Today’s World of Rhetoric
Rhetoric is defined as the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. And today rhetoric is simply language designed to have a persuasive effect on people. But too often lacks in sincerity or meaning.
Politicians deliver rallying cries to activate their audiences (people). Advertisers and marketers create catchy slogans, jingles and brands to get consumers (people) to buy products and services. Lawyers rehearse emotional arguments to sway a jury.
We are experiencing a lot of rhetoric right now from organizations that may have created beautiful values, mission statements and culture. But simply can’t live up to the words and messages they created for their audiences. Talking is no longer enough.
Stuck in the Middle
Anyone in the frontline today truly wants to make the customer’s experience great. But employees feel stuck in the middle; between the company’s rhetoric and the customer. And they’re mostly, feeling deeply under appreciated and a punching bag for all sides.
The employee doesn’t see or experience the executives spending time with them in the frontline. There is very little understanding of a day in the life of an employee. What employees experience is one-way communication (rhetoric) from the company that is often totally disconnected from reality.
At the end of the day, no one wants to come to a place of work that does not respect our physical or mental health. And many frontline employees are expected to represent and protect “the brand.” But too often, they find themselves silently siding with customers against the company.
More and more employees are walking out and some are unfortunately taking their lives when the pressure and stress is too high. Not every organization lives its values and the foundation is cracking in so many places. But our opportunity right now is to create healthy systems that serve us.
I want to live in a world where we don’t equate our self-worth with how we make a living. What about you?
How Insane is all this Rhetoric?
It is absolutely ridiculous to have employees feel that management does not listen. And for management to ignore people feeling the wrath of the company’s promises or values not being delivered in reality. Leading by rhetoric is hazardous to our health.
It is insane that there is such a huge divide between customers and companies. An unfortunate example right now are the airlines claiming to offer experiences but are providing endless nightmares to both customers and employees on the frontline.
Is it the “new normal” to expect the airline to lose our bags? And prepare for flight cancellations and delays when we fly or go on a much needed vacation?
One of the perks for working for an airline is to travel for almost free. But employees, who are working around the clock right now, have very limited time to experience any perks. Instead, we are seeing and we will see more people leave jobs and companies that don’t respect people. And especially ones where “management” does not listen and take action.
So What’s Really Possible?
Can we please become aware that beyond rhetoric, there is a field of possibilities?
What customers and employees (people) are asking for is conscious leadership, which includes elements of:
- Respect and dignity
- Trust in the promise—walking the talk consistently
- Two-way communication, which includes open conversation and dialogue. Listening is at the heart of everything.
- Being valued
And when we don’t get these from the people at work, we begin to question everything and make healthier choices. Our lives are at stake right now and we understand that we may need to make lifestyle changes. But we are worth it. We may even imagine a different type of life for ourselves.The key is to take action and step into our power because we can.
The future is experience based as we begin to understand that we are actually here to experience life. Beyond rhetoric, there is a field of possibilities. And the pioneers are on the edges beginning to create an Experience Exchange (Economy) where branding will no longer play center stage. This is a time of creation and no one will do it for us. The choices we make matter deeply in every aspect of our lives. And we can choose not to be swayed by empty words and rhetoric.
What if we each truly knew our enough? When we only take what need, maybe we no longer see ourselves as consumers? Imagine being focused on experiences rather than consuming products and services. When people ask me what can I do or where do I stand? I ask them, what can you do and where do you stand? Isn’t this a fantastic opportunity to truly listen to the whispers of our hearts?
Are there experiences you wish organizations offered? What experiences would you love to offer? How do you want to experience your life? Simply because you can when you trek into the unknown and become a powerful creator.