Do You Have “Situational Awareness” in Business?

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It is a little after 4am on a cold and dark October morning in New England… jet lag. I’m home for a few days after a great week of client work in Paris. And in a few days, it’s Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

During stretches like these, where we have several busy months, and a global tour of client work, there is one thing we realize over and over. If you want to be a great communicator in the 21st century, you must have “situational awareness.” Over the last week, we worked with executives from Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Finland. And over the next two weeks, you can add Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand and India to the list. And when you have a stretch like this, you realize that great communication in 2014 requires a broad understanding of a wide range of perspectives.

We have more cultural, generational and gender diversity in the modern business culture than at any other point in history. And in addition, people are better informed and more vocal in their opinions than ever before. All of this means that the truly effective and persuasive communicator has to be able to look at situations and understand perspectives… lots of them.

This requires two parallel concepts: first you must care about other perspectives. You must. There is no longer any choice, if you want to succeed in business today. And second, you must adopt a process that makes it quick and efficient for you to ask yourself the correct questions. In our experience, the simpler the questions, the more effective your preparation will be.

It’s a complicated, fast-paced, global business environment out there. And if you want to sell, persuade, influence, and build consensus around your ideas, you must, absolutely must, adopt a mindset of caring about other perspectives, and a process that helps you gather the information you need.

Does this sound obvious? Well, it may be. But in our experience, it doesn’t get practiced nearly enough yet. Not nearly enough.

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

Photo by Matt Shalvatis adapted under the following license.


One response to “Do You Have “Situational Awareness” in Business?”

  1. […] Do you have self and situational awareness? The ability to reflect and learn? How do you show integrity? Make […]

Dean Brenner

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.