Your words are powerful

Your words are powerful, so choose them wisely

Because a single word has the power to change an entire sentence

Whether you meant it to or not

In HR, we need to be intentional with our words, particularly in written communication.

👉May vs. Will:
“You may be required to provide documentation” (It’s a possibility)
“You will be required to provide documentation” (It’s a certainty)

👉Shall vs. Should:
“You shall attend the meeting” (It’s required)
“You should attend the meeting” (It’s recommended)

👉Must vs. Can:
“Employees must complete the training” (It’s mandatory)
“Employees can complete the training” (It’s optional)

This elementary English lesson may seem simple, but I’ve observed so many instances where employers stumble due to their word choices

I see this a lot with policies too

Here’s why this matters:

↳ Using the right word ensures that your message is understood without ambiguity, sets clear expectations and reduces miscommunication.

↳ Precision in language reflects professionalism and a commitment to your words. It can enhance your credibility and reliability.

↳ Clear language supports effective decision-making. Understanding if something “may” or “will” happen can influence planning and resource allocation

So always check;

✅ Is the message clear?
✅ Is it precise?
✅ Is it open to interpretation?
✅ And, most importantly, does it reflect my intent?

Your words are powerful, so choose them wisely

PS: As an overthinker, this is probably why it takes me so long to write emails! Are you the same? 😅

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