Watch your language...

When a relationship or marriage has broken down beyond repair, the idea of sitting down and talking to their ex to work out what's going to happen with their lives, their children, their home and their finances can feel like a step too far for clients. As collaborative lawyers, we know the crucial role effective communication plays in helping clients to reach agreement.

But how good are we at talking?

According to Professor Elizabeth Stokoe, "We all talk, but we don't really know how." Elizabeth is a conversation analyst and Professor of Social Interaction in the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. She works across a variety of workplace and organisational settings including mediation, crisis negotiation, medical communication, police interviews and commercial sales encounters, using conversation analysis to understand how talk works - from first dates and sales encounters to hostage negotiations.

Over to Professor Stokoe...

So today, for day three of Collaborative Family Law Week, it's over to Professor Stokoe for her views on communication. In an interview with The Guardian, she looks at the importance of language and our choice of words: how greetings we may perceive to be meaningless take on meaning when they are absent; the importance of the verbs we choose to use and why umming and ahhing when we speak is 'totally normal'.

Read the full article here.

Elizabeth Stokoe will be hosting the closing session of the tenth annual Northern Lights conference in York this Friday (4th October). There are few tickets still available: find out more and book your place here before bookings close on Thursday. 

Brighter Future