Friday, 10 July 2015

The 'Passive Voice' Zombie Detector

In managing knowledge and encouraging organisational change, clear communication is paramount. This applies to how you get your message across and the techniques KIN advocates for effective know-how transfer. 

I've started following Josh Bernoff's postings on withoutbullshit.com for inspiring and practical tips on improving my written communication. Recent advice has been on the scourge of 'passive voice'. This is somethin
g we do without realising we are inadvertently and unnecessarily diluting the impact of our message. Simple things, such as using generalisations such as 'it is recognised that'. 

Josh's excellent posting yesterday was about how to identify passive voice with a simple 'zombie test' and how to fix it. 
Uncomfortable though it was, I forced myself to go back over the emails I sent this morning and apply the Bernoff Passive Voice Zombie Test. It was instructive to say the least. 

In a world where it is increasingly difficult to get attention (I'm currently reading Captivology: The Science of Capturing People's attention, by Benn Farr), why communicate with one hand tied behind your back? Make your voice assertive not passive - and listen to Josh on how to do it. 


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