“Just Put It In A Bowl” – A Lesson in Listening To Your Client

October 30, 2019  | 
By: Chad Layton, Esq.

A bowl of granola

I stopped by a bakery on the way to work this morning as I often do.  I ordered the granola, yogurt and fruit bowl.  This is my order at least twice a week.  It is always good.  Freshly made warm granola on top of yogurt and sliced fruit in a bowl.

The cashier directed me this morning to take one of the to-go prepackaged granola orders from the take out cooler and I can put it into a bowl to eat it at the restaurant.  I responded that I like the warm granola and standard meal that comes in the bowl when I order for here.  She quickly brushed me off and told me that the granola in the take out cooler had not been in there long and it would be just as good.

I relented to her denial to put in a new order for me and I walked over to the take out cooler to pick out a cold plastic cup of granola.  I waited for her to give me an empty bowl and I made my own bowl of granola, yogurt and fruit.  The granola was cold.  The portion was smaller.  The experience was bad.

It’s not the end of the world.  I’ll go back to the bakery next week.  The food is always good there and so is the customer service.  Today, something was just off.

The problem I ran into at the bakery reminded me of how important it is to listen to your customer or client.  The most common complaint to the Florida Bar about lawyers is the failure to communicate with the client.  I believe this complaint is really clients saying their lawyers are not listening to them and I think the clients are right.

Divorce can be a scary process for almost anyone that goes through it.  When you hire a lawyer for your divorce, you need this person to understand the required steps, explain it to you and guide you through it in a way that is professional and ethical.  Even more so, the lawyer must listen to the you and work to accomplish your specific goals in divorce.  The goals and issues in each divorce will undoubtedly be different.

If the client asks for the granola, yogurt and fruit in a bowl, just put it in the bowl.  Don’t tell him to grab it from the take out cooler and mix it together.  That is not what they hired you for.

Your divorce counsel should listen and understand what your goals are for a successful divorce.  Then he or she should go about the professional task of achieving those goals with you.

The law firm you choose in divorce should match your goals for divorce.

[i] Chadwick M. Layton is the shareholder and divorce attorney at Mindful Divorce, P.A. located in downtown Lake Worth Beach.  Mr. Layton is a member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section and the Susan B. Greenberg Family Law Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches.  T: 561.537.8227  Web: mindfuldivorcepa.com  E-Mail: Chad@mindfuldivorcepa.com