Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.
Are you a good listener? How do you know? Why should you care?
What’s Important About Listening
Clients and prospects want to know that you care about them, their business and their problems. You know the common negative stereotypes about lawyers: that lawyers are arrogant, uncaring, selfish and greedy. Perhaps our public relations problems result in part from our listening habits.
In law school we learn to listen for the purpose of critically evaluating what the speaker says so that we can quickly make a decision about the best course of action. We learn to take feelings out of the decision process, and focus on facts, legal principles, and logic. We develop the ability to think on our feet and make quick responses as we face grilling by professors in class or make arguments in moot court competitions. Then as lawyers, we interrupt to clarify and focus on facts, while disregarding feelings, which we deem irrelevant. We try to control the situation by doing more talking than listening, and what listening we do has a decidedly adversarial or challenging bent. Read more «Listening Means Business!»