Back to basics in 2016

Happy New Year to you all.

Yes, it’s that time in our calendars when every click, or turn of the page, brings up another article ‘encouraging’ you to be a better /kinder/thinner/richer/stress-free person during our next trip around the sun. Shape up, you inadequate person, you!

Tiresome as they are, one resolution article did strike a chord with us at Sequel: one that calls for greater focus on the basic principles of good communication and clear, sharp writing in 2016.

Writing for The Globe and Mail’s Careers’ Leadership Lab series, former journalist and Toronto-based communications adviser Jim Gray says this should be the year that we stamp out sloppy, careless writing and communications.

“As we roll into 2016, it’s clear that a trend has become a pandemic – millions now speak and write in the workplace with an alarming lack of clarity, grammar and graciousness.”

Harsh words from Jim, but it’s a ‘trend’ we’ve grown a bit tired of lately too.

Technology has improved our lives (and careers) as communicators, but the speed with which we can now share information means less time is spent thinking about what we want to say, and how to say it best. The pressure is on to get the message out NOW.

Don’t get us wrong, speedy communications are definitely a good thing. Sharing the news when it matters makes our work more valuable, as does responding to a situation in real time. But it doesn’t need to come at such a high price.

Jim says there’s now an “accepted carelessness that’s rendered clear, lean, strategic communication increasingly rare, and thus more potent.”

His old-school communications resolutions aren’t anything you won’t have heard before, but we think they’re a great place to start if you see the value in taking a more thoughtful (read, impactful) approach to comms this year.