Know What You Are Talking About

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher who was born into slavery. He believed all external events are beyond our control. Epictetus believed humans should accept whatever happens calmly and disinterestedly. Individuals are responsible for their own actions. We cannot control the actions of others.

Two powerful points can be taken from this quote.

First, you get one shot at credibility. Know what you are talking about. Communicating as a trusted advisor means getting the information right first. The top fine of the Communicating with FINESSE fishbone diagram is all about the information.

Second, Epictetus reminds us that we are not there to persuade or manipulate our decision makers, just as we do not want our subordinates to persuade or manipulate us. Present the information objectively and fairly. As trusted advisors, we should not care what decision is made because it is not our decision to make.