Author Archives: thelatimergroup

Don’t Be Afraid to Go to the Blackboard

Today’s post is an add-on to our post earlier this week about the importance of bringing empathy to your work. Public speaking is a big — in some cases, debilitating — fear in many people. In most cases we see, that fear stems from being called out, challenged… or, just plain wrong… in front of one’s teammates and managers. That fear has been instilled in us from an early age: Being called on in class, being caught unprepared, and then being criticized — or even ridiculed — when your answer comes up short. Then, we carry that fear into the business world, and it keeps us from learning and improving as communicators.

I’ve been a huge fan of the American TV show West Wing, and there’s a great scene that speaks to this point. In it, the President (played by Martin Sheen) is hesitant to tell America’s school children about a failed project in the space program. His adviser CJ (Allison Janney) encourages him to go ahead with the “virtual classroom,” anyway, and show the kids “the broader theme” that it’s OK to get things wrong (even “the big boys” do it). And that it’s really about raising your hand, and going (fearlessly) to the blackboard. Here’s the clip (starts at 43 seconds):

Part of what we do in our client work is actually UNDO many of the negative elements of toxic organizational cultures. We don’t believe “Wrong” equals “Bad.” That thinking leads to fear, reticence, and uncertainty. We encourage you to empower your teammates and colleagues to raise their hands and go to the blackboard.

After all, that’s where the learning takes place.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
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Leaders, Coaches, Colleagues: Bring the Empathy

  I was in the midst of a great workshop recently, when I was asked a question I had never heard before. The participants in this workshop were really friendly and jovial, and we had a nice casual banter going all day long. And towards the end of the day, one of them said, “You… Continue Reading

Simon Sinek: Practice Being the Last to Speak

Simon Sinek is a favorite around here. We’ve written about him specifically in the past, and there’s a huge overlap in many of the themes we teach… This is a great addendum to some of the posts we’ve written in the past on listening, understanding, and seeing the other side. Simon’s advice, Be the last… Continue Reading

Anxiety When Speaking? That’s Actually Good

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com on June 9, 2017. The question I’m asked most often in workshops and coaching sessions is, “I get really nervous when I present; can you help me eliminate my anxiety?” And my answer is that having at least some anxiety is actually a good sign. It… Continue Reading

“Yes” Moves the Conversation Forward

Today’s post was written by Brett Slater, Chief Social Media Officer at The Latimer Group. Improvisation fascinates me. A a new recent passion of mine has been improv comedy, and I’m a huge fan of jazz and jam bands, both of which lean very heavily on improvisation as a tool. Part of my fascination with… Continue Reading

The Five Keys to Being Heard in the 21st Century

Many people suffer from a critical misconception regarding being heard. Being heard is not always about speaking louder. Most of the time, being heard is about doing a number of things differently, most of which have nothing to do with the words coming out of your mouth. We live in a loud, confusing, fast-paced, attention-deficit… Continue Reading

Video: How to Become an Olympic-Level Communicator

Want to communicate at the Olympic level? Work on the 4 skills of great communication one by one, and when you put them all back together, you’ll be communicating at a much higher level. What are the 4 skills? Dean lays them out for us in the video below:   At The Latimer Group, our… Continue Reading

Steve Jobs, On PowerPoint

I recently stumbled across a great quote from Steve Jobs, that captures exactly how we feel about PowerPoint here at The Latimer Group: “I hate the way people use slide presentations instead of thinking. People confront problems by creating presentations. I want them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than show… Continue Reading

In God We Trust… Everyone Else, Bring Data

There are a few questions we frequently hear from our workshop participants. And perhaps the most vexing is the question of detail… how much do I need, where do I put it, how much is too much? Without exception, it comes up and is a major topic of conversation in every workshop. Why? For two… Continue Reading

The Words We Use Matter. Choose Them Carefully.

The recent controversy over Bill Maher’s use of a racial epithet was yet another example of the power of language. Words have meaning, both good and bad. Words have power, both good and bad. Words make us feel things, both good and bad. This post is not about Bill Maher, the politics of language or… Continue Reading

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The Latimer Group, LLC
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Wallingford, CT 06492
Phone: 203.265.4344
Email: info@thelatimergroup.com