Listen Up! Understand How Important it is to Listen
Herrick's general counsel, Ronald J. Levine was quoted in the Corporate Counsel Business Journal in an article which examines the importance of listening. Whether for the benefit of your business or otherwise, several points were raised as to the advantages of actively listening to your employees, management, investors, customers, partners, vendors, regulators or community.
In discussing a listening technique, Ron stated, “The ability to listen is a critical skill for lawyers. Indeed, law schools have been teaching “Mindfulness” to help lawyers with their ability, among other things, to focus on clients. When I meet with potential clients, I try to listen carefully before suggesting any recommended strategy.”
Ron continued, “One technique I use is to draw a line across the middle of a page of a legal pad. Ask the client to write down on the top of the line what the client would like to happen. After they have completed that, ask the client to write down on the lower half of the page what they are prepared to accept. Too often lawyers only listen to the top half of the page. Clients will invariably tell you they want to win the case. That said, clients are often willing to settle and accept less, especially if they save costs, fees and time.”