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Feeling fatigued already?

Welcome to 2022. A new year, but many of the same challenges and, very possibly, ever-growing complexity.

Here's a simple, free, and potentially game-changing solution to fatigue, fog and overwhelm.

It's "black box thinking" or a modified version of it, for financial services.

It requires putting aside our feelings, and what we think we know. We're human. By definition we have feelings, biases, beliefs, or ways of thinking that feel "true" but are actually not based on facts. These biases and beliefs are often invisible to us but lead us to believe falsehoods.

Let's call those "fucts". They're erroneous, they're egregious to our chances of achieving success but feel oh so right. 

Reality doesn't care about your feelings...

"Or why every false step improves your life" is the subtitle of the black box thinking chapter in Rolf Dobelli's latest book about clear thinking for a good life, and for business. I read it in January and was struck by his assessment that we each need our own flight recorder (diary, journal, or record book) to analyse the path leading to our biggest decisions, then the courage and presence of mind to read back over the list and coldly assess the success of our decisions.

In his words, very few people simply accept reality and analyse their own flight recorders.

Doing so requires first radical acceptance, then black box thinking, in that order.

Why you should look for facts, not "fucts"

Then, back at work, my colleagues Christina Lu and Nicole Lambert, recommended that the only way we, and our clients, could grow from 2021 (that was a rough year) was to use the data and learnings from 2021.

As Dobelli says, "the only way to grow...", as a flawed but fully alive human, and as a leader in financial services, "is to learn from the past."

Even if you came back refreshed and clear-minded, or you didn't really take a break, it might be time to pause. 

Setting up for a strong 2022 means using data - looking for facts, and examining forks in the road, successful or not.

We improve in business, life, and certainly marketing, thanks in large part to our mistakes IF we can look objectively at things.

It's not easy, but I buy the idea that it's better to use facts, and candid self-assessment, than keep making "fuct" based decisions in the future. 

But back to your feelings

So they do matter, feelings. We've found, in your work and our own, that the more we're able to connect, to be human, the more the message resonates with audiences.

This is why we became a bit more punchy and a lot more personal in this message to you. The facts (your readership and feedback, thank you) told us clearly that you like our insight delivered with the rawness and reality of a  personal angle.

You're more likely to read when I go out on a limb, stand for something that matters deeply to me personally, and show up with vulnerability, as well as expertise, in your inbox.  

Using feelings in communication is very different from allowing them to cloud our judgment.

We, and you, still need to communicate strategically and do so with consistency & discipline.

Sometimes the right action is simply to move forward and do something as opposed to nothing.

PR and media success often requires "trying stuff". You have to be proactive, receptive, fast, and not too fussy to gain media momentum and keep it. It's just a volume game, sometimes, until we know what works, or doesn't. With that information to hand we can then become fact-based in how we work. 

Either way, whether facts or action first, “If you can’t identify your mistake, you either don’t understand the world, or you don’t understand yourself.” — Rolf Dobelli

Here's to self-awareness and clarity in 2022.

This blog was originally published in our fortnightly email, Take a beat Tuesday. To get these direct to your inbox before they're published, subscribe here

If you’d like to discuss adjusting your communication strategy for the current times, please call us or fill out our contact form here. 

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