Regular readers of this site know that I reference and write about what Nassim Taleb calls the narrative fallacy often. It is our tendency to look backward and create a pattern to fit events and to construct a story that explains what happened along with what caused it to happen. We all like to think that our decision-making is a rationally based process — that we examine the evidence and only after careful evaluation come to a reasoned conclusion as to what the evidence suggests or shows.
Communicating with the public about the markets and the issues related thereto requires, in effect, that we translate a foreign language to and for them. Since dealing with financial matters is a daunting task, that emotional roadblock makes effective communication even more difficult. In person, we must listen to them and understand what they are communicating (or trying to communicate), even when they are less than clear. In print, we must anticipate the needs and concerns of our readers.
Doing so is very difficult.
Moreover, we often think (or perhaps assume) that our communications are two-way and open, even when they are not. Sadly, in person, we all tend to spend far too much time thinking about what we’re going to say next rather than carefully listening to the conversation in which we are (allegedly) participating. In print, if we do not engage our readers by being both interesting and insightful, our cause is lost and, given the enormous numbers of information sources available today, we may never be heard.