I updated my mobile phone this week and have spent hours today configuring the settings, to ensure that I can communicate by text, e-mail and SMS as well as phone. Whilst I loathed the time spent, I have consoled myself with the thought that it was an investment for the good of future connectivity. Communication is important and a good marriage is also based on it.
Further, if a marriage fails, communicating effectively with a solicitor is vital. Indeed I often recommend that clients bring “shopping lists” to appointments, to make sure that nothing is overlooked. I recall a colleague signing up for a course on communication skills and when I asked him why, he told me about an initial meeting, once upon a time, with a client which went something like this:
“What’s your problem?” he asked tactfully.
“My husband,” she replied sadly.
"What’s he like?"
“Sport, reading and crosswords.”
“I meant what’s your case?”
“Just a lightweight Antler holdall that qualifies as cabin baggage.”
“Yes, but how are your relations?”
“My parents are good, honest and clean living; my sister in London is well and I have a cousin who’s been to the doctor’s recently.”
“How do you get on?”
“I normally stand on a stool and then a little jump generally does it.”
“Okay, does he beat you up?”
“Every morning, like clockwork.”
"What about at night-time?”
“He’s first into bed too.”
“A BMW and a Ford Fiesta.”
“Does he drive you to the limit?”
“Only into town.”
“Is he playing the game?”
“Tennis, occasionally badminton.”
“Does he pay you attention?”
“No, housekeeping, in cash.”
“So where are the issues?”
“In my handbag, in case I sneeze whilst I’m out.”
“Look do you have any grounds?” he enquired in exasperation
“1/3 acre, landscaped, with an adjoining paddock for the horses,” she replied, indignantly.
“Have you tried counselling?”
“If we cancelled it would incur a penalty.”
“Are you happy?”
“No, I’ m called …..”
It was at this point he raised his white flag, surrendered gracefully and signed up for further training!