As we close out 2015, my colleagues and I at The Latimer Group have been giving a great deal of thought to what we learned over the last twelve months. Communication is a critical skill, in every organization. And there is a never-ending need to keep working towards improvement, for us as well.
So, with the theme of “constant improvement” in mind, here are some thing we learned (or re-learned) in 2015:
- Good communication is about respect for other people’s time, first and foremost. You have to make a choice to be prepared, and to not waste time. No one has ever gotten in trouble running a meeting that ended on time… or, even better, early. As a business community, we waste an unconscionable amount of time in meetings and on conference calls that don’t have a point, don’t end with action items, and that run long (most of the time because of poor planning or poor facilitation.) This is a universal problem, that transcends nationality. It is a global business problem.
- Good speaking requires good listening. Good listening leads to better audience awareness, and gives us a filter to determine what might matter, and what won’t.
- The more senior your audience is, the more important it is that you be able to get to the point… and quickly.
- Details matter, but the ways in which we process detail has changed dramatically over the last decade. We constantly hear people complain about “too much detail.” The details matter, and we all know that this is where the “devil” lives. But you need to be able to give the summary version AND the detailed version… and don’t assume the detail version is preferred. Occasionally it is, but most of the time it is not.
- Persuasion is a mission critical skill in the 21st century. If you can persuade your audience to your point of view, then you have competitive advantage. Period! And in order to be persuasive, you need to know your topic, have a goal, understand the audience perspective, and have a message plan.
So that is all for today… five themes of what we, and our clients, were most focused on in 2015.
We close with two messages:
First, we thank all of our clients for a fantastic year. My colleagues and I at The Latimer Group have never been busier. We are grateful for each and every assignment that comes our way.
And second, we send all of our clients and friends our wishes for a happy new year, and for a healthy and prosperous 2016. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays! We look forward to crossing paths with you soon.
With deep gratitude,