Step Seven: Seeking Approval

What could be hard about this stage? All you do is give the document to your boss and anyone else who needs to approve it before distribution. But experienced writers know that this can be one of the toughest steps in the writing process. You’ve done your best with the document, and you’re committed to your approach. What if someone with authority wants to change part of it—or all of it?

Keep an open mind. Would the proposed changes make the document more strategic? That is, would the changes help it reach its goal more effectively? If so, swallow your pride and realize that a successful document often requires a team effort. But if the proposed changes seem to hurt the document’s strategic value, do your best to politely debate the revision. Keep everyone’s attention focused on the goal.

Never send a document to the target audience without undertaking this approval stage. By this point in the writing process, you’re probably too close to your document. It’s hard for you to be objective. The document now needs other reviewers and editors. And that can be hard. Avoid being a prima donna—that’s the term given to temperamental opera singers who won’t accept advice because they think they’re perfect.

Approval/Teamwork Links