December 9, 2009
My father once said to me that in order to be successful in business one must master the spoken and written word.
Strengthening communication skills doesn’t need to be done by studying languages or grammar, but can be simply done by reading.
I didn’t start enjoying reading until I was in my twenties, but once I started reading regularly my abilities immediately improved. I look back on business letters I wrote during my second company (when I was 23/24 years old) and they are long winded and repetitive. Today letters from me are more concise and readable. Better for me and better for the recipients.
Check out my reading list on this blog. You’ll see that I don’t read heavy books, but books that reflect things that are interesting to me. These include books on business, maritime history and disasters, John Grisham thrillers and, more regularly, various periodicals.
If I could only read one item for the rest of my life it would be the Economist magazine. Its use of the Queen’s English (tyre instead of tire) is interesting and topics are exceptionally wide ranging. If there is something important going on in the world then this periodical is covering it.