Jennifer A. Jones, a social media marketing leader and blogger, recently published a piece discussing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s crisis communication tactics during the Great Depression. He used six steps of effective and personal communication to reach his audience, to reach his country, to talk to his friends. He addressed his distressed country directly and with pure honesty. His people connected to him on a personal level and only then change began to occur. FDR reached the heart and fear of Americans. He was able to grasp onto that fear and comforted his people when they needed a spark of hope to hold on to. Roosevelt gave people reason to believe that their hardships would lessen, and, as a result, they gave him their trust. People slowly trusted the banking system again so that the county could rebuild itself and become a strong, united nation once again.
An individual or organization would benefit from FDR’s six steps of good crisis communications. Let us apply the power of good communication to the situation of marriage. Say your partner and yourself have different views about a subject. Naturally, this causes unspoken tension. The first step is to approach your partner and open up the conversation; get their undivided attention. Maybe even have a set time of the week to sit down with your significant other to talk about anything that is bothering you. People looked forward to FDR’s fireside chats because the one on one attention gave them hope and created faith. Two people within a marriage need to have faith in each other as well.
The second step is to be honest. Honesty and truth are the foundation of any relationship, in every aspect of life. Tell your partner what is bothering you, what went wrong and how they can help you. Next, hear each other’s points of view and make a plan; make a plan to take smalls steps in order for circumstances to become better. Finally, follow up the conversation and discuss how these small changes are working for both your happiness and your partner’s well-being.
FDR’s communication techniques work just as well when practiced between two individuals. People need to hear the truth, especially in times of hardship. According to FDR, when people discover that they can put their trust in others and have faith, “the phantom of fear will soon be laid.”