Wavelength Updates

Further Reading for Writers

books about business writingby Jody Bruner

We’re updating our annotated list of references in our writing skills manual and thought you may find some inspiration. Below you’ll find a collection of some of our favorite books that explore everything from ESL grammar to texting and email. Read more

Happy 50 Years to Wavelength!  

Back in 1969, Wavelength started by helping business people communicate more easily, clearly, and persuasively. Our first workshops were delivered to oil field workers in Alberta. 

Fifty years later, we keep this vision alive by helping our learners wherever they work: in banks, governments, airports, mines, insurance companies, engineering firms, pharmaceuticals—you name it. After all, everybody benefits from better communication skills.   Read more

Collective Nouns: What You Need to Know

by Jody Bruner

Collective nouns are words that are singular in form but refer to a group of people, things or animals. Read more

Plain Language for Better Written Communication

written communication skillsby Lesley Nevills

Have you ever had to read a message several times just to understand it? We’ve all been on the receiving end of emails like that, and our impulse is to hit delete. But what if that email includes information you need, or it comes from someone you can’t ignore?

Many writers fall into the trap of writing in a vague and bureaucratic style because they think it makes them sound more formal or professional, but it confuses and challenges the reader. So, if you don’t want your readers to hit delete, use a modern written communication style that engages your reader with a friendly, conversational tone. To be effective, let your human voice come through.

Who would you prefer to work with – Writer A or Writer B? Read more

Should You be Branding Yourself?

branding yourselfby Leigh Geraghty

Most of us understand the benefits of branding our business—it helps build recognition, credibility, customer loyalty and a competitive edge. But what about branding yourself? What is personal branding, and why is it an increasingly important area of employee development?

Personal branding is how you define and portray yourself as a person and a business professional. Your brand expresses your interests, talents, personality and expertise. It portrays the person you are and the person you want others to see. Read more

PBW: An Instructional Design Story

by Jody Bruner

Wavelength is the result of merging two communication skills training companies, IWCC and BrunerBiz. In 2017, we blended our two flagship business writing courses (IWCC’s High Impact Business Writing and Bruner’s Effective Business Writing) to deliver a course that combines the best of each: Professional Business Writing. Creating this new workshop was a great learning experience, and everyone—our team and clients who have piloted the course—is happy with the results.  

This is an instructional design story, in which we share how this redesign revealed what each workshop assumed about the learner, and about reconciling two different approaches to writing.  

Different assumptions about our learners  Read more

Myself: Use With Caution

email writing

by Rachel Eidan

Do you overuse the pronoun myself? If so, you’re not alone. People often use it when a simple I or me would work.

The problem is that myself tends to complicate sentences, which may be why some people are attracted to it—it sounds sophisticated and fancy. Resist the urge! Incorrectly using fancy words can make you appear snobby and ignorant, and may have a negative impact on your image and career.

Let’s make sure you never confuse me, myself and I. Here’s the lowdown on how each pronoun is used: Read more

Listening Skills for Effective Communication

listening skillsby Rachel Eidan

We can all be more effective communicators by using our ears more than our mouths. Be honest, how much have you ever learned listening to yourself talk?

We often think that good communicators are good speakers; however, the most powerful communicators have excellent listening skills. Many people take the skill of listening for granted. You have ears, so you listen all the time, right? But you need to ask yourself how well you listen.  Read more

5 Tips for Giving Bad News Well

how to give bad newsby Leigh Geraghty

Whether you need to refuse a customer’s insurance claim or decline an employee’s request for vacation, delivering bad news is one of our toughest writing challenges. How do you deliver a clear message, without damaging your business relationship?

If you’re faced with delivering a bad news message, an indirect approach can help to ease your reader into the bad news.

Follow these 5 simple steps to write a difficult message using the indirect approach: Read more

3 Tips for Writing an Effective Performance Review

performance review

by Alan De Back

The end of the calendar year is when many organizations start their performance review process. Both employees and managers often find the process confusing, frustrating, and demotivating. Whether employees are writing their self-review or managers are writing their supervisory reviews, many struggle with what to write and how to write it. If they’re not careful, managers can lose the opportunity to not only improve their team members’ performance but also improve their relationships and communication channels.

Here are three tips to help you in the performance review process:

Always provide specific examples. 

Simply writing “I am a great employee” or “Tom did a great job” is not enough.  You need to give specific examples Read more