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April 2011
Ann Latham
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Meeting Mastery - How to Slash Meeting Times in Half and Get Better Results
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Welcome to the Clear Thoughts™ newsletter. I hope you find it uncommonly clear and helpful! 

Today's Clear Thoughts
You Know Less Than You Think
Take the Clarity Quiz!
There is No 'C' in SWOT
Special Offer
Published Clarity
Clearly Speaking
Ann's Parting Thoughts
You Know Less Than You Think                    

The vast majority of comments people make about others are just plain false because they can't know what they think they know. Consider the examples below. Do they sound familiar?
  • George has no ambition
  • Sarah takes pride in her work
  • Bill has a bad attitude 
  • Connie cares only about herself  
The Invisible

These comments are typical in that they address characteristics on the left hand side of this diagram, all of which are completely invisible.
  • You can not see ambition; you can only see behavior that you interpret as ambition or a lack of ambition.
  • What you interpret as pride may be perfectionism.
  • You may think you "see" a bad attitude but what you are seeing is behavior that is probably a symptom of other things you can't see such as Bill doesn't like his job, doesn't feel that he can succeed, or is dealing with stressful factors you know nothing about.
Any statement about invisible characteristics is a personal opinion, an assumption, a judgment.

However, you can see the way a person behaves. And you can see the impact of that behavior, whether positive or negative, whether it affects you, others, or the entire company. If you focus your attention and comments on that which is visible, the observable behavior and its impact, and leave the speculation about cause out of the picture, you will:
  • Avoid destructive comments
  • Prevent putting others on the defensive
  • Help others understand their behavior and its impact
  • Set the stage for involving the other person in improving the situation  
Take another look at the diagram. Think of all the other words that could be added to the circle of invisible characteristics. Words like experience, confidence, and intelligence. There are innumerable possibilities.

Clearly, you know less than you think!

Would you like all of your employees to embrace this concept and develop the constructive benefits of focusing on observable behavior and its impact? Call 800-527-0087 today and find out how we can help.

Take the Clarity Quiz!

Where Would You Hide an Elephant?

That's the question of the day. Jot down your answer and then click here to learn what your response says about your clarity!


There is No 'C' in SWOT - The First of Many Troubles


SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - is a tool frequently used for formulating strategy.  


Is it a good approach for aligning the company's strengths and resources behind the greatest opportunities? No. SWOT is flawed for many reasons. Its greatest achievement is that it is simple to use and has a memorable acronym. Read more ... 


Interested in alternatives to SWOT? We can help. Contact us at or call 800-527-0087 today.

Special Offer
The Meeting Clarity Handbook 
Yours - With Our Compliments

We will send you "The Meeting Clarity Handbook - 7 Quick Tips for Better Results in Half the Time" to express our appreciation if you to three people you think will find it of value.


This powerful little book will change the way you plan and run meetings and its YOURS for FREE!

Don't worry; you won't be adding anyone to a list. However, if your friends and colleagues sign up for our Clear Thoughts newsletter, they too will receive "The Meeting Clarity Handbook" at no charge.


Published Clarity

Watch for my comments in Sunday's New York Times!

#1 Best-of-the-Web business article for FIVE months running: "Why Training Fails" by Ann Latham!

Ann's article on "treadmill agendas" was published in Corp! Magazine in March

"Leaders Don't Wait and 7 Other Traits" by Ann was published in The CEO Refresher in March


Clearly Speaking

SOAR Through Decisions
with Clarity, September, at PMAWNE

Might Your Organization Benefit from an 
Uncommonly Clear Keynote or Workshop?


Parting Thoughts - Ignore the Past at Your Peril

You can't change the past but you can't ignore it either unless you want to repeat the mistakes and relive the  disappointments.

Best regards,

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Ann Latham

* Creating the Clarity that Speeds and Improves Results *

2011 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.