek out pieces of writing that have the qualities you want from your team. Then give them the chance to read and learn.

2: Set ambitious but achievable goals

Teams don’t win world cups by aimlessly wandering onto the field, and gold medals are not won by accident. Every high-level athlete is at the top because they set a goal to be there.

To make your team into high-level writers, help them set the goals they need to get there. Goals work best when they start small and achievable — and don’t forget to give lots of encouragement.

The goal on a golfer’s first swing is only to hit the ball. So the goal for a beginner writer might be as simple as getting some words on the page. With writing at work, investing time in planning is a vital step — think of it like your warm-up. Start with thinking about your purpose for writing, and who your readers are. Jot down your key messages, and any questions your readers may have. After that, you can move on to document structure, informative headings, choosing clear, precise words, and writing short sentences.

You may not be up for a medal, but readers always appreciate clear and concise writing.

3: Train efficiently and effectively

Inspiration and goals are worth nothing if they’re not put into practice. You’ll only improve if your training is efficient and effective.

Whether new hires or experienced staff, everyone in your team can benefit from regular and focused training. This is how people develop new skills and also refine the skills they already have.

Figure out exactly what you expect from your team and upskill them in those areas. That way you’ll ensure the work produced aligns with expectations, while also giving your team the confidence to take their writing further and make it really shine. World-class athletes at the top of their game are still trying to perfect their craft through training — let your team do the same.

4: Give constructive feedback

Having a rugby game recorded works wonders for Saturday night entertainment, but it is also a vital tool in improving player performance. Win or lose, every game comes with a unique set of positives and negatives that can be analysed, reflected on, and incorporated into future goals and training.

Carefully reviewing your team’s writing and discussing areas they need to improve in is a fantastic way to help develop their skillset. Offering constructive suggestions to improve their writing will help them to focus on improving those areas.

5: Set your team up with microlearning support

Even the greatest coaches of the greatest athletes need to call on help from external support. Expertise and talent are spread far and wide across the population, and no single coach can expect to provide everything their team will ever need.

Professional athletes will have an hour with the physio here, an hour with the dietician there, and 3 hours with the personal trainer somewhere else in the week. All these small parts combine to create top athletes at the peak of their abilities. In the world of writing, microlearning works in the same way, and Write Online has the expertise you need to help your team thrive.

Microlearning is an innovative way to sharpen the skills of your team quickly and efficiently. Through bite-sized chunks of information, your team can absorb information rapidly. Even better, they will retain the information more effectively so they can put it into practice. Forget about long and draining training sessions and start training your team like writing athletes.

Download our whitepaper: Nothing micro about microlearning

Download our whitepaper to learn more about microlearning and how Write Online can help you boost your team’s writing:

Download the whitepaper (PDF, 1,121 KB)

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