In today’s post, rainmaking expert and trainer, Jaimie Field talks about something that I suspect we’re all guilty of (I know I am!). And before we start to make excuses, let’s remember that the thing she’s talking about is actually interfering with our ability to form and nurture relationships…which in a business context, interferes with our ability to develop business!

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A few weeks ago, I was meeting with a few members of an executive committee of a law firm about doing Rainmaking Training for their partners and associates.  During the meeting, two of the lawyers were busy looking at their phones.  Whether they were reading emails, on social media or surfing the internet, I am not sure, but the one thing I did know is that I felt slighted.

They were more interested in what was going on in their hands than what I had to say.

In fact, I had to repeat something I said a few times since they were not listening to me the first time.

I have been to networking events where I have seen groups of people standing around just looking at their phones and not actually meeting one another.

I have been to restaurants where I’ve seen entire families on smart phones, tablets and video consoles and not talking to one another.

We have become a society of people who have lost the art of connecting with others because of the devices in our hands.  And while we think we are more connected than ever – we have a ton of followers on Twitter, we are LinkedIn with hundreds of people, we have more “Friends” on Facebook then we actually know in person – these connections are mostly superficial.

People do business with people they know, like and trust.  You heard this before.  You’ve read numerous blogs of mine and from others who have said or written this.

The only way to do this is to create relationships with people and this requires that you have actual conversations.

Conversations in which you carefully listen to what the other person has to say so that you can actually interact with them by asking intelligent questions thereafter.

So use the phone to connect with someone to make a lunch date, but then when you get there….

Put the phone away and create a relationship.

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the goals of a global professional services network. She manages all major aspects of the Network, including recruitment, member retention, and providing exceptional client service to an international membership base.

In her role as Executive Director, Griffiths manages a mix of international programs, engages a diverse global community, and develops an international membership base. She leads the development and successful implementation of major organizational initiatives, manages interpersonal relationships, and possesses executive presence with audiences of internal and external stakeholders. Griffiths excels at project management, organization, and planning, writes and speaks with influence and authority, and works independently while demonstrating flexibility in thinking, especially in challenging situations. She also adapts to diverse and dynamic environments with constant assessment and recalibration.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

In 2021, the ILN was honored as Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer European Awards, and in 2016 and 2017, they were shortlisted as Global Law Firm Network of the Year. Since 2011, the Network has been listed as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network, recently increasing this ranking to be included in the top two percent of law firm networks globally, as well as adding two regional rankings. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry and was included in Clio’s list of “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful, and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.