What 2020 Taught us: Communication and Vulnerability

by Jim von Hoff | 31 Dec 2020

What 2020 taught us

A recent study by researchers at University of Chicago, reveals that people who frequently watch horror movies have displayed a greater resilience during this pandemic. During 2020, you may have found yourself in the starring role in a horror movie of your own.

2020 was indeed one of the most challenging years for many of us. In fact, my father who is about to celebrate his 100th birthday, says that he has never seen the world in this much turmoil in his lifetime. For someone who has survived WWII and the Great Depression, that is certainly a significant statement.

The good news is that volumes of research proves that many of us grow the most when we face and overcome our most difficult problems. I personally feel that there are two things that can make a significant difference when dealing with adversity and ultimately building resilience.

First is solid communication and second is showing vulnerability. Let’s start with vulnerability. The pandemic blew even the top experts in many fields into uncharted waters. There were simply more questions than answers.

Even as a leader, it’s perfectly okay to say that you don’t have an immediate solution. Others will appreciate your honesty and will often begin helping you find options to tackle the challenge. Pretending that you have all the answers helps no one. Although it may seem contradictory, I’ve found that showing vulnerability helps in building your resilience.

Now let’s talk about solid communication or as we say at Insight, “Communication with substance.” The importance of timely, solid communication became crystal clear during 2020. In fact, during this time, our language expanded and gave new meaning to words like “social distancing,” “bubble” and “Karen.”

During 2020, clear and timely communication was more important than ever. Insight was involved in communication at every level, including with our own staff, with our clients’ internal teams and with our clients’ customers. Office hours were in flux and lobbies were sometimes closed. Safety protocols needed to be communicated to reassure the public that the appropriate safety measures were being followed. What’s more, it was vitally important that the dialogue between our clients and their customers continued. This assured customers that our clients were not only being diligent about safety but cared about them as well … not just during the onset, but throughout, the pandemic.

I believe that all of us will leave this year with a renewed way of looking at the world around us and a greater appreciation for many things that we may have previously taken for granted. I know that I certainly will.

I wish you and your families continued strength, renewed energy and peace as we move into a new year and a new beginning. My hope is that we have all become more resilient and even better prepared to handle the next challenges that are just around the corner.

Best, Jim

Written by

Jim von Hoff

President

As founder of the agency, Jim has overseen the growth and success of Insight since 1988. His client-centered approach and thorough study of clients and their industries set the stage for Insight’s long relationships with a diverse list of established clients including retail, consumer and business-to-business. A UW-Green Bay graduate, Jim’s desire to offer comprehensive marketing communications capabilities makes him—and Insight—unique in our area.

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