It all comes down to one thing: emotion.
That’s what Cody Keenan told the Today show this morning. He said that communication comes down to simply creating emotion. And as President Obama’s speechwriter, he should know.
Keenan is the one who stirred laughter in the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner remarks — and then stirred sobering respect in Ted Kennedy’s eulogy. He was the one who called for national unity in Tucson in 2011 when Gabby Giffords was shot.
And he is the one who stayed up this morning until the wee hours, putting the finishing touches on the State of the Union address that Obama will deliver tonight. Keenan has been applauded for creating the right emotion for each circumstance, and he’s worked hard with Obama in hopes that they’ve created it again for the nation.
So what does this mean for business leaders?
As you face 2016, consider the primary emotion that you want to inspire in your people. Peace, security, clarity, gratitude . . . . Think about the one thing they need most from you this year.
With this emotion in mind, rethink the ways you communicate in your personal and professional life. What’s working? What can be changed to create this emotion?
Here are just a few ways you can change your communication to inspire change in others:
- Create peace by boldly talking about the elephant in the room, forming and documenting a resolution plan, and regularly checking progress.
- Create security by keeping promises, regularly updating clients on projects, accepting ultimate accountability, and requesting online endorsements to prove your track record.
- Create clarity by forming a mission statement, writing clear job descriptions and expectations, posting answers to FAQs, and providing a clear plan of action.
- Create gratitude by steadily expressing appreciation for others in every situation.
When you focus on emotion, every form of communication becomes an opportunity to motivate and inspire others.
What emotion will drive your communication in 2016?
Ella Hearrean Ritchie is the owner of Stellar Communications, a Houston-based publishing company that delivers quality editing, writing, and publishing services on time to nonfiction authors, business leaders, nonprofit organizations, and federal government agencies. Connect with her on LinkedIn or check out her website for more information.