Law Newsletter Subrogation

Tautology And The Art Of Listening


TautologyWe solely hear half of what we take heed to. Maybe that’s the reason most individuals instinctively use tautology once they write or converse. Tautology is using totally different phrases to say the identical factor or repeating the identical factor twice, typically in the identical sentence, utilizing totally different phrases. Most individuals don’t even know that they’re doing it. Tautology clutters in any other case easy communication. Insurance coverage and subrogation claims professionals talk for a dwelling and will concentrate on probably the most widespread errors made in skilled and interpersonal communication.

Mark Twain made entertaining and sarcastic use of tautology. His most well-known instance is “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” A tautology is often thought-about an undesirable flaw in communication; an pointless waste of time and phrases. Maybe a few of you caught the tautology within the previous sentence. They make you sound wordier than it is advisable be. Usually, a tautology includes just some phrases that imply the identical factor. For instance, “I went to see him personally” accommodates an additional and pointless phrase as a result of the adverb “personally” repeats the thought already expressed within the single phrase “I”. Nevertheless, a tautology sometimes helps so as to add emphasis or readability, or introduce intentional ambiguity. Including the phrase “personally” may be meant to emphasise that the speaker’s motion in going to see him is most uncommon and vital in and of itself. Nevertheless, often it’s greatest to decide on only one strategy to state your which means and get rid of the additional phrases.

Tautology doesn’t diminish readability, however it ought to be prevented in formal writing and talking so that you don’t say the identical factor time and again repetitively. Did you catch that tautology? Phrases corresponding to “a new innovation”, “the evening sunset”, “hot water heater”, or “frozen ice” are good examples. Listening to one thing “with our own ears” is the one potential strategy to hear one thing. Over-exaggerating is redundant. So is a hoagie sandwich, a brief abstract, dilapidated ruins, predictions concerning the future, shut proximity, 2:00 p.m. within the afternoon, and a “necessary requirement.”

Tautology is pervasive in our tradition, and even skilled audio system, politicians, and writers permit tautology to slide into their work. President George W. Bush famously stated, “Our nation must come together to unite.” The Beatles lyrics have been, “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. There’s nothing you can sing that can’t be sung”, and it was Kiss who sang, “Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud!” Motivational audio system typically create pointless, however nice-sounding tautologies, repeating inspirational strains that haven’t any defendable foundation actually. Symmetrical limericks similar to, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog” illustrate my level. Little canine may make lots of noise, however they gained’t fare nicely in a battle with a a lot bigger canine no matter how symmetrical the sentence might sound. “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know”, is a nice-sounding tautology, however regardless of its pithy-sounding knowledge, the reality is that it’s not what you already know and it’s not who you recognize—it’s who is aware of you.

Tautology infects science and know-how as nicely. Contemplate some phrases: DVD disc, GPS system, HIV virus, ISBN quantity, PIN quantity, please R.S.V.P., and V.I.N. quantity. Advertisers additionally repeat themselves. Take pleasure in your “added bonus”, “prepay in advance”, and “giving away free tickets” are examples. We unnecessarily add phrases once they aren’t wanted. Did you catch that tautology? They’re so pervasive that they typically slide by with out discover. Twice is as soon as an excessive amount of.

The unfettered use of tautology in speech and writing is probably associated to the basis trigger for filler phrases like “Um.” We’ve been conditioned to reply questions instantly from an early age. Maybe it’s because we felt we would have liked to answer our mother and father shortly, both out of respect or fearing reprisal. The result’s that we abhor a vacuum and fill in verbal blanks whereas talking with “um” whereas we try to think about the subsequent factor to say. This verbal considering isn’t very flattering to the listener. I inform younger legal professionals that good advocacy makes efficient use of the much-underrated pause. How to not use a phrase is as necessary as selecting the best phrase to make use of. Abraham Lincoln famously informed his cupboard concerning the preacher who stated, “I could write shorter sermons, but once I start I get too lazy to stop.”

There are occasions when using tautology is useful to emphasise some extent or so as to add poetic aptitude to the written or spoken phrase. Most incessantly, nevertheless, a tautology doesn’t add new info to a press release and merely burdens the listener. As a result of we hear solely half of what we take heed to, for those who double the phrases wanted to speak successfully, it solely appears pure that the listener will tune out half the phrases she or he hears.

American enterprise is studying that it’s tied collectively by its methods of communication. We’re discovering that this communication relies upon extra on the spoken phrase than it does on the written phrase; and the effectiveness of the spoken phrase hinges not a lot on how individuals speak as on how they pay attention. Our ears perform simply positive; it’s our mind that hasn’t mastered the required aural expertise wanted to permit these ears for use successfully. Catch that tautology?

A College of Minnesota research concluded that instantly after the typical individual has listened to somebody speak, she or he remembers solely half of what has been stated—regardless of how rigorously she or he listened. Inside eight hours we now have forgotten half of what we remembered. Basic schooling teaches studying, however locations little emphasis on talking, and none on listening. Our academics yell, “Open your ears” or “Pay attention”, however that may be a poor substitute for educating college students to pay attention. We assume that vibrant college students pay attention and people who don’t are unintelligent. To be good listeners we should apply sure expertise acquired solely by means of both expertise or coaching.

Educators are starting to understand that listening is a talent that may be taught. In Nashville, faculties have began coaching in listening from elementary grades by means of highschool. On the College of Minnesota, they provide a course in listening to a big phase of the freshman class. I’d wager that widespread lack of ability to pay attention can also be on the root of a lot of the political incivility that has contaminated our nation. Most of us don’t pay attention properly. Or, if we handle to pay attention, we are sometimes simply ready till the opposite individual finishes so we will say what’s on OUR thoughts. And that’s not likely listening. If all of us took the time to study the artwork of listening, we might keep away from tautology and say half as a lot as we really feel the necessity to. Meaning we’d all be accomplished with every part twice as quick.

An entomologist was strolling down a busy metropolis road with a pal. Within the midst of the honking horns and screeching tires, he exclaimed to his pal, “Listen to that cricket!” The pal appeared on the entomologist in astonishment and stated, “You hear a cricket in the middle of all this noise and confusion?” And not using a phrase, the entomologist reached into his pocket, took out a coin, and flipped it into the air. Because it clinked on the sidewalk, a dozen heads turned in response. The entomologist stated quietly to his good friend, “We hear what we listen for.”

Subrogation claims professionals take statements, interview insureds, examine losses, take heed to accident narratives, and convey essential info from the surface world right into a subrogation declare file. Day after day, we miss necessary info as a result of we don’t pay attention, and we misunderstand and misread messages and narratives due to our preconceptions, biases, and concepts about how issues occur. Minor miscues in communication can have main monetary repercussions in a single subrogation declare file. Some of the necessary instruments of any lawyer throughout cross-examination is the power to easily sit quietly and take a look at the witness—who immediately will really feel the strain to proceed speaking and disclose extra info.

There are easy issues you possibly can work on to assist in creating a eager expertise for listening. Keep away from pre-judging a speaker or a state of affairs too early. Resist the temptation to monopolize a dialog. All of us like to listen to ourselves speak. Take pleasure in listening as an alternative. Don’t feign consideration or curiosity. Even when the topic isn’t immediately of curiosity, stay alert and keep eye contact. Occasional feedback injected right into a dialog—comparable to “Really?” or “That’s interesting” will reassure and encourage the speaker. Pay attention for concepts and details. When a witness or an insured is relaying an inventory of things, many people start absorbing and digesting the primary level, making an attempt to memorize it, all whereas level quantity two is being defined. The third level is missed altogether and could also be crucial level of all. As an alternative of turning into mired within the fragments, attempt to perceive the larger image—what the information add as much as by relating them to one another and seeing what key concepts bind them collectively. One other tautology there.

The spoken phrase is just not the one technique of communication. Be on the alert for non-verbal cues and physique language. Comprehend not solely what’s being stated, however how it’s being stated. There could also be an enormous distinction between the auditory cues and the behavioral cues emitted by the speaker. The verbal message might mirror sincerity and pleasure about an concept, whereas gestures, posture, facial expressions, and tone of voice might convey one thing fairly totally different. Ask highly effective questions designed to extend viewers interplay. Nobody is on the lookout for a know-it-all in love with their very own concepts and merchandise. Don’t promote your self; promote a relationship. It lasts longer and has much more to supply.

Enterprise as typical isn’t enterprise as typical within the service industries anymore and neither are its tautologies. Listening, not speaking is the gifted and imaginative position we must be embracing. Listening is the important thing to managing the temper in an organization. It’s also an lively interpretation that shapes our realities, and it’s the reply to enhancing worker productiveness and growing enterprise with clients. In a world more and more “flat” because of know-how, clients and shoppers are more and more well-informed. It’s the connection that makes the distinction.

Don’t be involved about remaining silent throughout conferences and dialog. Your silence gained’t be perceived as weak spot. Be the one behind the room who doesn’t shout out the reply when the query is requested. It’s troublesome, as a result of we would like others to know we’re sensible. Whilst you’re studying the artwork of listening, make use of a way that will get you to focus, to be quiet, and to pay attention successfully. For followers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, think about a comparability. Silence can promote the idea that somebody in a deprived state of affairs can defend towards somebody in a a lot stronger place through the use of correct method. Allow them to speak and, no matter you do, don’t interrupt. Until they ask you a query, there isn’t a purpose so that you can converse. Put your self within the footwear of the speaker as in case you have been dwelling by way of the experiences being divulged to you. That’s the easiest way to recall every part that was stated.

In time, you’ll understand that you’ve developed a brand new talent. You’ll hear not solely the phrases, but in addition the feel, the emotion, and the story which is unfolded behind the phrases. It’s a talent that may be practiced—with nice profit—at house. Attempt for the second in which you’ll be able to join “behind the words” and “between the lines.” Go into conferences with present and potential shoppers with no preconceptions concerning the issues or the options you’ll be able to supply them. Making a shopper really feel “heard” may be troublesome, notably as a result of the pure tendency of most “trained” professionals is to promote themselves, their merchandise, and their insurance policies. My character is that of a hammer; and to a hammer, every thing seems like a nail. It took me a very long time to hold up the hammer and easily pay attention rigorously to the small print of what was being expressed by shoppers and opposing counsel. Years in the past, I might begin pounding the nail earlier than the top of the primary sentence. It was not often the right answer.

The benefit goes to not the enterprise who provides decrease costs, however to the one which actually listens to clients and shoppers, understanding and taking their considerations critically. The true listener is rather more believed and magnetic than the talker. The listener is simpler, extra disciplined, learns extra, and does greater than the talker. Keep in mind, there’s a huge distinction between listening and easily ready in your flip to talk.

In the event you ought to have any questions relating to this text or subrogation generally, please contact Gary Wickert at