...but what did it measure?
We had a Town Hall the other day, and the presenters were a mixture of old and new faces. And they were slick. About a half-dozen spoke* during the course of the presentation, and they rarely stumbled over a bullet point or lost the thread of their story. The packed room listened respectfully and quietly.
And then, one of the familiar faces had his turn. He happens to be extremely passionate about his role. Or, maybe he’s just a nervous speaker. He panted. He sweated. He kept asking the communication team to go back to the previous slide – he had another thought to share. He talked fast but still couldn’t get it all out, and seemed to rush to the finish line of his portion of the program. When he handed it off to the next speaker and collapsed into his chair, the audience of employees burst into spontaneous applause, the only time it happened during the meeting.
There’s a metric for you.
But did it measure agreement with his point of view? I’d say that was incidental. I think people were mostly applauding the humanness of his presentation. Some might say they appreciate his passion. I’m not sure that’s not just a more acceptable way of saying that they prefer their leaders to sweat a little, to get excited a little. Versus saying “We have an extremely exciting message for you today.”
In political coverage, in the
* There were more than a dozen people on the stage. They were all men. Except for one, they all appeared to be white men. There’s another message, and another metric.