Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sophisticated Listening Skills

Listening is an apothegmatic skill set for learning law. Contrary to popular presumption, listening is not a naturally occurring competence. Listening is an expertise that must be cultivated and refined. Hearing is not listening and wholesome ears, though assistive, do no guarantee effective listening ability. Listening is a deliberate cognitive undertaking that requires attention, curiosity, contextual knowledge, comprehension, and remembrance.
Sophisticated Listening. Good lawyers are sophisticated listeners as their listening ability is fully functional and fine-tuned. They listen to clients, witnesses, associates, partners, opposing attorneys, and judges. They listen through ears and through eyes for listening is a bi-sensory skill set of hearing and seeing at the same time. Sophisticated listeners understand that speech cannot be torn apart from nonverbal communications and gestures cannot be comprehended without reading facial expressions. Even boring and ineffective speakers are respected and heard, particularly when what they are saying is critical for the construction or resolution of a dispute.

Poor listening is concerned only with grabbing the obvious points. Seeking only the bottom line of an oral communication is lazy listening reductionism. Sophisticated listening is listening fully; it is catching the obvious as well as the fine points of a presentation. A sophisticated listener  Read More