BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU WRITE AND SAY
In the credit, accounts receivable and debt collection professions, we are always aware of the importance of taking notes of the conversations, being careful in how we write our emails and in what we say.
Fraud investigators and the police are likewise instructed to care in reporting of what they see, hear and say.
Company directors and managers are now careful of what they write in their diaries and in business reports on their observations, meeting outcomes etc.
Politicians are always at risk as there is always somebody out to get them, either deliberately or to take advantage of any gaffe they may make.
So we can conclude that note taking, writing of emails and speaking with others in business, are extremely important functions. However we have also seen and heard about how a person's writings and sayings can be used against them and the grief this has caused later on.
I believe that my training at an early stage of my professional life, plus constant revisions of what I do and say, has assisted to help me understand the importance of what I write and say.
Therefore here are a few guidelines which may assist you write notes, emails and help you think about what you might say during the course of your professional duties.
1 Be aware, there are no secrets any more. People carry recording devices in many different forms with them in their daily lives. Everything you write and say is now visible to the whole world.
2 Anything you write in your diary, case notes, work notes, emails or in a report, can be viewed in a Court of Law.
3 Be careful of what you write and how you write it. Do not embellish, write in code or express your inner feelings anywhere within your notes. Keep everything unemotional and professional.
4 In a busy world, we often forget to prepare ourselves emotionally for the risk event (telephone calls, interviews, writing up our notes etc.) we are about to undertake. Try to put yourself in a professional state of mind and place.
5 Be aware, as debt collectors and politicians will testify, that people will deliberately set out to antagonise you and make you say something you shouldn't.
6 Review what you have written before publishing, sending or including in any document which can be seen by others. Practice and practice what you might say when speaking in different environments.
7 If you believe you lack the necessary professional skills, seek professional help to help manage your writing and speaking work. Equally important, if you have been caught out previously, seek professional help to find out where you went wrong and to help you avoid the same situation in the future.
Taking notes or writing emails and making telephone contact with our customers and suppliers, are essential actions in business. Never underestimate who might read or hear what you have said. Therefore approach each situation calmly and with a professional awareness of the risks involved.
May you be paid today rather than tomorrow