Do You Have “Situational Awareness” in Business?

autumn copyIt 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 client work that’s taken me across the country and back.

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 coming weeks, we’ll have worked with executives from virtually every continent. And when you have a stretch like this, you realize that great communication in 2015 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.


3 responses to “Do You Have “Situational Awareness” in Business?”

  1. Susan Bartsch says:

    While I realize that your postings are intended for Business Situations there is definitely a place for your suggestions in everyday life. Getting along and not being misunderstood by people who are only half-listening to you is crucial. Thanks

  2. […] Amy Fenollosa and Dan Cooney talk about why improving your listening skills and tuning in to your audience and situation will vastly improve your results as a […]

  3. […] the one who always brings a sense of situational awareness into every room you walk […]

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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.