Remember that social network feed that strikes a chord at you because you somewhat personally connect to the culture presented in the said feed? I guess a majority of netizens may experience this situation frequently when they login to their personal social networking accounts. This state of relatability happens in any slice of life. It is not somewhat a characteristic or personality. It is a personal response to situations.
In a context of consumerism, relatability is an easy way to attract people to buying products or acquiring services because people can identify with the way that consuming goods are presented (via commercials, advertisements, promos). This applies as well to elections. Candidates wanted to grab the voters’ attention through any tactic available or perhaps akin to selling products. They may empathize with the public’s circumstances. They may reach out to the lower class and show their compassion to them. Or, they may relate their life story to that of the mass demographic. From that, it becomes clear that candidates with relatable qualities is a sure win. But, one thing remains: is relatability enough?
Like I mentioned, relatability is a response to situations, if it either strikes a chord to have it mirror our current lives or not. That is why relating to people is an obvious tactic to win the voters’ choices. But still, this amasses a great amount of votes. The problem of relatability is how far it goes. Leaders possessing relatable qualities will easily win the hearts of their followers, but will also place them in an inescapable pedestal of fulfillment since relatability can be referred to as “representation”. Meaning, if we identify ourselves to leaders, we thought of them as the person that best represents the leaders’ area of coverage. That way, we become biased on who to base on for the “best”.
Now, relatability is an amoral concept. The reason why relatability is the best hook for voters is that it gives the impression that candidates were able to take note of the people’s circumstances. It does not matter whether the act is good or bad, as long as a connection is built to the people. That is where relatability crosses the line.
But to be fair, having a quality of being relatable is an incentive. It means that there is no line to draw between the government and the people, depending. But in retrospect, relatability eliminates the boss-to-employee relationship and regards the leader-to-follower mindset to his or her countrymen.
In any way, I still recommend relatable leaders, in a stasis revolving on encouragement, volunteerism and initiative. So, as an encouragement to running candidates and to leaders anywhere, don’t just be relatable; be relational. By that way, you will be able to carry the weight of the people easily and to attain the goals set in your way. As American industrialist Andrew Carnegie puts it, “Teamwork is the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”