How important is the President’s ability to communicate?
I think that the Presidential ability to communicate is vitally important. In a modern setting, the President has to be able to clearly convey what is being done, how the American people need to read what is being done, and also why what is being done is beneficial, in general. President Obama's address about the situation in Libya Tuesday night is representative of the Presidential need to communicate. The President was able to repeat the ideas that the United States was working with other nations in tandem and that the current leader of Libya was guilty of unspeakable human rights violations. This need to communicate to the people necessitated the President's address. Over history, the President's need to communicate has come from the need to reach the people.
Ronald Reagan was called "the great communicator" because of his ability to clearly speak to and about what was needed from Americans in support of America. FDR's fireside chats were a means of communicating with the people about ideas that he was seeking to bring out in his administration and through his legislation. The need to communicate throughout Presidential history is a way in which leaders have been able to connect with their citizens and also a way through which they can ensure their messages were received "on point." Presidents who have not been able to communicate clearly usually end up suffering a great loss of credibility. Former President Bush might be a great example of this. In the days following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush's communication was clear and concise. This contributed to an overwhelming approval rating. However, as situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and domestically began to elude his grasp of communicating, his credibility rating plummeted. Other factors were involved in this slide. Yet, the lack of clear communication was a factor in this drop in credibility perception.
The ability to communicate inter-personally is of greater value the higher up the organization chart you rise. Someone at the top, say the CEO, would need a better interpersonal skill with people than would a supervisor, middle manager. The strength of business owners' relational skills are crucial to the success of everyone in the organization producing products and services effectively and minimizing the conflict that is ever present in the organization. Therefore, the higher you go up the corporate ladder, the more important it is to be an effective communicator and negotiator.
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