All Work and No Play Makes Communicators Bad at Their Job


My latest piece for the Toronto Chapter of International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) blog is up. The piece discusses why communications professionals should make reading, especially reading that’s not work related, an integral part of their lives. This is obviously an important topic to me, as I’ve previously written about how central reading is to my daily life, here and here. The IABC piece, however, considers reading from more of a professional development standpoint.

Below is an excerpt. You can read the piece in its entirety here.

First and foremost is the power of reading to strengthen one’s sense of empathy through spending a sustained amount of time with characters and coming to know them as we would family members or close friends. Gini Dietrich, who made the same claim I am now making, points to scientific evidence of reading’s ability to strengthen our emotional intelligence. [1] Surely, there is no skill more highly prized in the communications field than empathy.

Furthermore, good writing is best learned through example. Crafting clear sentences while vividly conveying stories and ideas is the essence of any communicator’s job. Just as any athlete must study tapes of their sport and singers must appreciate and learn from the best in their field, communications professionals need to learn from the best writers. Though they may not be immediately relevant to your work, writers like Ernest Hemingway, the master of maximizing impact with brevity, are our greatest teachers.

Speaking of reading, you can catch up with what I’m currently sinking my teeth into at my What I’m Reading page.

Though things have been a bit hectic as of late, I do have some new pieces coming down the pipeline and I hope to be sharing them soon on this blog. In the meantime, as always, I hope any reader stopping by will take the time to enjoy previous pieces.

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