Deliver a Message of Hope

By Catherine Lang-Cline

There are some strategies out there now about how to sell to people during a time of pandemic. If you are like me, you are thinking, “I really don’t need the hassle.” Unless you are trying to help me keep my business afloat because we all need to work from home now, I really have bigger problems. This is all of us, isn’t it? 

In Jim Collins book, “From Good To Great” you will find what Jim refers to as the “Stockdale Paradox”, named after Admiral James Stockdale, one of the most decorated United States Navy officers, who was also awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War. As a prisoner of war, Stockdale was tortured over 20 times, he had no release date, and he had no idea of whether he would survive to see his family again. 

The Stockdale Paradox is this:

Confront the most brutal facts of your 

current reality, whatever they might be.


Retain unwavering faith that 

you will prevail in the end.

This concept applies perfectly to today. Remind yourself and other people that they will prevail, even if it ends up looking very different than it does now. Individuals are struggling, their reality is brutal, and they are losing faith in themselves that they can get through this.  That’s where you come in.

If we all are really “in this together” let’s just admit that this current state of everything is brutal and start talking in terms of: “when this is over,” “when we get through this,” or “let’s get something on the calendar for September” 

Talk about the future so people can envision one, plan for one, know that this is going to end. Talk to yourself about it. Because right now, it doesn’t feel like it is going to end… but it will.

Let’s talk to each other in a way that helps them retain that faith in themselves. Let’s also ask for help. I mean, this is the first pandemic we have all experienced, we all are a bit clueless.

Many people and companies are doing some pretty massive things, maybe the only thing you need to do is figure out a way to get to the next day because people are relying on you. Maybe you can just be the one person, saying the one thing, that is going to make all the difference in someone getting through another day.

Here’s to a lot of really great days ahead.