I have been discussing the idea of the Perception Gap for a while now. Introverts often are misunderstood and considered aloof or disengaged when they don’t exude warmth. Newsweek’s writer Jacob Weisberg, had an interesting take on President Obama’s temperament in the piece, Cool Coming Off As Cold and how this perception is becoming an issue for our President.
Weisberg writes, “….so while many people deeply admire him, few come away from any encounter feeling closer to him. He’s not warm, loyal, or deeply involved with others. His most fervent enthusiasts tend to express affection more for the ideas he represents—America transcending its racial history, a fairer society, rational decision making—than for the man himself.
And, he adds….”For a politician, emotional self-sufficiency is both asset and liability. On the positive side, it supports Obama’s rationalism, his level-headedness in crisis, and his dispassionate decision making. On the negative, it can read as cold, aloof, or arrogant. It’s healthy that Obama doesn’t need the roar of the crowd for validation. It’s a problem that the crowd seems to need more from him than he is able to provide.”
Do you think our President needs to make some changes in his style to connect more with the masses? If so, what would you coach him to do differently?
I’ll start: How about getting rid of the teleprompter?