January 1, 2014 will begin the sixth month of Listen Like a Lawyer's existence. In light of this benchmark as well as peer pressure from so many other blogs' year-end reviews, this seems like a good moment to reflect on the blog's brief past and to anticipate its future. I am so grateful for the … Continue reading Listen Like a Lawyer’s Year-End Review
Active listening is an essential strategy for negotiating with difficult people, as discussed in this valuable post from At Counsel Table,
Have you ever found yourself negotiating with a brick wall? Maybe not a wall, but an opponent, coworker, spouse or five-year old so entrenched in her position that it seems to take a herculean effort to procure even the slightest movement?
I’ve previously quoted from the slim but powerful text about negotiation strategy, Getting To Yes. One of the authors of that landmark, William Ury, subsequently wrote Getting Past No: Negotiating With Difficult People. I don’t know about you, but anyone who doesn’t go along with my program is clearly difficult.
Ury developed a five-step strategy for making progress with these . . . er . . . difficult people. The first step is to take your own emotions out of the equation; this will help prevent you from reacting without thinking, which can immediately stall or even end productive negotiations. Ury calls this Going to the…
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People over-value secret information, according to a series of studies reported in the New York Times reported earlier this year. Information designed as “classified” is treated as highly valuable precisely because it is secret. When two groups in an experiment read the same government report—which was labeled “classified” for one group and “public” for the other—the results were … Continue reading Secrets in the courtroom
The holiday season brings many opportunities for lawyers and legal professionals to reconnect with old friends and make new ones at holiday parties, school events, and other social gatherings. Law students may also have networking opportunities at bar events and family gatherings. Making the most of these opportunities requires good conversational skills--which require good listening skills. … Continue reading Holiday parties are listening opportunities
Little books about little writing are everywhere these days. The one that I can’t put down right now is Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Several short sentences about writing. This book takes on the dogmata of writing instruction in both its substance (outlining is overrated--gasp!) and its style (poetic prose or prose-like poetry; whatever it is, it’s more … Continue reading Lawyers: listen to your writing
Effective listening captures information that can’t be gotten any other way. A previous post talked about the rich information found in spoken “discourse markers” that help structure and annotate speech content. Another rich source of information is nonverbal cues. Lawyers who want to glean the most information from their communication encounters should be attuned to … Continue reading Listening to nonverbal cues