Words matter, but saying them with feeling matters more, in politics and business. We’re in the home stretch of the Presidential race in the U.S. with the final debate this evening between the two candidates.
Winner or Loser?
Will there be a clear-cut winner or loser tonight? Most observers felt that Gov. Romney won the first debate with President Obama. He showed more passion while the President was criticized for his lackluster performance. In the aftermath, that’s what most people were commenting on the most – not what they said but how they said it.
Political pundits lauded President Obama for pulling out all the stops in the second debate. He got a bit of a bump in the polls.
But once again, much of the commentary was on how he – and Gov. Romney – put up their dukes, invaded each other’s space and interrupted each other with the passion of two fighters in the 15th round of the heavy-weight championship. They grabbed our attention with their style of communication more than their messages.
These debates are a reminder for companies that passion counts when they’re communicating with employees.
Whenever change permeates a big company, for example, resistance is inevitable. The announcement of change itself raises anxiety levels, creates doubts in employees’ minds, and makes them feel vulnerable and uncertain. And it raises serious questions:
- What will this mean for me?
- If I must operate differently, am I up to it?
- Do I really believe what I’m hearing about the future of the company?
Sound leadership and a clear vision are required to answer these questions. But most important, the CEO’s honest passion and belief in the vision will inspire people to follow.
I Have a Dream
Inspired communication is essential to calm fears and build support for change. Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. had stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial and said, “I have a business strategy.” Rev. King didn’t do that.
He said, “I have a dream,” and showed us what his dream was, his picture of the future.
You get more people to change by showing them something that affects their feelings than with a detailed factual analysis. So far, neither of the Presidential candidates has ignited the voters with his passion for the country’s future. Maybe one of the candidate’s will tonight.