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Released on Sep 27, 2023
Tuesday Morning Message 9.26.23 The Power of Listening.

Last week, I noted that when I welcomed our first year class of law students, I shared “The 10 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started Law School.” Here’s another “thing I wish I had known.”

When I started law school, I wish I had known the power of listening.

We need leaders who recognize the value of asking rather than telling, of listening rather than jumping to conclusions. As Steven Covey notes in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

At a time when political polarization has reached new heights and political discourse has reached new lows, it’s never been more important to have the courage and skill to listen, learn, and understand before you speak, advocate, and lead. We want you to understand not only your client’s position but also the complex motivations and positions of all parties.

Question assumptions. Doubt what you know, be curious about what you don’t know, and be open to changing your mind. As Adam Grant notes in Think Again, “If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.”

Too often, we anchor our opinions and huddle in our own ideological echo chambers. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion means that we must protect the expression of all views, even those we disagree with.

So I encourage you to stop seeing what you want to see and hearing what you want to hear because everything you perceive has a way of confirming whatever you believe.

Have a great day and a great week.

The views and opinions expressed in my Monday Morning Message are solely my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the law school or the university.

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

Subscribe to Monday Morning Message and CSU|LAW Newsletter

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My best,

Lee

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