Mind your language…

Demotion, emotion, locomotion:
The importance of rapport and language.

MPs have quite a tough job. No, dont worry, Im not about to start waxing lyrical about what they do for us and how hard it is installing a duck house on a moat, but MPs do face a unique challenge in their role at the top of government.

I regularly work with people sharing with them the subtle art of building rapport in one on one situations. I also share how to build rapport with a large group and believe me we are all able to do this. MPs, however, are required to build rapport with an entire nation. An entire nation! A tough job, no doubt, but one that can be done.
The outpouring of admiration that William Hagues departure prompted attests to the fact that it is possible. As I read about Hagues political career I could see that he is adept in many of the techniques I share for establishing group rapport. He connected with the group leaders and opinion makers (noticeable that many members of the press came forward in praise of Hague,) he established points of commonality before introducing something different ( what I would call pacing and leading), he listened (and I mean really listened) to public opinion and reflected that back in his subsequent language. By taking the techniques used in building group rapport and overlaying them on a national scale, he succeeded in buildingsignificant rapport.


Michael Gove, on the other hand, so spectacularly displayed a surprising inability to establish rapport with the nation that David Cameron removed him from the role of minister for education. Perhaps the fear of losing the teachers’ vote clearly proved too great. Gove was ineffectual in his attempt to understand his ‘audienceduring his tenure, ploughing ahead unaware or uncaring of the feedback he was receiving from the public.

Of course this is a mind-read, and when we understand that the meaning of the communication is in the response that you get, what did Gove have to say about his public slide down the ranks? “Demotion, emotion, locomotion; whatever this move is, its a privilege to serve.” Telling language indeed.  I suspect this will not be the last we see of this careerist politician. His words tell us all we need to know; in the face of adversity Gove will reshuffle the cards he is dealt and simply keep moving forward, with that locomotion, in his attempt to reach where he wants to go.



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Mind your language…

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