On the telephone….

We’re Zooming with the  Dawg at 10:00 this morning.  Hope to see you there!!

When we speak to another person, whether in person or on the telephone, we tend to match the energy level of the other person.   Have you noticed?  When I speak to someone who is tense, I can feel the tension creeping up my spine.  My whole body stiffens and my rate of speech picks up to the point that I sound like one of those professional fast talkers reading the fine print during the commercial.   

The good thing about that energy-matching feature is that it gives you some degree of control, or at least, influence.  When I hear tension on the other end of the phone, I try to slow my rate of speech, relax my body and de-escalate the conversation.  If I hear hostility (that would normally not be from a client, but from another lawyer) I try to resist my instinct to hit back with equal force.  A soft answer turneth away wrath. Doesn’t it say that somewhere?

Try this out.  It will work when you talk to a lawyer, an angry parent, a disgruntled employee, or even a member of your family.