After being re-elected, after what could be the bitterest presidential campaign ever, a relieved President Barack Obama made a speech in Chicago, becalming the people that the country is not as divided as the election would lead them to believe and assured them that there were better times ahead.
However, the speech was an ardent lesson that would serve employees well at their workplace, irrespective of whether they were inclined towards the Republicans or the Democrats.
These then are the takeaway lessons that employees will do well to embrace and adopt:
Gratitude is a healing balm. The president commenced his speech expressing gratitude and ended it similarly. Moreover he said, I am grateful to all Americans, irrespective of who they voted for.
From the day you are hired and during your working life, never forget to thank people for favors done, however, small or seemingly insignificant. Thank the interviewers, your co-workers for their assistance, your boss for promotion. Make it an inherent part of your system. People, who find their help being acknowledged and appreciated, give off themselves more willingly and happily.
Even though he is the President, he realized that he did not become one on his own. Thanking all, must surely have made those that voted for him, happy that they did and those who did not, wish they had.
The second thing that the President taught was that disagreement need not be a bad thing. He said that he had disagreements with Romney, because both were passionate about the country and wanted to see it do well. Similarly, there can be workplace disagreements, but they should be healthy and lead to an exchange of ideas that eventually benefit the workplace.
Differences and dissent can be good if you know when to compromise and ensure that the eventual good of the workplace prevails.
The president’s 2012 campaign slogan was ‘forward.’ He used the word many times during the speech. It established that he wanted to take the country forward. You too can create a brand for yourself. Whenever anyone thinks of you, an image or a thought should come to their mind – for example, the boss and colleague should brand you as ‘dependable’ ‘innovative’ ‘committed,’ or ‘ he’s in a class of his own.’
In the speech, the president confessed that all that was said in the heat of the battle, was not all correct and many a time downright puerile and immature. Short of expressing regret, his message did convey that given the choice, he would not have said some of the things he said. The importance of choosing your words well cannot be emphasized enough. Words have a habit of making or breaking careers, make sure you filter them well before they leave your mouth.
Your workplace is a learning process. You have something to learn even from your bitterest opponents. Some teach you how to do things, others teach you how not to do them, As the president said, “Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president.”
The loudest cheer for the President was when he began to talk about himself and his family. At that moment he ceased being the president and became Barack Obama, the father and the husband. He identified with the people. He became them. It pays to be one with your colleagues. Listen to them. Tell about your family and ask about theirs. As the president said, “you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”