Teaching and Assessing Active Listening as a Foundational Skill for Lawyers as Leaders, Counselors, Negotiators, and Advocates
47 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 19, 2021
[enter Abstract Body]Active listening is a core professional skill for lawyers. In their traditional roles as advocates, negotiators, and counselors, lawyers are most effective when they form relationships of trust with their clients and understand the world from their perspectives. Doing so without effective listening skills is nearly impossible. Beyond the legal system, lawyers serve as leaders of all types, helping to run governments, companies, non-profits, and even neighborhood associations. Effective leadership in these increasingly complicated and diverse settings requires a combination of professional, technical, and interpersonal skills, but none is more important than active listening. In short, lawyers will serve as more effective leaders and professionals as they become better listeners.
Part II provides a brief overview of a stage-based model for developing skills—called a Milestone model—that is used in competency-based education to move learners from student to competent practitioner and beyond to mastery. Part III provides a review of research and scholarship demonstrating that listening is critical for lawyers as leaders, counselors, negotiators, and advocates. Part IV begins with a definition of active listening, including its primary goals, drawn from existing literature and adapted to the context of law. This section then identifies and explains the four primary stages or sub-competencies of active listening.
Keywords: listening, active listening, leadership, interviewing and counseling
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