With our natural propensity as lawyers to jump to the negative, an excerpt from a new book entitled Impromptu: Leading in the Moment by Judith Humphrey may offer a good balancer.

In “These 5 Speaking Habits Make People Want to Collaborate With You,” published in FastCompany, Humphrey – founder of The Humphrey Group, a Toronto communications firm – points out that while our manner of speaking is just one of several ways in which we signal to others that we genuinely want to work with them, it is one of the most important indicators of our commitment to collaboration.

The way you communicate can make a huge difference in how effective a team player you are – and even whether or not others want to work with you in the first place. – Judith Humphrey

Humphrey’s suggestions range from ones that may surprise you (“Limit First-Person Pronouns”) – at least until you read her justification for including it – to ones that seem obvious but tend to be neglected by most of us (e.g., “Nix the Negatives”).

Think about how these techniques might serve you within your practice – both within your firm and with your clients.

I welcome your thoughts on this or any other matter related to the law, either in the comments section below or directly via email.