We have a rule in advocacy, don’t ask a question unless you know what the answer will be.  If you have a witness on the stand and you’re asking them about important events, you will always have some who will disagree with you, but so long as you know what their version of events will be, and how to either show that they are wrong, or that they are lying, no harm will be done.  However, if they suddenly serve up a curve ball out of left field, you have little time to come up with a rebuttal.  It’s every advocate’s worst nightmare.

This isn’t just confined to the law courts and can happen to any of us, anywhere.  When you ask someone how they are, you’re expecting the response “I’m fabulous thank you darling, how are you” not the “Actually I’ve just been told by the Doctors that I’ve only got three weeks to live, but at least it’s stopped raining.”

In business, the same kinds of things can happen.  If you ask your IT company how things are, you don’t expect them to tell you about how their systems were down last week because they were hacked.  You don’t expect your accountant to tell you about how he’s being investigated by HMRC and you certainly don’t want to hear about your solicitor being arrested!   There is no point in pitching for web design work, if your web isn’t working properly or doesn’t comply with the law (and its funny how many websites aren’t legally compliant!).

You could, of course, avoid asking questions of anyone, to avoid hearing anything you can’t deal with.  Alternatively, you can make sure you surround yourself with professionals who don’t get themselves into difficulties!   That’s one of the reasons why I do so much networking.  The fact that I enjoy it, is another!  By getting out and meeting people, not only can I tell everyone about my wonderful legal team, but I can find out about other people’s businesses, and who they know and recommend (or not, as the case may be!) so that when someone I know needs tax advice, they know to come to me.  Not because I know about figures (my version of counting is 1, 2 3 a lot!) but because I know a wonderful man who does!

So you shouldn’t just think of me as that Guinness drinking woman who knows about law.  You should think of me as that party loving girl who knows everyone worth knowing and she’s happy to share their details with you.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Because it’s not just about law.