Have you ever been frustrated when others fail to heed your suggestions for change – changes that will bring value to the organization or project beyond what anyone could possibly hope to achieve?

Does it seem that others who don’t have a clue get immediate access to decision makers, when no one is listening to your solution that actually works?

If you’re not in a place where your ability to impact change comes from your position or relationships, you need a strategy for getting your voice heard.

You need to stop relying on a griot approach to communication.

You need to put your ideas in writing, and write to win.

Western tradition honors that which is written; your stock goes up when you honor that tradition. In best case situations, decision makers value written suggestions and ignore oral ones. Well written documents offer a basis for decision making.

Why not your well-written suggestion?

Why write it?

A written document provides proof of your contribution. If you didn’t write it or film it, you can’t prove that you did it. Many disagreements have occurred over whose ideas contributed to a project’s success.

There are three basic advantages to capturing your ideas in writing.

1. It brings clarity to your idea
2. It provides a foundation for your request
3. Writing and reviewing what you wrote provides an opportunity to self-edit

Beyond the basics, capturing your ideas in print promotes self-growth in the following ways.

1. Writing to win promotes your skills
2. Shows ownership of thoughts: When you write it you own it
3. Demonstrates that you can think
4. Demonstrates a range of other capabilities
5. Writing to win can open up a new career

The advantages cited are just the tip of the iceberg. It is well documented that people who decided to capture their expertise in print have built empires around their work. From informational products to owning the blogosphere, some have become household names. The same opportunity is available to you.

How to write it:

A rule to live by is to put your best efforts in anything you do. While your first and even your fifty-first effort may not be perfect, it will reflect the thought you put into it. A rule of thumb that will always serve you well is to follow these two guidelines.

Write with clarity. Your reader should be able to immediately identify why you're writing, and what you offer or seek as a solution

1. Show the benefits of adopting your idea. Your reader should be able to see what is to be gained, as well as costs of your suggestion

2. If you can’t articulate these two points, you need to think about your idea a bit more. Do the research necessary to address the issues. If you don’t think it’s important enough to follow through, chances are your intended readers will feel the same way.

Good News!

Most good managers want to succeed. They understand that excellent team performance is good for the company, and by extension, good for them. When you look good, they look good.

In conclusion:

Take responsibility for the space you inhabit. Be observant, and contribute. When you have a major contribution to make, put it in writing. When you document your thoughts in print, they are forever yours, so write to win.

Author's Bio: 

Joyce Coleman’s leverage-your-resources.com website offers free resources on how to identify and leverage work and life experiences to enjoy personal and professional success. Her free ebook on Connecting-the-Dots, available at www.leverage-your-resources.com, shows readers a whole new way to evaluate personal knowledge and skills, and how to use them strategically. A free workbook that shows readers how to incorporate her advice accompanies her A Winner’s Strategy: Write It Like You Own article at http://tinyurl.com/2chm399.