Dear Latimer: More Answers to Your Questions

Hello friends! We recently added a new element to our website, where you can submit your communication questions directly to us. We will collect the questions, and either answer directly back to you, or when appropriate, publish your questions and our answers on our blog. Our goal here is to give you some quick support and answer your most pressing questions about the all-important skill of persuasive communication.

So, fire away with those questions, and we look forward to hearing from you. If you want to submit a question, look for the “Dear Latimer” box on the right side of the screen on our blog page.

Have a great day! ~Dean and Hannah

Dear Latimer,

My company has returned to in-office work and I am happy to be back in the office, but feeling out of practice, and a little nervous, with in-person meetings and interactions. What advice can you offer on how to manage the readjustment?

  • Jeremiah, Hartford, CT

Great question, Jeremiah. We are hearing a lot about this issue lately. And there are a few things we would like to share.

First, you are not alone. Feeling a little “rusty” in this area is completely normal, and a widely held emotion. This is a “big club” and in our experience, lots of people feel the way you do. So, give yourself the room to lean into your feelings. Don’t beat yourself up.

Second, ease your way back into it. Don’t feel like you have to jump in, with constant discussions in the hallway, or sitting with a huge group at lunch. If you want to pick and choose the ways you interact in the office, and start off slowly, that’s OK also. Give yourself some time to shake the rust off.

In fact, if being in a conference room with lots of people makes you nervous, perhaps ask a few of the meeting hosts if you can participate virtually from your office or your desk. If you are in the office, and have several meetings in a given day, perhaps you could participate in one or two of them virtually from down the hallway. This might allow you to break up your in-person time during the course of a busy day.

Third, if you have any people in the office that you feel comfortable discussing this with, maybe see if you can find anyone else who might be feeling the way you are. Having someone or some people you can share this feeling with might make it feel more manageable for you.

In many ways, this is a form of performance anxiety, and managing these kinds of anxiety often involve leaning into the feelings, easing back into the behavior, and then naming and discussing it out loud. In our experience, these kinds of management techniques make the source of the anxiety feel less “big.”

We hope that helps! Have a great day!

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.