It is the most ignored aspect of our professional lives – listening.
Two ears and all that stuff doesn’t tell the half of it. No, listening is a skill that only comes to those who truly desire to be better and not just incrementally but by a significant degree.
- Something positive on the way to the office;
- Those on reception;
- Your secretary and the support staff;
- The buzz of the office and contributing to a dynamic place;
- Your clients – and I mean deeply and sincerely listen to them;
- Your boss – look behind the figures for once and see what lies at the heart of the constant and repetitive emails about billing. And drop the cynicism for once;
- How you sound when answering the phone;
- What your opposite number is saying – yes you need to look for Win Win a bit more and cut the adversarial stuff;
- Your own inner voice – is law really living up to your dreams?
If you want to improve in this area stop talking so much. Keep quiet and don’t think that you have to fill the void of silence.
The best communicators allow the air to breathe. If nothing else it gives you the opportunity to gather your thoughts.
The unfortunate thing about professional practice, much like medicine, is that we think we have all the answers and saying nothing is not an option. Change your thinking and start listening to your clients and what they want. Yes you are there to advise, to a very high degree, on the technical aspects of the law but save for the few no one cares a damn. They just want an answer to their problem and things to be sorted.
Change your mantra to Listen, listen, listen rather than advise, advise etc.