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December 2011
Happy Holidays!
Uncommonly Clear Products by Ann Latham
Uncommon Meetings - 7 Quick Tips for Better Results in Half the Time
Uncommon Meetings - 7 Quick Tips for Better Results in Half the Time
Clear Thoughts by Ann Latham
Clear Thoughts - Pragmatic Gems of Better Business Thinking
Meeting Mastery by Ann Latham
Meeting Mastery - How to Slash Meeting Times in Half and Get Better Results
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Happy Holidays! 

I hope you enjoy our last newsletter of the year. And I hope you are ready for a great 2012.

Wishing you peace, happiness, and success in all your endeavors in the year ahead!

All the best,

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Today's Clear Thoughts
Are Best Practices the Holy Grail?
Too Many Interruptions?
May I Ask This Question?
"Uncommon Meetings" Attracts Attention
Published Clarity
For a Daily Dose of Clarity
Ann's Parting Thoughts - How to Succeed
Are Best Practices the Holy Grail?


Do you value best practices as a means of attracting and retaining customers while also improving the bottom line? 


If yes, you are not alone. Many companies devote tremendous time, effort, and money in search of the holy grail of best practices. 


However, most organizations have employees who are already producing great results. Whether selling, managing customers, or delivering the goods, you likely have pockets of excellence scattered throughout your organization. These employees have figured out how to:

  • Excel in your environment, 
  • Deal with your products, 
  • Manage your customers, and 
  • Put up with your management short-comings

They are the keepers of your internal best practices. Their secrets are worth sharing!

  • Who are they?
  • What are they doing that others aren't?
  • What are you doing to capture and teach these internal best practices?

Seek that which is working and spread it around!


Need help identifying, capturing, and disseminating internal best practices? Give us a call: 800-527-0087
Too Many Interruptions?

If you are interrupted too often, figure out why. Are you:

  • Too slow to close your door, forward your phone, and turn off email?
  • Withholding information from others?
  • Failing to develop and empower others?
  • Inserting yourself into too many processes?
  • Insisting on perfection?
  • Discouraging the decisions and initiative of others?
  • Unclear in establishing objectives and priorities?
  • Sloppy in delegation?
  • Letting others interrupt repeatedly without thinking first?
  • Unsure of your own priorities?
  • Biting off more than you can chew?
  • Afraid you may be extraneous?

You are not indispensable. So why are others acting as if you are? What are you doing to cause your own interruptions?


Need help sorting this out? Call today: 800-527-0087. 

May I Ask This Question?

We had a Japanese student staying with us during her Thanksgiving school break. She was endlessly curious, but unsure how we might react to some of her questions. Rather than refrain from asking, she has developed the incredibly effective practice of prefacing her questions with: 


"I don't know if I can ask this question."


 This line accomplished four things:

  • It gave us permission not to answer.
  • It expressed her sincere desire to learn.
  • It warned us that we may be in for a startling question.
  • It made us eager to help her understand and learn.

We can all learn a lesson from Midori. She is not the only one who can benefit from understanding others or a situation better. Too often we shy away from asking important questions. Personally, I would rather others asked my thoughts than have them try to guess. When we guess, we usually guess wrong. 


Asking permission shows interest and respect. Don't just "let it drop" next time. Try these variations of Midori's approach to learn what you need to learn:


"It may be none of my business, but I'd really like to know ..."


"Do you mind if I ask you a question?"


If you are told it is none of your business, at least you've learned something! 


"Uncommon Meetings" Attracts Attention

"Ann Latham's Uncommon Meetings is a road map to well run meetings. It is a good read for busy people. While serving as a refresher for all of us who labor through less effective meetings, the highlights in boxes and bullet points emphasize insightful aids to more meaningful meetings and desired outcomes."


Dianne Fuller Doherty, Regional Director, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network


"Uncommon Meetings is a quick read with simple, easy to implement, ways to make meetings shorter and more effective. You will get more time back and you and your co-workers will be more productive."


W. Lowell Putnam, Trust Administrator, Lowell Observatory


"I wish everyone read this book. Ann Latham's "Uncommon Meetings" is a quick read, packed with substantive ideas on how to get more out of meetings in less time. Everyone who runs meetings should read it!"


Janet Warren, President, MarCom Capital


"Uncommon Meetings is a must read for everyone in any organization, not just top management."


Al Kasper, President & COO, Savage Sports Corporation


"To achieve your desired outcomes in less time and with fewer people, read this book! It has great tips and memorable examples for improving meetings and is concise and clear as well. All and all, a huge value for anyone who spends a lot of time in meetings as I do."


Simon Lingard, Director of R&D, Aspen Technology, Inc.


In addition, the CEO Refresher has placed Uncommon Meetings at the top of its recommended reading list. 

Order your copy of Uncommon Meetings - 7 Quick Tips for Better Results in Half the Time today!


Published Clarity

Forbes in Photos features Ann in "Why You Shouldn't Take That Promotion," November 2011

Forbes quotes Ann in "Why You Shouldn't Take That Promotion," October 2011

American Management Association Leader's Edge newsletter published Ann's article about business growing pains, November 2011

The SAC® Release includes Ann on year-end advice from global consultants, November 2011

Ann's advice featured in The Woman's Advantage 2012 Calendar


For a Daily Dose of Clarity

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Parting Thoughts - How to Succeed

Skill, knowledge, insight, brains, experience - these are all important, however:


"He or she wins who gets more done, and he or she gets more done who passionately wants to get to the next level of accomplishment." 


- David H. Maister from Strategy and the Fat Smoker


Best regards,

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Ann Latham

* Helping Senior Executives create
         the Clarity that produces Better Results Faster *

© 2011 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.