Welcome to Brunner & Associates, Inc.
Our passion is helping individuals and organizations to be all they can be.
Brunner & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals with strategic planning, coaching, and other organizational and management issues. We also provide facilitation services to organizations and groups, helping them to address issues and reach agreement on important matters.
I’ve been thinking a lot about our communication skills lately and, overall, I believe that we do a pretty poor job. It’s amazing how our initial response to someone sends the conversation in a positive or, more likely, negative direction. That leads me to one of my favorite proverbs (15:1), “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
How often do we respond to someone in less than ideal circumstances by saying – or writing – something that is not well thought out and lands on that that person the wrong way? It usually gets worse from there. My counsel, then, is for us to always strive to think before we speak and to give “gentle” answers rather than responding rashly. It takes discipline but I believe it will pay significant dividends. Why not give it a try?
One key success attribute is preparing well. It’s amazing how many of us don’t do it. You’ve probably heard the saying, “You have to have the will to win.” This is nonsense. We all want to win. The famous Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight had it right when he said, “Everyone has the will to win; it’s the will to prepare to win that’s the key.”
Examples of this principle abound but let me just share one. I’m rereading a terrific biography of James Madison by Lynne Cheney. Long before Madison attended and played such an important role at the Constitutional Convention to modify/replace the Articles of Confederation, he was studying successful forms of government. By the time the convention began, Madison had the most knowledge, expertise and best ideas. Thus, he essentially wrote a large portion of the Constitution. This didn’t happen by accident. Madison prepared thoroughly. And it paid off.
Likewise, Lincoln as a young man said, “I will study and prepare myself and someday my chance will come.” He did and it did. The bottom line: winners prepare and non-winners don’t. Be a winner in this area!