Are You Tweeting?/ Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on August 11, 2016

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A number of commentators have pointed out that Mr. Trump keeps missing chances to exploit gaffes by Ms. Clinton because he is so consumed by tweeting on a constant basis. When you are talking all the time, you have no time to listen and to react. George Will recently quoted Winston Churchill describing a political blowhard: “He spoke without a single note, and without a single point.” Mediators often worry about how writing notes during a mediation may cause them to lose an important comment, question, etc. We are not meant to be multi-taskers in important situations. We can talk or we can listen but we can’t do both. As the late speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn explained when asked why he was sparing with words; “I have discovered that I learn more by listening than by talking.” Tweeting too much? Life may be passing you by. If you are mediating, try to concentrate on listening. A failure to do so may well keep you from learning what makes the other party tick. You will learn more by listening than by talking.

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