I am just back after two weeks of vacation with my family… two weeks of hanging out with my kids, swimming, playing games, and just trying to keep up. (I am exhausted… I think I need a vacation…)
Each day of my vacation began the same way… the sounds and smells of brewing coffee… a long stretch of quiet before the house woke up… and a few minutes to myself on the porch. During this daily morning repose, far away from the continual grind of work, I spent significant time thinking about lots of things, both personal and professional. (And, by the way… as a business owner, the line between those two is shockingly thin… a topic for another day.)
Among the many things I reflected on was a simple but critical question: What is our work at The Latimer Group really about? With a clear mind and a full coffee mug, I asked myself over and over what the point of our work was. What was the point of teaching “powerful communication skills”? For two weeks I dug deep into this question.
And I came up with two groups of answers. The first group of answers was highly utilitarian. Strong and powerful communication skills bring all sorts of important business benefits: saved time, a better bottom line, stronger business outcomes, tighter alignment, more powerful teams. Check, check, check. These are all topics my colleagues and I talk about, write about and teach all the time. The business benefits of strong communication is a really long and important list… maybe not the sexiest list. But important nonetheless.
But the second group of answers was the list I kept coming back to over and over. When I dug deeper into this question, I kept coming back to the many ways that strong communication – and I mean truly strong communication – empowers us and the people in our lives. The real value of great communication is about a lot more than the bottom line. The real value of great communication is that it brings people together, makes them feel more connected, makes people feel heard and empowered. Yes, all of those things do contribute to a stronger bottom line in the workplace… thus the first group of answers in the previous paragraph. But there is no way to quantify the true benefit of what great communication really creates.
One of the real benefits of a true vacation is that you can step back from whatever it is that you do on a daily basis, get some distance from it, and look at it from a new angle. Maybe you like what you see from that new angle. Maybe you don’t. But regardless, there is value in that new angle. Over the last two weeks, I reconnected with the deeper meaning of what my colleagues and I teach on a daily basis. And, once again, let me be clear… my first group of answers about the utilitarian business benefits of great communication is an important list. The answers on that list are usually why our corporate clients partner with us. There has to be a business benefit to our work. Or else there is no work.
But the second list, while harder to quantify, is where the real value lies, in my opinion. Because whenever we have the skills to bring people together, to make people feel like they are part of something, to empower and inspire the people around us, we have something truly remarkable at our disposal.
That’s my realization from the last two weeks. The business benefits of our work are real and tangible. But the human benefits are where the magic happens.
I am glad to be back at work, and look forward to connecting with you soon.
We believe that great communication skills change the world. We transform people and organizations of all sizes with simple, repeatable techniques, through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and asynchronous learning.
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