Category Archives: #LeadershipMonday

The Courage to Shut Up

The Courage to Shut Up

Frequently, one of the participants in a Latimer workshop will say something that totally grabs me. And I always will pause the workshop, write a note in my “ideas book” and then say, “That will be a blog post, and I can footnote you, if you want.” In this case, the participant politely declined a footnote.

We were having a discussion about listening, and how few people do it well. And the conversation started to roam around a bit, to related topics like leadership, consensus, and respect. Listening has all sorts of impacts on other people and organizations. When we don’t listen to each other, all sorts of bad things happen.

As we were discussing this, the point was made that listening takes courage. It takes courage to give up control. It takes courage to let other people speak their mind, because you can’t control what they will say. They might, God forbid, disagree with you! It takes courage to allow other perspectives into the conversation.

And one of the participants that day paraphrased the whole conversation with the following… “It takes courage to shut up.” Exactly the point.

In today’s world… ESPECIALLY in today’s world… letting other people have a chance to speak is a requirement, for effective leadership, communication team building… all sorts of things. In a social media driven world, one way communication is no longer a recipe for success.

My colleagues and I teach effective communication for a living. We are proud of what we teach, and how we teach it. And one of the best things any communicator can do is to realize when the appropriate move is to say absolutely nothing. If the conversation is going in a good place… if someone who does not normally speak up is speaking up… if you really want involvement and engagement and it is starting to happen… the best play might be to say absolutely nothing.

Have the courage to shut up once in a while. Or, to quote Winston Churchill: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Try it some time.

Have a great day.

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

Influence vs. Authority

Influence vs. Authority

There are two ways we can get people to do what we want or need them to do: because we have influence over them, or because we have authority over them. We can have influence without authority, and we can have authority without influence. Influence comes from respect, collaboration, and credibility. Authority comes from title… Continue Reading

Communication Leadership: Learning To Deliver On Public Speaking

Communication Leadership: Learning To Deliver On Public Speaking

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com on September 8, 2017. Authenticity and confidence: These are the key elements of a great speech delivery, but developing these elements can feel like bottling lightning. Sometimes we seem to think they are qualities you are either born with or not. People say, “I’m just not a… Continue Reading

Communication Leadership: Learning to Document

Communication Leadership: Learning to Document

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com on August 23, 2017. When I teach a seminar, I often ask about the attendees’ process of putting together a presentation. “How many here start their preparation by opening up a new PowerPoint, or pulling out an old slide deck and repurposing it, or taking a… Continue Reading

Communication Leadership: Make the Message

Communication Leadership: Make the Message

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com August 8, 2017 What’s the first step in crafting a persuasive presentation? For many people, the agony of the blank page sends them straight to the slide deck. Maybe you have a template to work with, maybe you can pull up some visually interesting data, maybe you… Continue Reading

Leadership Tips: Practice What You Preach

Leadership Tips: Practice What You Preach

We get inquiries all the time from managers, directors and organizational leaders about a need for communication training for their teams. And in nearly every conversation, the leader is very clear about the needs and weaknesses of his or her team. Then, when we actually conduct the training, and once the participants get comfortable enough… Continue Reading

Communication Leadership: Learning To Assess

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com July 25, 2017 For years, I’ve been intimately involved in the process of training Olympic-level athletes for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program, both as an athlete myself and eventually as Chairman and Team Leader for all of U.S. Olympic Sailing. At that level of competition, there… Continue Reading

Expand Your Leadership Vocabulary

While Dean enjoys a little vacation time with his family, we’ll revisit some of The Latimer Group’s most popular posts. This is a great one for #LeadershipMonday. Hope it’s a great week. ~The Latimer Group I came across something worth sharing with you, that I think will help you refine your leadership vocabulary. If you… 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

Robin Williams, Depression and Friendship: Three Years Later

It has been three years since Robin Williams passed away, and we wrote this post right after he died. What we wrote then is just as true and valid today…  perhaps more so. Great communication in the workplace is about more than clarity, brevity, etc… things we write about all the time. Great communication in… Continue Reading

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