Universal Truths

Hello and welcome to 2021! I hope you had a peaceful and happy holiday, and that everyone in your world is healthy. We had a wonderful “stay-cation” in our home, and spent a lot of time reading, playing games, and watching our favorite shows. Honestly, another week of that would be just fine. But its time to get back to the other part of life.

Speaking of the “other part of life”… This will be the twentieth year of operations for Latimer Group. That sure happened quickly. And over the holiday break I spent some time thinking about the things that I have learned over the span of my “Latimer Life.” My list of notes started to get pretty long. So I decided (as I do with many things that pop into my head) to write about it.

There are a few things that I find myself saying in many of our workshops. Some of them I have been saying for a while now. So I captured them, and I share a few of them with you now:

  1. No one will ever say “I wish you would listen to me less closely.” Almost everyone thinks of themselves as a good listener. But experience, and basic logic, suggest that most people in fact are NOT good listeners. But listening is the “special sauce” of being a good colleague and partner. People who listen well have significant competitive advantage. They learn more, gather better information, and are better at connecting with the people around them. Universal Truth #1: Good listening makes all forms of partnership, personally and professionally, easier and better.
  2. No one will ever say “that was a great meeting… I just wish it was a lot longer.” Our most precious asset is our time, and most of us operate on a daily basis wanting and needing more of it. So, whenever it is your turn to lead the conversation in the workplace, think of yourself as a caretaker of other people’s time. Make sure that you can always provide the “short version” of whatever it is you are discussing. The details are important, but not everyone will always have the time or the interest in hearing all the details. Universal Truth #2: The person who can get to the point quickly has huge value and, over time, builds enormous credibility.
  3. No one will ever say “you were too prepared for that meeting… next time, be a little less prepared.” Picking up where point #2 left off, part of being a good caretaker of other people’s time is being prepared. Show up ready to discuss, ask intelligent questions, answer questions clearly, and contribute. Universal Truth #3: Preparation is a sign of respect for those around you, and a requirement for being taken seriously.
  4. No one will ever say “you made that too simple… please make it more complicated.” We live in a really complicated world, a world that is loud, crowded and fast-moving. It is hard to keep up with all the news, content, and information that flows every day. So don’t ever be afraid to try to make something easier to digest for those around you, especially in a work context. Universal Truth #4: The person who can make things simple and easy to digest is almost always the most valuable person in the room.

Competitive advantage in the workplace requires that you be good at several things… and communication is absolutely at the top of the list. You will be a stronger communicator if you focus on a few fundamental behaviors… Listen well… get to the point quickly… be prepared… and make things simple. Do these things well, and your communication will automatically improve… and your competitive advantage will increase.

Have a great day. Stay safe and healthy. And happy new year!

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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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.