Resolving Business Frustrations Together

 
 

We resolve business frustrations.

 
 

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  1. Disappearance of in-person meetings. it’s really amazing how many people we actually used to meet at various networking events. Those are gone, for the most part.
  2. Discomfort with the casual meetup. Just bumping in to people working in a third space – a coffee shop, the library, etc. – isn’t much happening, because those places are closed. And even to the extent some are open, just walking up to people there has us all adjusting our masks.
  3. Everyone’s trying to adjust at once. Speaking of adjustment, everyone is still adjusting to the pandemic rhythm. Sure, maybe we’re a little less frantic about learning the new technologies, but we’re still not feeling settled. This means we have less time and mental space for other new things.
  4. Shrinking Margins. Less time and space extends to money, too. It takes money to make changes in organizations. These margins make people wary of starting something else new – even casual conversations.
  5. SPAM!!! Of course. Whether intended or not (and a lot of it intended), the amount of spam has gone up as people are hoping to take advantage of the disruptions to make a buck. That increases the noise people have to filter through to get to a real conversation.
  6. Disinformation / Misinformation. Alongside more SPAM, people are getting increasingly wary of information – even from people they know. Misinformation (information that is wrong, usually accidentally) and disinformation (information that is wrong on purpose, with the intent to confuse or obscure – weaponized lying) have caused many to put up walls against new sources – including business conversations. This has the effect of reducing trust and thus slowing down business activity.
  7. Social / Political Litmus Tests. And because of this reduction in trust, people spend a lot of time testing others for common values and beliefs – usually for social and political congruity. Undergoing these tests, or avoiding them, prevents good conversations about business from getting started.
  8. Childcare, school, and care considerations. Virtual First Grade. These three words have changed the way we work and interact with the world. Schedules tighten up. Multitasking drags us away from focus. And doing the work of teacher and our regular job is intense. Moreover, sometimes we have to jump off of a meeting for a few minutes to get a 6-year-old back in class.
  9. General Uncertainty. While wait-and-see isn’t really a strategy, so many of us are in it. This prevents good decisions from getting made because people want the uncertainty to be over before they do anything. Except it’s still going to be a while.
  10. Online Meeting Fatigue. Some people call it “Zoomed Out.” Yes, it’s just harder to meet people online. There is something that feels more exhausting meeting someone online than it does in person. This makes it more overwhelming to do something that doesn’t seem urgent or essential in this exact moment. So we go back to wait-and-see, to have that conversation another day.

Let me be the first to say that we haven’t really settled into a true rhythm yet. We haven’t cracked the code on how to respond to these changing communication patterns and the disruptions we are experiencing. Here are some things, though, that seem to be helping.

  1. Authenticity. Coming across as “sales-y” doesn’t work well in normal circumstances. Now, since everything is mediated by electronics, it’s so much easier just to turn off the sales-y conversations. Be authentic, but not needy or desperate.
  2. Grace. No one is comfortable yet. Grace sets people at ease. “Thanks for your flexibility.” “It’s ok that you need to attend to your child.” “Sorry you have gotten sick. We can meet next week.”
  3. Curiosity. Find something genuinely interesting to talk about. Show genuine interest. This allows the next thing.
  4. Empathy. We acknowledge the hard things, and celebrate the good things. 
  5. Focus. Stay on topic – help people to stay off the rabbit-trails that our minds are all going down because of our increased societal anxiety. 

So how do we relate to the changing communication patterns?

We haven’t found a magic bullet yet.

What have you found that is working? We’d love to hear it. Let’s set up a time to chat to get to know one another or reconnect if it’s been a while. I look forward to talking with you soon!

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Matthew M. Thomas

Matthew M. Thomas, EPC, is the President of the L M Thomas Group.

The Five Frustrations

We help business leaders resolve five persistent frustrations that cause them to lose sleep and hurt the bottom line: 

Firefighting

Firefighting


Leaders are frustrated because they feel like all they do is put out fires. They want to spend more time on the stuff they really want to do. They want to just be able to leave the work at work, and not have to sort something out during family or personal time.

Information

Information


Leaders are frustrated because they can't make their numbers work and make good decisions from the information they have: bad information in general; margins and finances; or customer satisfaction that doesn't match the effort expended.

Process

Process


Leaders are frustrated because their process of sales, service, or product delivery drops balls, loses customers, makes workers and customers frustrated, or requires such tight supervision the leaders sometimes wonder whether they should just do it themselves.

Complexity

Complexity


Leaders are frustrated because they have so many critical business decisions going on simultaneously that they are either freezing up or swinging wildly - and they don't feel like either is productive for them.

Alone

Alone


Leaders are frustrated because they feel like they are alone - as an individual, or as a team - and aren't sure whom they can ask and whom they can trust to bring in to help them with their challenges.

Our consultants have all experienced (and resolved) these frustrations.

Consultants Meeting with Clients

 
And we have helped over 60 clients resolve their frustrations, too.

And we've learned three things along the way:

  1. The Five Frustrations are symptoms of underlying challenges.
  2. Developing solutions with our clients in these five areas of service resolves most* business frustrations.
  3. We want to share what we've learned to make others' lives better.

And that's what drove us to found this business.

 

* We actually think it solves all business frustrations.

Here's What Our Clients Have to Say

I have worked with Matt on a couple of projects for our small business. I am currently working with both Matt & Lisa on a newer project. They have been very helpful in providing that outside viewpoint to help us move past some hurdles we have experienced. I would recommend LM Thomas Group if you are experiencing any internal issues or are looking to poise yourself for growth!

-- Kelli Berry, the Weiner Companies, Ltd.

Matt has been instrumental in assisting our company during a time of rapid growth. Thanks to his in-depth assessment of our business plans and financial statements, Matt has been valuable recommendations to help reach our business goals. If you're looking to solve a problem within your organization, I strongly recommend reaching out to Matt to help your business reach its fullest potential. 

-- Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing

I worked with Mr. Thomas over a period of months to create systems and processes to improve our mortgage origination business at Fairway Independent Mortgage. Mr. Thomas was able to understand and immerse himself into my business very easily, and then he would effectively communicate to me new efficiencies Then, with his direction, we created systems to get the results that, heretofore, were only theoretical. It was awesome and it was just in time for a large spike in mortgage volume. Thank you L M Thomas Group!

  -- Shaughnessey Rice, Fairway Independent Mortgage, Champaign, IL

I have worked with Matt Thomas for a year now in a formal consultancy and have appreciated his guidance, professionalism and skill in business formation and strategy. I highly recommend his services for startups and for businesses in development seeking to establish a direction and strategy. His work has been key to getting us to where we are today.

 -- Ethan Chew, Ahead Materials, Inc.

 

Solutions Comparison

Service Area

Solutions

Discover

Try


Strategy, Purpose, and Mission

Business Planning
Business Strategy
Market Positioning
Teambuilding
Executive Leadership


Business / Work Process

Process Mapping
Process Audit
Financial Process
Forensic Accounting
Financial Systems Setup


Jobs, Roles, and Structure

Executive Coaching
Restructuring
Board Development
Governance
Job Description Development
Leadership Development


Change Management

Surveys and Listening
Data Interpretation
Process Design
Project Management


Business Metrics / KPIs

Metrics Review
Metrics Development
Incentive Alignment
Engagement and Experience
Dashboard Development

 

Resolve Your Frustrations

 

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