Spreading light through better communication this holiday season

For some, the shared spiritual symbols of light are less about holiday cheer and more about feeling supported. Here’s how you can help.

During the final weeks of the year, everyone’s traits feel somehow heightened. Those with a penchant for schmaltz and sentimentality are the most obvious examples, but the quiet and introspective also tend to double down.

So do the glum. For them, the shared spiritual symbols of light found in the most celebrated holidays can take on a less religious meaning. Light as wisdom. Light as warmth. When you’re struggling to beat back Seasonal Affective Disorder, struggling with personal challenges or simply feeling low, basking in the comforting glow of a happy lamp can take on a spiritual significance, too.

What does this abstract idea of spreading light mean to communicators? If you connect the idea back to wisdom, well, light becomes information that provides clarity and assurance. Light becomes comfort. And now becomes a time of year to remember that our purpose as communicators is to generate that light for the audiences in our orbit.

Of course, it all starts with generating enough light for yourself. Creatures who generate their own light are bioluminescent and cast no shadow. Finding such clarity in your own life, and professional career, is the best way to ensure you are able to provide that clarity for others.

This past year, the communicators we’ve been fortunate enough to work with at Ragan have somehow managed to accomplish this at times when no light seemed to shine through — amid global conflict and strife, amid industry-wide change and uncertainty, amid the shifting priorities of social platforms and the evolving needs of employees alike.

This past year, we learned that spreading light doesn’t necessarily mean providing all the answers. Indeed, there were many times when that proved out of reach, and next year there will surely be many more. But clarity comes in many forms, and the communications leaders who spread light this year understand that being present is also a form of being clear, even when concrete answers and direction seem impossible.

In those moments, your empathy as a communicator can light up the weeks ahead for those who feel negative associations with the holidays. When traditional associations of holiday warmth and cheer don’t resonate, human kindness and understanding still can.

On behalf of the entire Ragan team, may you continue to spread light with your ideas, words, messages and strategies — in the new year and beyond.


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