Category Archives: Listening

To Be More Persuasive, Look Beyond the Façade

To be more persuasive, look beyond the facade of your audience. Open doors to find out more about their goals and motivations, and persuade more effectively

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group.

The city of Lyon, France may be best known as the gastronomic epicenter of world; with phenomenal chefs and outstanding restaurants, people travel the globe to sample the rich Lyonnaise food. While I was there last week to teach Executive Communication Skills to a diverse group of international leaders, I discovered another secret in Lyon.

In the old village, nestled between shops, behind grand wooden doors, are entrances to a network of Traboules. In the 18th century, Lyon was bustling with the silk industry. Traboules, from the Latin “To Cross”, are covered passages that allowed merchants to travel throughout the city without emerging outdoors. Behind the enormous doors are narrow, often dark walkways that connect buildings and allowed the delicate silk to be transported without damage from the elements.

The secret walkways behind the building façades exposed a whole new perspective on the city. Yes, Lyon has fabulous food — it also has a rich history to discover behind the facades of the ancient gothic architecture.  By opening the heavy doors and walking into the Traboules, we could imagine the city as it was thousands of years ago.

What’s behind the façade? As you prepare for your next communication, think about your audience. What do you know about them? What are the priorities of the group? What is important to the individuals who will be in the room? And then, look beyond the façade. Begin to ask questions and think more about individual goals and priorities. What motivates these people? What inspires them? What will help them make decisions? As you strive to be the best, most persuasive communicator you can be, think about the Traboules. If we didn’t open the doors, we would never have discovered the secrets of the city. Look beyond the façade.

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4 Communication Missteps Men Make in the Workplace

Earlier today, I had a LinkedIn conversation with a good friend named Bryan, who also happens to be a member of Latimer’s Board of Advisors. Bryan had read a recent blog post of ours about the language mistakes some women make in the workplace. And Bryan’s request and challenge to me was now to write… Continue Reading

3 Simple Changes to Give Your Meetings Fresh Perspective

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week our team sat around a conference table with a consultant and after half an hour, he looked at us and said, “Maybe we should pause this discussion.” It was an unusual situation; typically we’re brought in as consultants and… Continue Reading

How Distracting is Your Speaking Style?

Have you ever listened to that person who says something like “um” over and over and over? After a while, all you hear are the “ums.” How about the person who says “like,” or “you know?” Hard to listen to that after a while. How about the person who qualifies everything they say with a… Continue Reading

How to Thrive in the New Communication Age

At The Latimer Group, we speak with our clients and colleagues about the “New Communication Age” we live in. Nowadays, communication is not just about having or controlling information. Years ago, in an era when not everyone had access to information, then the best communicators were, in fact, the ones who could access and disseminate… Continue Reading

How to Discuss Politics – or Anything – Respectfully (Yes, It CAN Be Done!)

Earlier this week, my wife and I, along with some good friends, attended our first political “town hall” event, hosted by Chris Murphy, the junior senator from Connecticut and a Democrat. We obviously are living in a highly-charged and emotional political climate in the United States, and these kind of town hall events are becoming… Continue Reading

Robb Willer, Political Polarization, and the Essence of Persuasion

We have written recently about the political divide in our country and how ineffective so many of us are in our communication on political topics. No one listens, everyone judges, and everyone believes that they are morally right in their beliefs. We are all living in our own echo chambers, where we distance ourselves from… Continue Reading

Good “Pre-Persuasion” Makes Everything Else Easier

Do you find it easy to persuade people? That’s a broad question, with an answer that is likely to be some version of, “Sometimes.” Whether someone is easily persuaded depends on a lot. The size of the ask, the environment and situation you’re in, the kind of person you’re trying to persuade, and other variables… Continue Reading

Are You “Other People Focused” in Your Communication?

Have you ever listened to yourself speak to your colleagues or customers? Have you ever just recorded yourself in a standard, nothing-special conversation, and actually listened to what you sound like? Try this. Record yourself in a typical conversation or phone call and listen closely to what you sound like. More specifically, count your pronouns.… Continue Reading

Easy Communication Resolutions You Can Make for 2017

Creating new behaviors at the beginning of a new year is a bit arbitrary, isn’t it? After all, why do we need to wait until January 1st to start doing things differently? Change and improved behaviors can happen on any day, at any time. Why wait? But since we are at the new year now,… Continue Reading

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