Archive for the ‘Interviewing Clients’ Category

We . . . turned our courts into giant unthinking machines for sweeping our problem citizens under a rug. . . . [I]nstead of dealing with problems like poverty, drug abuse and mental illness, we increasingly just removed them all from view by putting them in jail.” ~ Matt Taibbi, “Cruel and Unusual Punishment,” Rolling Stone  The Myth Criminal punishment was at one time often very public: we whipped or executed outlaws before throngs of onlookers, or displayed them in the stocks in the public square.  Now we spirit the condemned away to hidden prison cells, forgotten by the rest of us, a modern-day form of ostracism.  The punishment of convicts occurs behind closed doors, much of it in secret. Adding to the cloak of invisibility is the popular media, which saturates us with fictionalized and misleading versions of what prison and the people inside it must be like. The new show […]

Getting people to really open to you is an art in itself. If you learn to do it well, you will be much more successful in representing clients, collaborating with colleagues and other partners, and earning the trust of everyone you work with. Different styles of listening apply to different contexts (e.g., an academic study, a police interrogation, a therapist), but when your goal is to make someone feel understood, and encourage their trust and openness, use a form of listening called reflexive listening: (1) Don’t criticize. Let the other person feel safe to talk without judgment. (2) Don’t sympathize either. Even sympathy is a type of judgment. Once you express a judgment, the other person feels like you have stopped listening with the intent to just understand. Give the other person a chance to fully explore their own thoughts, and fully express themselves to you, without cutting it short with an evaluation […]