If you want a positive response to your memo or report, then do not use negative words. Pointing out problems and belittling people will not be helpful. Some negative words to avoid in writing are: cannot, damage, do not, error, fail, impossible, little value, loss, mistake, not, problem, refuse, stop, unable to, and unfortunately.
Here are some examples of what not to say:
On the flip side, now that you know some negative words to avoid in writing, we are going to look at important positive words to put in your reports or proposals. Your purpose in writing needs to be on the solution, not the problem. All communication needs to sound collaborative and positive, and instructions need to be clear and tell the reader what to do, rather than what not to do. Positive words to use include: benefit, it is best to, issue, matter, progress, success, unfortunate, and valuable.
Here are the positive ways to write the formerly negative examples:
Writing needs to focus on the concrete, not the vague or abstract. Instead of saying, “I feel’ or “I believe”, just tell it like it is. Use action words like: work, improve, complete, succeed, and use.
Using the active voice in writing makes the text concise, understandable, and strong. Here are some examples of active and passive voice:
See how the active voice is less wordy, easier to understand, and has more impact. You will get a better response if the reader understands and you are clear and precise.
Write clearly by using short sentences that don’t have extra phrases, commas, or parentheses. Keep your language simple and don’t use big words when a simpler one will do. Replace long, wordy phrases with one word whenever possible.
Here are some examples:
One good way of getting a positive response to a letter, report, or memo, is to be courteous. Being courteous is not just about saying “please” and “thank you.” It is also the tone of your writing. Here are some things to think about so that your writing is received in a good light:
Lastly, explain problems by introducing them using words like: somewhat, rather, slight, or a little. This will minimize them so you don’t sound like an alarmist.