Lawyering Is Mostly Talk: "Conversational Intelligence" by Judith E. Glaser deconstructs applying neuroscience


by Jane Genova

As a 1L we all took legal writing.  But success in most niches in the legal sector depends on our oral skills.  That extends from how lawyers present themselves to prospects to the performance art during a jury trial. 

Most lawyers have heard about many of the findings in neuroscience.  Those range from how mirror neurons represent an efficient Wi-Fi system to the mental clarity from mindfulness.  However, they rarely had an easy way of integrating those discoveries into their menu of public relations skills.

The good news is that there is a new book which does the job on integration. It's "Conversational Intelligence" by Judith E. Glaser.  She's a heavy in public relations.  That includes being chief executive officer of Benchmark Communications and chairman of The Creating WE Institute.  

Glaser explains, for example, how to trigger the fear reaction as well as the willingness to collaborate.  The more oral communications skills in the lawyers' tool box the better the odds for success.  It is downright useful, we know, to scare the jesus out of the other set of lawyers sitting across from you.  That's exactly how hefty client settlements happen.  It can also make lawyer brandnames, such as that of Michael Pohl at Jones Day, to be able to be the good cop with the expert witness for the opposition.  That tactic tends to resonate with jurors. 

"Conversational Intelligence" could also be a game-changing read for law students beginning their search for clinical internships, summers, and actual jobs.  Applying discoveries from neuroscience hands newbies a distinct edge in getting some breaks.





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