I went to the doctor the other day. It's a good thing for lawyers to do. Health aside, when we are the advice-seekers instead of the advice-givers, we are the ones in unfamiliar territory, we are the ones not in control, and we are the ones whose lives are in the hands of another. It teaches humility. And, admit it or not, it puts us in the position of looking for a connection from another: a smile, a clear and patient explanation, a word of understanding.
I’m reading a new book from Seth Godin, "The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?" and my doctor's visit reminded me of this passage:
It's easy to treat people as invisible, as long as we get what we want. . . .[but] when we humanize the person at the other end of the counter or the phone or the internet, we grant them something precious — personhood. When we treat the people around us with dignity, we create an entirely different platform for the words we utter and the plans we make. It's impossible to connect with a device or an automation. It's worthwhile to connect with a person, to someone we have granted the dignity that she deserves.
Truly understanding this lesson and mastering its meaning makes us better people and more effective lawyers, whether with clients, colleagues or juries. Take opportunities to learn its value.