Mar 01, 2019 Persuading by diffusion and mirroring and calmness – Fairfax trial lawyer
Persuading by not getting sucked into the other’s angst and gunk
Persuading is an essential art in criminal defense. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that the courthouse battle can include clients, opposing witnesses, prosecutors and judges who are stressed, angry or even off their rocker (hopefully only as to the first three).
Criminal defense is about persuading the judge and jurors. Prosecutors (and sometimes opposing witnesses, as well) need to be persuaded for negotiation purposes, but once negotiations are unfruitful, the entire matter is about persuading the judge and jury.
Persuading mean not getting sucked into a tit-for-tat sideshow, says Fairfax criminal attorney
As tempting as it might be to fling feces back at the proverbial feces thrower, at my best I instead take comfort that their feces throwing leaves their hands drenched with poop stench, when all I need to do is to dodge the dung. This is essential in persuasion.
Most any tense non-physically violent situation can be diffused. Diffusing tension is a sign of strength and not weakness. One way to diffuse tension is to non-verbally guide the tense other person to reduce the tension by gradual notches, for instance by the other person’s mirroring my own behavior. As an example, if I am standing across a table from a ranting prosecutor, I can calmly sit down and continue the conversation. If the prosecutor sits down also, that very physical transition can help calm the ranting prosecutor down, thereby helping me proceed further with persuading my opponent.
Persuading by clearing the persuader’s mind of ill thoughts of the other and through calmness
As hard as it might be to clear one’s mind of ill thoughts of some particularly challenging people, such clearing is essential to persuading other people, whereby we show genuine confidence in the other’s ability to do the right thing. Also, when we are calm in the face of the other’s stress, we do not escalate the other’s stress, and we enable the other person to calm down without feeling that they are losing face in the process.
None of this is about manipulating others nor being disingenuous. It is about clearing out our own gunk so that we are persuading at our best, which in the process helps the other person clear out their gunk.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz applies mindfulness and martial arts experience in defending clients charged with felony, misdemeanor, DUI and drug offenses. To discuss your case with Jon Katz, please call his staff at 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential consultation.