ERIC Number: ED250723
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Reading the Client: Nonverbal Communication as an Interviewing Tool.
Willett, Tom H.
The importance of effective communication skills between lawyers and clients is equalled only by the imperative need for sustained instruction in the development of communicative skills for the lawyer. Especially important are the nonverbal communication skills in "reading the client." The subtleties of intonation, posture, gesture, and eye contact all provide the confirmation of understanding and intensity of feeling expressed by the client. Also critical is the power of expression or encoding of behaviors. The expression of care, concern, or attention is vital to building a bond of trust and confidence. Nonverbal behaviors are also used to regulate or direct the flow of interaction. This regulation can take the form of encouraging, channeling, or terminating the relationship. Unfortunately, while courses in the substance of law abound, it is an unusual law school that includes more than trial practice, trial preparation, or settlement and negotiation. As a result, many lawyers interview poorly. The training of lawyers in such interpersonal skills as nonverbal communication, nevertheless, can be approached on at least three levels: (1) law schools and undergraduate schools, (2) workshops and seminars, and (3) continued publication in legal and other journals of research on pragmatic uses of nonverbal communication. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (70th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1984).