How to Communicate More Effectively

Five Powerful Communication Tips

When it comes to communication, most of us tend to think that if we’ve been misunderstood, it is the receiver of the information that is at fault for not understanding. But in reality, the responsibility is on the communicator – that’s you – to acknowledge that if something isn’t understood properly by someone else, it is up to you to change and improve your communication. This is due to the fact that every one of us, no matter how similar our experiences may be, has a unique perspective of life, a unique model of the world from which we receive and process information. We filter out, delete, and distort incoming information on a regular basis out of necessity.

People typically receive 2 million bits of information every second, but are only consciously aware of 126 bits of information at a time…

Here are 5 tips for improving your communication:

by | on November 4th, 2012 |

Want to Communicate Persuasively? Think About Failing Smart & Fast

The world is changing much more rapidly than most people realize, says business educator Eddie Obeng — and creative output cannot keep up. In this spirited talk, he highlights three important changes we should understand for better productivity, and calls for a stronger culture of “smart failure.”

What is the “expected value” of your case?

Taking a case to trial always involves some level of risk and a sense of gambling.  To better manage and understand that risk, it is critical to understand the “expected value” of your case.  For the purposes of litigation, the expected value is a function of your chances of success at trial and the financial exposure in the case.  For example, if you were litigating a $1 million case, and your chances of winning at trial were 50%, the expected value of the case is $500,000 (EV = (.5 x $1,000,000) + (.5 *$0) = $500,000).

To the extent that counsel is able to determine the expected value of their case, they are in a position of power when it comes to settlement negotiations.  Consider an example which is not as even handed as the example above, one in which defense counsel determines that they have a 75% chance to win at trial in a case where $1.5 million is at stake.  Here, the expected value of the case is $375,000 (EV = (.25 x $1,500,000) + .(.75 x $0) = $375,000).   If plaintiff’s counsel makes a $650,000 settlement demand, that demand should be rejected, because it represents a value that is much higher (and presumably higher than the costs to continue with the litigation) than the expected value of the case.  Conversely, it should be considered a “win” if defense counsel is able to effectively negotiate a settlement agreement for less than $375,000 plus the anticipated costs of continuing with the litigation.

One can observe how expected values are used in real financial decisions by simply watching a broadcast of poker on television.   In poker, whether one bets or folds is determined by assessing the odds that your hand (which is known) is better than your opponent’s hand (which is not known).  A skilled player may make substantial bets even if they think they don’t have the best hand, because the expected value of those bets is positive.  That is, they have enough chance to win the hand and the amount of money they can win is large enough to justify a substantial bet.   It’s probably not surprising that some of the best poker players in the world are highly skilled at mathematics and probability theory, as these decisions must be made rather quickly with very high personal stakes.

Although similarities exist between poker players and litigators and their assessment of risk, important differences exist as well:

  • In poker, the psychological hurdle is determining what cards your opponent holds, and then betting and reacting to bets that are appropriate in terms of expected values.  The easy part is knowing who has the best hand when all the cards are on a table.  A flush will always beat a straight, and there is nothing subjective about the assessment of the two hands.
  • In litigation, the problem is a bit different.  Here, everyone knows each others “hand” while the game is being played.  The difficulty is in terms of assessing the strengths and weaknesses in each hand, which are inherently subjective and determined by a third party (i.e., a jury, judge, arbitration panel, etc.).

Thus, the challenge for litigators is to accurately determine the financial exposure of their case, as well as their chance of success at trial.  To the extent that this information can be reliably determined, counsel will be in a position to better manage their litigation risk.

In our next blog, we’ll discuss factors that contribute to both financial exposure and probability of success at the jury level.

View the orginial posting here:


Most People Lie to Get Off Jury Duty, This One Lied to Get On

Potential juror in rape case admits lying to judge

Salem man was classmate of the suspects and victim


SALEM — If anyone ought to know and appreciate the need for an honest and impartial judicial system, it would be the son of a man taken as a political prisoner in his native country, a judge and a prosecutor suggested yesterday.

Judge Orders Woman to Hold “I’m an Idiot” Sign

A woman caught on video driving on a sidewalk to avoid a Cleveland school bus that was unloading children stood in the cold at an intersection holding an ‘idiot’ sign Tuesday morning.

A Cleveland Municipal Court judge ordered Shena Hardin, 32, to serve the sentence for one hour between 7.45am and 8.45am on Tuesday and Wednesday.

She arrived this morning bundled up against the 34-degree cold, puffing a cigarette, wearing head phones and dark glasses, and avoiding comment as passing vehicles honked.
Satellite TV trucks were on hand to stream the event live near downtown Cleveland.

Interesting Excuses to Get Out of Jury Duty

The lengths to which some potential jurors go to avoid jury duty was shown when a woman told a Bronx, N.Y., court in 2008 that she could not serve on a murder case.

Why? Because, she claimed, she had been a murder victim herself. And well, yes, she’d gotten better, but still …

She was dismissed, on other grounds.

LARRY LARUE; Staff writer
Published: Nov. 5, 2012 at 12:05 a.m. PST — Updated: Nov. 5, 2012 at 2:02 p.m. PST
Larry LaRue: 253-597-8638

Knowing Your Audience: The Difference in Communicating with Extroverts and Introverts

Your personality is revealed in the way you speak, according to new research. Introverts tend to use more concrete words and are more precise, in contrast to extraverts, whose words are more abstract and vague.

Many previous studies have looked at the links between personality and language, but usually this has been about the content of what different personalities choose to talk about.

Camiel Beukeboom and his co-workers took a different tack, asking 40 employees (19 women; average age 34 years) at a large company in Amsterdam to describe out loud the same five photos depicting ambiguous social situations.

Beukeboom, C., Tanis, M., and Vermeulen, I. (2012). The Language of Extraversion: Extraverted People Talk More Abstractly, Introverts Are More Concrete. Journal of Language and Social Psychology