Category Archives: Communication

The Three Keys To Transforming Your Communication

The Three Keys To Transforming Your Communication

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council November 22, 2017.

When we think about how to become better communicators, we often think about the tools we use: our data, our PowerPoint deck, our posture and poise. And these are crucial. But the real keys to sustained, long-term improvement and success as a communicator might surprise you, in part because they are simple, easy to implement and available to everyone.

Think of training for a sailing competition. You have your gear, teammates and past experience to draw on. But to succeed, you also need to set ambitious goals, adhere to a training plan and practice assiduously until you’ve perfected all the necessary skills. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and truly advance to a higher level of competition.

The same concepts apply to honing your communication skills. You need to turn on that mental switch that says, “I want to improve, and I want to be the best I can be.” When you turn on this switch, you activate three important spheres:

Attitude (positive and proactive): Every opportunity to speak becomes an opportunity to persuade your audience. A meeting with colleagues, a phone call with a client or a formal presentation — no communication is without a challenge to be clear, confident, and persuasive.

Commitment (total and persistent): Challenge yourself on every skill, and be deliberate about how you seek to improve.

Training (thorough and long-term): Go after challenging communication opportunities. Ask your colleagues for feedback and provide constructive, honest feedback in return. Seek out mentors and recognize that as your communication improves, so will your career trajectory.

Now you have the right attitude, commitment and training — what next? This is when you can successfully implement a metrics-based, tool-rich system for approaching communication. In The Latimer Group’s model, we focus on four major skill sets to improve communication:

Assess: Analyze honestly your own skill and the challenge in front of you.

Message: Craft a clear, persuasive argument.

Document: Support that message with slides or other supplementary media.

Deliver: Present your message with confidence and clarity.

In these areas, we can use measurable data and skill assessment to improve every communication opportunity, both in challenging the speaker to hone her skills and achieve her persuasive goal.

The best part of this system is that it not only can transform an individual’s skill set but, when spread throughout an organization, it can transform an entire way of doing business. One person can use these tools effectively, but the benefits compound when a team uses them. And if an entire team commits in attitude, commitment and training (if I encourage you and you support him and he inspires me) the effect is exponential.

So what’s the first step? Try. Commit to becoming a better communicator. Persist. Improvement won’t come all at once. Focus on one skill at a time, be patient with yourself, and see how each presentation or call changes some aspect of your skill set. Share. Get your team involved, ask and give feedback, and push each other to improve. The further these tools and attitudes cascade through a company, the greater the value. When we communicate effectively as an organization, we sell better, produce better and grow better.

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

5 Tips for Gaining Attention and Mindshare in 2018

It’s hard to get people to pay attention any more. A lot of people believe that attention spans are shrinking. But regardless whether they are or not, here is an undeniable fact: there is exponentially more competition for mindshare and attention than ever before. So the net effect is the same — because there is… Continue Reading

The True Cost of Poor Communication

The True Cost of Poor Communication

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council November 15, 2017. We all aspire to be better communicators. We all know that communicating well will help us accomplish our goals, impress our colleagues and our superiors and generate business. We all want to feel confident and project leadership. But while we see the benefits of good… Continue Reading

Soundwaves: The 4 Skills of Great Communication, Part 2: Message

Soundwaves: The 4 Skills of Great Communication, Part 2: Message

At The Latimer Group, our teaching model is based on the 4 Skills of Great Communication: Assess, Message, Document, and Deliver. In this new four-part series of our Soundwaves podcast, Dean shares the four skills of our model, through the story of The Latimer Group’s origin and evolution. As we conclude our 15th year of… Continue Reading

Soundwaves: The 4 Skills of Great Communication, Part 1: Assess

Soundwaves: The 4 Skills of Great Communication, Part 1: Assess

At The Latimer Group, our teaching model is based on the 4 Skills of Great Communication: Assess, Message, Document, and Deliver. In this new four-part series of our Soundwaves podcast, Dean shares the four skills of our model, through the story of The Latimer Group’s origin and evolution. As we conclude our 15th year of… Continue Reading

Becoming a Next-Level Communicator

Becoming a Next-Level Communicator

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council October 20, 2017. To be a powerful communicator, you have to be brutally honest. You need to look critically at how great a change you are suggesting and how much you are asking of your audience. But perhaps the most important place you must look is within yourself. How… Continue Reading

Ten Years of iPhone, and One Call We’d Like to Make

Ten Years of iPhone, and One Call We’d Like to Make

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. With the much anticipated introduction of the newest iPhone last week, there’s been a lot of reflection on how our lives have changed in the 10 years since Apple introduced the first iPhone. I still recall the moment I realized how much… Continue Reading

Communication Leadership: The Four Areas Of Awareness

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com July 11, 2017 In goal-oriented communication, few things are more important than creating a sense of connection between yourself and the person you are speaking to. When you are in the audience, what type of speaker captures your attention more: the one who speaks to your concerns,… Continue Reading

Communication Leadership: Eliminating the Messenger Mindset

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com June 29, 2017 So often in preparing to communicate, we make a fundamental mistake: we enter a messenger mindset. Rather than establishing a clear goal and aiming to persuade our audience, we set out to inform, to update, to share. On this path, we end our… Continue Reading

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