Introduction to Word Choice and Tone

What you’ll learn to do: Discuss the impact that word choice and tone can have on a business message

Have you ever heard the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” when someone is blaming the bearer of bad news for the upset? This common metaphoric phrase dates back to before the widespread use of modern telecommunication when messages were usually delivered by human envoys. For example, during a war, a messenger would be sent from one camp to another. If the message was distressing or described a severe misfortune, the receivers might blame the messenger for such bad news and take their anger out on the unfortunate messenger.

The organization, word choice, and tone of your message allows the communication to be received and understood while maintaining a positive business relationship. This keeps the modern day messenger (or email sender) from being shot (or fired) all while maintaining good business relationships. With proper wording and phrasing, your communications can enhance your reputation and the reputation of your business.