On August 9th, 1940, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of UK, sent a Memorandum to the War Cabinet . He asked his staff to write shorter Reports and to avoid those useless phrases which could be replaced by one word.
In particular he wrote, in the final part of the Memorandum:
The saving in time will be great, while the discipline of setting out the real point concisely will prove an aid to clearer thinking.
Copy of the original document is available at UK National Archives http://www.ukwarcabinet.org.uk/documents/345
The Roman philosopher Epictetus once said, “Books are the training weights of the mind”.
Reading is an exercise that enriches the way we think, feel, and behave. Reading makes it possible to reach a new understanding about ourselves and the world and to expand our knowledge.
In this article, Paul Jun draws up a subjective list of the books he feels are timeless and helpful in both our personal and professional endeavors. Actually reading reflects a willingness to learn and change minds, to be open to new ideas and concepts that may indeed bolster both personal and professional endeavors.
Diplomats, like many other professionals, have to write many different types of documents. Whatever the type — legislation, a technical report, minutes, a press release or speech — a clear document will be more effective, and more easily and quickly understood.
The European Commission (Directorate-General for Translation) has published a few years ago a simple guide titled with many useful and practical hints (not rules) on “how to write clearly“.
Here are the 10 hints included in the publication:
1. Think before you write
2. Focus on the reader
3. Get your document into shape
4. KISS:Keep It Short and Simple
5. Make sense
6. Cut out excess nouns
7. Be concrete, not abstract
8. Prefer active verbs to passive
9. Beware of false friends, jargon and abbreviations
10. Revise and check
The guide is available in all 23 official languages of the European Union.
You can find the online version here (choose the preferred language)
The manual “Be A Better Writer“, downloadable for free at Bookboon.com, includes tips that will help you improve your writing (and actually get your writing done faster and easier) no matter what type of writing you need to do.
Bookboon provides a collection of valuable free ebooks for professionals.
The spread of social media has affected the way in which public institutions communicate with the public. Nowadays, governments have understood that social media have some benefits when used to be connected with citizens in a more transparent and accountable way, by communicating 1-to many rather than repeatedly 1-to-1. Social media are one of the few ways a government can directly and instantly receive feedback on its policies and decisions.
However, civil servants should be particularly careful when using social media, especially in their own time. In social media the boundaries between professional and personal can sometimes be blurred, and commenting on some issues could carry some risks, such as disclosing official information without authority or compromising the impartial service to the government.
For this reason, in UK Government Digital Service and Home Office have established social media guidelines for civil servants. The guidelines include these ten tips for using social media:
1. Have a clear idea of your objectives in using social media (behaviour change/service delivery/consultation/communication);
2. Learn the rules of each social media space before engaging;
3. Abide by the Civil Service Code and ask for advice if you are not sure;
4. Remember an official account belongs to the Department not the individual;
5. Communicate where your citizens are;
6. Build relationships with your stakeholders on and offline – social media is just one of many communication channels;
7. Try not to channel shift citizens backwards (move from email to telephone for example);
8. Do not open a channel of communication you cannot maintain;
9. Understand when a conversation should be taken offline;
10. Do not engage with users who are aggressive/abusive;
Read more on: http://bit.ly/KClufb
Image source: http://bit.ly/168Odoj
Still waiting for an answer?? Bryan A. Garner shows how to write a perfect e-mail and earn your collegues attention.
- Stick to standard capitalization and punctuation;
- Get straight to the point (politely, of course);
- Be brief — but not too brief;
- Plot out what happened, and when;
- Add a short but descriptive subject line;
- Copy people judiciously.
Having a bad day? Do you need a bit of encouragement to move through it? One of the best things you can do is writing some simple sentences down and keep them in mind!
Here it is a quote by Lifehack that could inspire you:
If you want to read 12 more quotations, take a look at http://bit.ly/16RsZK4
Image source: Lifehack
English is the most widely-spoken language in the world and is currently an official language in 88 sovereign states and territories; it therefore follows that it has many different versions and standards.
However, over the years, the European institutions have developed a vocabulary that differs from that of any recognised form of English. The problem with these words is that when people use them with the wrong meaning or in the wrong context, they are usually unaware that they are doing so.
Consult the list drawn by the Court of Auditors which aims at giving some guidelines for a proper use of English.