When we are bombarded by regular musings on social media, articles in the news and challenges at home and at work, how on earth are we supposed to simultaneously decipher what is true and what isn't, analyse it, and then respond in the most appropriate manner?

I believe being succinct is key. I love you. Love is blind. I care. What a beautiful day. How can I help? Are you ok? Wash your hands. I need help. These three or four word sentences are powerful and you are able to communicate quickly with what you mean and need as well as be clearly understood.

What I am trying to get my head around is why are we not communicating effectively and regularly, clearly and concisely?

So, why is it so difficult, especially today when the world is full of fear, confusion and panicked about having enough toilet paper, that we are missing or losing the point around the message? And, what is the message anyway? This message is around communicating with care.

Advertisement

When a true leader communicates, you listen and learn. Most will understand and either respond or act appropriately. Leaders communicate regularly and transparently. Leaders are concise. While the opposite is true when scare mongers try to turn a disaster to their own advantage. The latter confuse and distract from the true issues. Hence, the toilet paper fights in the supermarkets when the current pandemic is not a gastric bug…

FDR said there is "nothing to fear except fear itself" in 1933 at his Presidential inauguration. The full quote from the speech is, "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is ... fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigour has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days."

He also touched on being a good neighbour but instead of being focused on the local community where you live, he was talking about foreign policy. All of these learnings are valuable today as we try to understand the global pandemic, self-isolation, social distancing and learning a new way to live.

Communicate with care. Look after your neighbours. Wash your hands. We will get through these interesting times — together.