The most im­por­tant skill in the world right now
Jeff & Lindsay Sage / 5 February 2021

Some years are so significant, eventful and remarkable, history deems them pivotal. 

The end of war (1812), slavery (1863) and the snapping of strained generational fault lines (take your pick), changed culture and societal norms seemingly overnight.

The year 2020 (and 2021 if the first month is any indication) will certainly join this list. 

A time when:

  • A global pandemic took millions of lives; 
  • The stock market crashed;
  • The wealth gap widened;
  • Environmental disasters raged - including the warmest year on record;
  • The nature of work got turned on its head;
  • Technology adoption leapt 10 years in 6 months;
  • Long overdue discussions of racial inequality gripped the world;
  • And, an insurrection unfolded in the United States. 

At the same time, misinformation continues to surge, penetrating further, faster and deeper than accurate information. Identifying what’s true and what isn’t has life or death consequences. 

More communication must be the answer. We’ve never been more connected. In the year 2000 there were 361 million people on the Internet. This morning there were 5 billion. 

But our unlimited increase in expressive capability only means we’re communicating more, not well. 

Consider:

  • Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in in 2016 - but 65 million votes to the contrary was a shocker to some of the most capable communicators on earth.  
  • Large parts of the planet were literally on fire - but carbon continues to rise. 
  • “Stay home” seemed like a simple direction - the second wave shows otherwise.

Great communication isn’t just about volume or about trying to avoid miscommunicating (although you should do that, too). 

Communication that matters today is being tuned in enough to realize when your message isn’t connecting. The sooner you know, the sooner you can fix it. 

And that could be the most important skill in the world right now. 

Bring it, 2021.


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