The Single Most Important Hard Skill

Everyone knows that soft skills are important. The ability to think critically, act quickly, learn, communicate, prioritize time, etc. are all valuable skills to cultivate for your success in the professional world. Most of the time hard skills that you need to learn are specific to the task at hand and differ between industries. However, there is one hard skill that no matter what industry you work in or what job title you have, will improve your work performance and grow your reputation. What is it?

The ability to:

Write...effectively.

Writing is a component of pretty much every job and your ability to effectively communicate through writing is essential to your growth in your career. Now you might say, "Why would a plumber need to be able to write well?" Well, a plumber's main job is definitely not to write all day, but think about how much faster a plumber can grow his business if he knows how to effectively write market copy or client emails. The ability to communicate his services in an efficient and compelling way is vital for his company.

To expand this, virtually almost all jobs require some form of online communication (think email). The ability to write to your co-workers or clients in a clear and proper way shows competency within you. Effective writing creates a level of respect for you in the eyes of others. It also lowers the risk of miscommunication and confusion within teams and customers.

But effective writing doesn't just benefit you in moments of direct communication.

The ability to lay out your thoughts in a coherent sentence provides clarity for yourself. Some people journal or blog to utilize this power of writing. When you force yourself to contextualize all the thoughts that fly in and around your head, the course of action you need to take because of those thoughts becomes much more clear. This is important because it alleviates uncertainty and stress, not just in the professional setting but everyday life.

Obviously, there are many more benefits for writing effectively, but these are the ones that stick out to me.

So do you agree that writing is the most important hard skill?

What are the ways that you've benefited from growing your ability to write effectively?