I get to meet with all sorts of people about all sorts of things. I am sure you do too. I love to talk to marketing people, counselors, pastors, lawyers, accountants, doctors- you name it. A part of my business growth plan is to make personal connections with folks like me that are in the business of helping people in family crisis. Lately, I have been meeting with a lot of people about adoption. To me, it makes no sense why it should cost $35,000 to adopt a starving or impoverished child in another country. It also makes no sense to me why it should be so difficult and similarly expensive to make connections in our own country between children that need to be loved and a family that has lots of love to give. We want to do something about it. R+A needs to be in the happiness business in equal parts with the sadness business: One child- one family- one connection. After all, piecing blended families together is our specialty. If we can take them apart, we can certainly put them back together again; but more to come on this later.
One of the things that I have accepted as a soon-to-be-forty-dude is that I don’t know everything. I don’t want to know everything. Know-it-alls can suck the life out of you. Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of people in the world that know a lot, but NOBODY knows it all. If they tell you they do, they are deceiving themselves, but probably not anyone else. I know a lot about divorce in Mississippi, but I don’t know jack about bankruptcy or worker’s compensation or real estate. So if I need to know something, I ask and then I ask it again.
Maybe you are married to one of these know-it-alls. I hope not. I am personally trying to get to a place in life where I am more transparent- where I have the freedom to “just be me” and to say “I don’t know” when I don’t. Just being me requires me to accept advice and counsel from the many, many people that know more than me. That is why I try to surround myself with people with varying personalities and skill sets- starting with my best friend and wife, Rachel.
When I am in a meeting in which I am seeking information, when we are starting to wrap things up I like to ask “What am I not asking that I should be asking?” In other words, I don’t know enough to know all the questions that I should be asking so tell me what to say. Sometimes I get a blank stare, but sometimes it opens up an entirely new subject in the conversation and I learn more than if I had not asked the question. The ability to shut our mouths and listen is a skill that many of us lawyers lack. I am working on it, although MANY will tell you that I have a long way to go.
When you are meeting with your family law attorney or anyone from whom you are trying to gain information, ask the question and see where it takes you. Many times when I ask it, the more knowledgeable person will tell me that we covered it. I just say “Great, that’s what I wanted to know.”
By: Craig Robertson