5 BAD Habits of LAWYERS with a Hearing Loss
The most frequent complaint registered against lawyers and barristers, and the basis for many malpractice claims, is that the lawyer failed to adequately communicate with the client. These complaints range from, “my lawyer doesn’t return my calls,” and, “my lawyer didn’t explain the consequences of the agreement,” to, “my lawyer didn’t do what I wanted or get my consent.”
Many times, failures of communication are really failures of connection. In a situation when a lawyer or barrister finds it difficult to clearly hear what’s being said, the other party will sense something isn’t quite right and, but rather than attributing the ‘disconnect’ to a hearing loss, they will often incorrectly decide that the lawyer is aloof, arrogant or uninterested, or even incapable of understanding the conversation.
Reluctance to accept and admit a hearing loss doesn’t prevent communication issues; it causes issues.
No one wants to appear stupid or incompetent by having to ask for constant repeats, nor bother people to do so, which are valid reasons, but regardless of the reason or intent, untreated hearing loss can lead to a series of bad habits forming;
Talking over people or dominating the verbal communication is a tactic often subconsciously adopted by those with poorer hearing - this way they know what the conversation is about
Because lawyers and barristers are smart, they often anticipate what is going to be said, and don't listen effectively, which frustrates the other party
Topic changes are also common to those with poorer hearing. This means that they do not have to respond to something that they haven’t heard clearly and also know and can direct the conversation onto a new course
Bluffing is pretending to understand what was said, or giving the appearance of following the conversation, when, in reality, they don’t. A nod, smile, an “uh-huh” or maybe repeat the odd word or two to reinforce the (false) impression that they are following. No one wants to appear stupid or incompetent by having to ask for constant repeats, nor bother people, which are valid reasons, but regardless of the reason or intent, bluffing disconnects you from other people
Denial or not admitting a hearing loss is the most common habit of those with a hearing loss. “why announce a problem when there may not be one?” and “I can get by” are the sorts of things that we hear all the time from those with hearing loss.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
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