Focus, Focus, Focus

I just hung up from mentoring a new Certified Legal Nurse Consultant regarding a med-surg case. After listening to her ramble aimlessly about the case for three minutes, I politely stopped her and said, “I would really like to help you solve your issue, but would you please describe the issue?” After a few more attempts at rambling and a lot more nudging by me to keep her focused, she finally got to the heart of the matter, and we dealt with it easily and swiftly.

As we were about to wrap up, she confessed that she still found it uncomfortable and often unsuccessful to talk to attorneys about her legal nurse consulting role. I immediately realized the source of her problem. I had just lived it! It was her rambling method of communication.

Those of you who know me, know that I tell it like it is. I firmly but nicely shared that I had a direct insight into her communication challenge just from our brief conversation. Attorneys are crazy busy. They’re working for a living. They’re not like patients who lay around in bed with lots of time to spare waiting for the next visit from their favorite nurse, happy for any company other than a bad reality show.

When you are talking to an attorney, you have to focus, focus and focus some more. You cannot go into an interview or meeting with an attorney being unprepared or misdirected. Once you lose the attorney, you lose the opportunity. There’s no place like an attorney’s office to prove the truth of the old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

The fastest way to lose the attorney is to appear unprepared. Practice your presentation before you give it. Try it on a spouse – if you can keep their attention, you’ll probably be able to keep an attorney’s.

Preparation and focus are the keys to successfully communicating and to feeling comfortable about any communication you are about to engage in.

And remember, if you can say it in five words/minutes, try doing it in three words/minutes instead.

Success Is Inside!

4 thoughts on “Focus, Focus, Focus

  1. Vickie, Very good points about rambling. How do you suggest a person get the most important information across first, in 3 minutes or less?

  2. Dear Margaret,

    You can get your most important information across first and fast by drilling down to the essence of what you want to say. Communicating the essence or bottom line first gets the listener engaged and invites dialogue. If you don’t communicate naturally this way, you can break the old pattern by consciously assessing each and every communication for one week. Before you know it you will have mastered the bottom-line style attorneys expect of you as a legal nurse consultant.

  3. I am a true believer in self-reflection, prayer, nature and peace. But my priorities shift during the holiday season, and not for the better. This is of great concern to me because I should be focused on my relationship with the Lord, not on my relationship with the latest sale at Banana Republic, Christmas parties and way too many sweets.

    Every morning for the past week, when I wake up, three words pop into my head – Focus, Focus, Focus. A week after reading Vickie’s “Focus” post, I finally got it!

    There’s just too much noise this time of year – obnoxious commercials, more phone calls, more house visitors, more parties, more music, more movies, plus the kids are out of school.

    Vickie, thank you for reminding me that I have the power to focus on what I want for my life. I don’t have to just see and hear the obvious. If I focus, I can still find the quiet and connect to what really matters.


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