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ChatGPT = Free Professional Development

By Erin Lebacqz


We've heard the pros and cons of using ChatGPT to write for us, but what about its applications as a learning tool?


We can use ChatGPT to learn about writing as well—specifically, to learn about audience awareness and our readers' needs.

Writing doesn't just convey information to our readers. It also conveys tone, emotion, respect (or disrespect), and more.


Sometimes, our writing style can even impact the way readers perceive us—and how we appear to perceive them.


Business writers can intentionally build successful professional relationships through their writing by thinking about reader perspectives.


Sometimes, our writing style can even impact the way readers perceive us—and how we appear to perceive them.

However, understanding reader impacts can be tough. For one, the idea of an audience, and their reactions, can feel abstract. Secondly, when we study our own writing (or that of our colleagues or team members) for audience awareness, we might feel less open to changes—or more hurt when our writing's criticized. Enter the ever-neutral, non-team member, unemotional ChatGPT. Studying writing done by AI allows teams to talk openly about potential reader impacts—without anyone feeling defensive or shut down. By analyzing text produced by ChatGPT, teams can discuss the way the writing feels on the reader end—and no one's to blame.

Let's Do This

Next time you're putting together a meeting's agenda, consider adding a ChatGPT exercise to your plans. Here's how it might work:

  1. Together, enter a prompt into ChatGPT. For example, "Create an email that tells customers about our upcoming lobby closures."

  2. Study and discuss the results. How does the message "feel" on the reader's end? Does it feel respectful, helpful, easy to use? Or did any condescension, repetition, or "I"-focus (See the next article!) sneak in?

  3. As a team, try revising the text to make various intentional changes. Maybe you make it more formal or more informal. Maybe you revise the text to better create belonging by adding more "other-focus" (See below!).

Try this out with your team over time. One idea: Enter a new prompt each week for one month, during a team huddle. By the end of the month, your team will be talking about writing impacts and audience awareness naturally—and you'll have helped normalize discussing writing in your organizational culture.

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