Leaders understandably want to give the public good news now, whether saying it's under control, or it will soon be over, or the economy will roar back to life. This is a mistake. Be straight. "This is unprecedented. We cannot be certain." Trust people with the truth. 1/x
Why does this matter? Because to get through this, people must trust each other and their leaders. When leaders blow smoke, they erode trust. Bluntly stating hard truths fosters trust. 2/x
This was far more important to Churchill's success as a communicator than flowery rhetoric. Churchill never sugar-coated. He never promised better times were coming soon. He said it would be hard and nothing is certain: "No one can guarantee success in war, but only deserve it."
In sum, if it's bad, say it's bad. If you don't know, say you don't know. Nothing wins trust like honesty.
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