The last thing any of us need right now is advice. We need empathy. We need reminders that we're all figuring this out together. From the stodgy boardroom to the loneliest cubicle, no one knows what they're doing. We're doing our best to act confident while the video conferencing camera is on and then put our heads on our desks as soon as we click "leave meeting".
So this isn't advice. It's just observation. Speaking clearly and authentically couldn't be more important at the moment. We all know that. But our inclination, from internal comms to mass market broadcast, is to convey "confidence in the face of uncertainty." "That's what people need right now," many of us are thinking.
I don't think so.
As leaders and communicators in this environment, we're just blowing air if we're not telling the truth. And the truth is, we don't know what we're doing. Yikes. But that's the truth. If I'm your audience, that doesn't shake my confidence in you - it connects me to you. It reminds me I'm not the only one feeling this way.
We may be a dramatically individualistic society that likes to think we have control over everything. If a global pandemic and oil plunging below $0 doesn't remind us that we don't, not sure what will.
I'm spinning. I'm mentally exhausted. I'm reading daily automated emails from our bank that say they'll get to our CARES Act grant application when they get to it. But we're going to control what we can control:
- creating efficiencies
- leveraging downtime to get better and create new content
- fighting to add value to our client partnerships
- delivering quicker
And we're not going to let our realization that we're NOT in control paralyze us. It's so easy to sit and wait. But (cliche alert) at the end of the day, we all want to know we did everything we could to improve our market positions coming out of this crap.
I hope this encourages you. I don't have a clue what tomorrow looks like or what "best practices" are for a collapsed way of life, but I'm committed to the fight.
That's the truth.