What Designers Can Learn from Pope Francis I
What Pope Francis I achieved in his introductory moments took communication almost to the level of communion, well beyond the “know your audience, stick to your points, relax, persuade” etc.. He moved people who are not Catholic! How?
Lesson 1. You cannot fake it. It has to be sincere. You have to believe.
Pope Francis exuded joy, simple and unadorned. People could resonate.
Lesson 2. They are your people, not your audience.
His eyes, posture, gestures and words expressed a quiet sense of humanity and fellowship. He seemed to speak to each person, individually.
Lesson 3. Ask for help. Reach out and include them in your challenge.
When he asked for the crowd to pray for him, he asked as one person to another. Certainly he did not exalt himself or speak down to the crowd, but nor did he lower himself .
Sum: New popes step into sanctified shoes and can depend on a resounding welcome. This response went further. The reporters all raved about the silence during the prayer for him. They are wrong. It was not silence; it was the sound of thousands bending their good will to a single purpose.
That is quiet, profound foundation-building in its highest, most graceful form. That is communication as communion.
And it’s also nice to know that people can still communicate without words, hoots, hollers, chants or rants.
Communication lesson for designers? Speak to the individual, personally, simply and sincerely, and they will respond.
Unless you are Adolph Hitler, of course, in which case you can just rant and rave and “remove” anyone who doesn’t resonate with the message.