The Most Important Skill in Business

If you can persuade others to think or act in a certain way, influence their decisions and behaviors, and build consensus among your colleagues, you have competitive advantage.

Period. Full stop.

In the 21st century business world, (where information is more available, attention spans have plummeted, organizations are leaner, and everyone is less loyal and more opinionated than ever), building consensus is hard. People are better informed (or at least think they are). People are less likely to blindly follow leadership and are more vocal about their opinion. People feel empowered. People feel smarter. And no one listens all that much.

In this environment, persuasion is a challenge. It is hard to change minds. It takes work to build alignment and consensus.

But yet, if you have this skill… if you can change minds… if you can build consensus… if you can influence behaviors and decisions… if you can do these things, you own the keys to the castle in the 21st century. Because the people who can do these things will be better equipped to lead, sell, secure resources for their project, gain support for their strategy or idea, better protect their team and be in complete demand by the people around them. People will want to work with you. People will want to be on your team. People will remember your name.

If you pick one skill to focus on this year, pick the one that will make everything else in your business life easier. Focus on the ability to persuade and build consensus. You’ll never regret the effort.

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


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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.