My job with The Latimer Group is to coach and train our clients to be better communicators. And regular readers of this blog know that I will use stories or examples from any area of my life to draw out the lessons I want to discuss.
Occasionally over the years, I have gently referenced real-world examples from the political arena to make my points. But my colleagues and I always tread lightly with those examples, because we honestly believe our work should remain a-political. Trust me… everyone at The Latimer Group has political opinions, and all my colleagues are well-informed citizens. But as a company, we believe that our public face should be a-political. So I will stick to that in today’s post as well.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “debate” as follows: a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something. A debate can be an organized event, an informal discussion between two or more people, or a general discussion that involves many people.
And what was broadcast last night was not a debate in any way, shape or form. It was a free-for-all, a shouting match. I eventually turned it off, because I couldn’t stand it anymore. But there are still some things we can learn. So, sticking with the a-political theme, I will share a few thoughts, all of them about coaching you on what to do… or rather, what NOT to do.
- When discussing or debating something with colleagues, clients, or ANYONE for that matter, don’t interrupt them. Not once. And certainly not over and over again. No matter how much you disagree. Show some restraint, composure and self-control. Restraint does not equate to agreement, or weakness. Restraint shows that your emotions are in check, and that you are thinking with your brain and not your ego.
- Don’t ever belittle or get personal with the person or people you are debating or discussing something with. No matter how strongly you feel. No matter how much you disagree. No matter how right you think you are. Don’t do it.
- When you are debating with someone who keeps trying to change the subject and overpower you, stick to facts, data and stay on message. Don’t let the other person drag you off your game. It’s called composure. Keep your composure.
- And, finally, if all else fails, and you are debating or discussing something with someone who keeps trying to push you around, at some point you have to stand your ground and push back. Lead with composure and restraint. But at some point, you have to (figuratively) punch the bully in the nose. If you don’t, your lack of an effective response eventually reflects badly on you.
I could write an entire book about what I think about last night’s debate, this election, and politics in America right now. But I will stick to my goal of being a-political in this blog, and focus exclusively on coaching you to be a better communicator. Do I have more I could say? You bet. But I will pause right there.
Have a great day.
At The Latimer Group, we believe that great communication skills can change the world. We transform people and organizations with simple, repeatable techniques and mindsets. We teach persuasive communication skills through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and eLearning. To learn more about how we can transform your organization, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
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