During a conversation with a friend, I mentioned I would see a mutual friend later that day. She told me “say ‘hi’ to them from me”. A common phrase, too often used. I responded “give them a call if you want to say ‘hi’, this is not the 1500s”.

My response was a result of a conversation I had about communication on the weekend. Someone complained their staff were not aware of upcoming changes, even though they had communicated them clearly. I asked them how they had communicated; they had placed a clear message on the notice board and had sent everyone an email. Let’s be clear, this is not communicating, this is sending a message; communication requires a response.

To communicate, one needs to assess their target audience and then convey the message through a medium appropriate to this target audience. The basic principle of communicating is to make sure your message has been received and understood. Asking ‘do you understand’ is not enough, as a message can be interpreted quite differently to how you have intended it. It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure a message is received and understood.

In 2019, start communicating more by sending less messages.