If you’ve experienced the power of Designed Alliance in voir dire, wait ‘till you try it in your everyday life.
That’s right, my friend. Once you learn the incredible skill of “design,” don’t save it for jury selection!
Use that shit everywhere and anywhere you want buy-in and/or a win-win outcome.
I’m talking with friends, clients, colleagues, children, spouses, siblings, etc.
Even while planning a trip to Disneyland… which I’ll discuss more in today’s episode of the FHTH podcast.
Tune in for all the details!
(And if you don’t have a fucking clue what I’m talking about, I’ll explain it in the episode, don’t worry.)
EPISODE 218 TRANSCRIPTION
Well, welcome everybody to today's episode. Instead of reading a review, I'm going to read part of an email that I got in response to my email back in the early part of May about Star Wars. I don't know if you're getting my emails, but I send these love notes to you every Thursday. If you're not getting that, go to sariswears.com, scroll down to the bottom of the homepage, and you can sign up for those emails.
But someone responded, and they said, "I like Star Wars, except it can be a little trite, like the bad guys always have bad guy syndrome, and they never hit anything that they're trying to shoot and they always wear capes. Have you watched the Mandalorian?" Yes, I've watched the Mandalorian. Love it. I mean, who cannot love Pedro Pascal? Oh my God.
She says, "I have been thinking about how plaintiff attorneys are like Mandalorians. We take on the bad guy. Even one Mandalorian is a total badass who can win against a stronger force. But if they gang up on someone or something, they are unstoppable. And I love how they say this is the way, whenever they do something really Mandaloriany. Like the episode where Boba Fett and the Mandalorian guy, I can't remember his actual name..." They said his name this last series. What's it? I can't remember what it is. Kevin's not helping me out on this.
"We're outgunned and trapped and they just decided to fight to the death even though they had little chance of survival. Predictably, the Mandalorian turns to the other guy and says, 'This is the way.' That's what it felt like when I took my recent case to trial and I knew we wouldn't win, but we were doing it anyway to make a point. I wish I had thought to turn to my partner and say, 'This is the way.' He wouldn't have known what I was talking about, but it would've been funny anyway." So just giving that all to you because I think that that is a perfect description of y'all. We're the Mandalorians, right? And that's what we're doing here.
All right, today we're talking about how to design an alliance with anyone. So if you've been following me, or you have the book, you know that we design with the jury in voir dire, if you have voir dire, and that design is very important to the entire process. So let me step back and talk about what a design is and where this comes from. So this comes from my Co-Active training, I want to give them credit where credit is due. And Co-Active Coaching is what I'm talking about, my coaches certification training.
Anytime we take a new client, we design with the client how they want the relationship to work. So that works for several reasons. One is it gets investment between you and the client. Because it's not just top down. It also gets some clarity because oftentimes when people come to a coaching relationship, they think it's one thing. I come here and you tell me what to do, and I go and I do the homework and I get in trouble if I don't, which is not what coaching is. So it's good to hear that. And then design what they actually want in terms of accountability and all the other things. And it gives power to the relationship equally. The coaching relationship is an equal relationship. It is not top down. The two of us, me and the client, come together and we create this third thing, which is the relationship between us. And that relationship powers everything. I don't power the client, the client doesn't empower me. The relationship empowers the client.
Now, when I was going through that training, I thought why are we not doing this with jurors? So with juries, what I ended up creating, is a design that says, listen, I think most of you believe jury selection goes like this, or our updated version, thanks to a very good H2H crew member who shared this, is to ask the jury, "How do you think this process goes? What do you think we're trying to do?" And most of the jury will say, "You're going to ask me questions. I have to answer, and based on my answers, you're going to decide who is best for your case."
And so we say, "I don't want to do it that way. What I'd like to do is have a conversation about the principles in the case. And then at the end of that conversation, you tell me whether you'd like to be a juror on this case or not." Now that's a very powerful thing indeed because, as I said before, it gets investment. Jurors are like everybody else, thinking about what's in it for me? And so when you say, "Hey, we're going to have this conversation, and at the end of it I'm going to ask if you want to be here, the jurors' ears immediately perk up." Like, what? I could potentially get out of this. So we've dangled that carrot.
It also gets investment because now they are partaking in a process that they have some investment in i.e., they may be able to go home. Now when we do voir dire very well, most of them don't want to go home, but they don't know that yet. So we're making this design. But it also avoids certain issues, just like I said in the coaching relationship where we get some clarity. We can design with jurors around two very important things. You can design it on anything. But in my design, there's two very important things that I have to design with a jury.
The first one is that in this conversation around the principles in the case, we won't get to talk about evidence or facts because we're not in trial yet, on an actual trial yet. Now I do that ahead of time so that my jury, when we get into the conversation, doesn't do things like, "Well, what actually happened here?" Or, "Was the driver turning left?" Or whatever things they want to know. And I have to say, "I can't tell you that." And then they feel stupid for even asking.
I designed it ahead of time so they know that there are certain things that I'm not going to be able to talk about. And the second thing I design, which is very important, is that if at the end of the conversation they tell me they don't want to be here, I don't have full control. I'll do what I can. I'll use the peremptories I can, I won't use that word with jurors, but I can't completely control that situation. So the design is really important because it gets that investment and that buy-in. And that's how we have a great conversation with our jury.
But today I want to talk about how you can design with anyone. And we're talking spouses, friends, clients, children. Because this particular skill is so versatile and it's so needed that I wanted to share it with you and have you be using it, not just in trial but in your everyday life. Let me give you an example. My husband and my daughter came with me on a recent work trip. And I was there and I was very invested in what I was doing, and having to do a bunch of breakouts, and I was the keynoter and the whole thing.
And my husband and I got into a huge argument several times about things related to childcare. He would ask me certain questions about where is this and did we pack that? And I was in work mode. And so we came back and what we realized is why we were getting in all of these interactions during the work trip is that we had never designed ahead of time. We'd not designed and said, "Okay, who's going to take care of this? What is my role? What is your role?" And we just kind of bonked ourselves on the head went, we're coaches. We know better than this. We should have designed ahead of time.
Now we are going to Disneyland. Okay, I got to gird my loins. No, that's not the right phrase, but you know what I mean. That's not a vacation, that's for my kid. And so we're going to Disneyland on Monday. And my kid recently has entered a phase, she's turning eight this Saturday, where she's just super sensitive. You hug her when she's hot and she freaks out, and she's like, "Oh my god, now I'm way more hot." And just Kevin and I look at each other, and we're like, okay, Disneyland, how are we going to get through this?
And so we decided we're going to design as a family. And it was incredible. So the first thing that we did is we said, what are we wanting to do? Why are we going to Disneyland in the first place? And I think most people never even ask this question when they enter into a relationship with anyone or do something in that relationship. So why are we doing this trip? Or why are we doing this home remodel? Or whatever it may be. But it's why are we doing this?
And we asked ourselves that question. And what we came up with is to have time together as a family and to make memories. And then we asked, all right, so in order to do that, how do we have to be? Now notice how I didn't go to do. Now Co-Active coaching is co-active. It means we combine how we're being with also what we're doing. Too much being, we never get anything done. Too much doing, and then we're doing things that are not connected to a bigger purpose. So it's always a balance between being and doing. But when you start with being, that informs the doing. Most of us want to go to the how right away. And it's never attached to a bigger being or a bigger why. So notice we started with the why, and then we went to how do we want to be? And so we said we wanted to be loving, we wanted to be patient, and we wanted to be playful. Those were the things that we said we would want to be that could help us make memories and have a great time.
Then we decided, okay, here's what we're going to do. And so we listed all of the things that could potentially go wrong, like the flight's delayed, we get separated on terms of the seats, the restaurant we wanted to go to is closed, the ride we wanted to ride is closed. We bought a toy already, but then we see another toy we want. I mean we just listed every possible thing that could go wrong. And then we designed as a family to say, here's how we're going to handle that. And that is what we are carrying into our trip next week. And I can tell you right now, all three of us feel so much better.
And I think about Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And he talks in there about the negotiation, the way that it can go, the four different ways. And so I think there's five actually, but just the four that are on top of my head. There's lose-lose where you come into a relationship or negotiation and neither of you get what you want. There's win-lose. One of you wins and the other one's the loser. There's compromise, which is neither one of us gets what we want, but we came to this middle ground. That's what I think most negotiations are. And then that's win-win. And that's really where designing plays.
In win-win, we start with what is it that we all want? How do we have to be? And then what do we have to do? So those are the three steps. So let's go over them in a little bit more detail. So the first one is start with the big picture. When you're designing with someone about anything, so let's take your clients for example, and they come to you, and you've decided to take their case. The first thing you must do before anything else happens is design how the process is going to go.
So you're going to start with what is the end result that we are attempting? Now if the client says to win $1 billion, that's really enlightening, isn't it? Because you can say, "That's not going to happen. We're not going to be able to ask for that for these many reasons." But you can design with the big picture in mind. Most of the time what the client is going to say is to feel heard, to hold them accountable, all of those things. And then you can say, "Okay, now in that process we're going to need to do XYZ."
But before you get to that part, you're going to go to step number two, which is how do we need to be in this process? Now you're going to have to share with them some of the things that are going to happen, depositions, and maybe IMEs and witness prep, and what trial's like, and all of the things. And you say, "This is what we're going to be doing over this process. This is how it works. How do we need to be in that process? How are you going to need to be knowing that I cannot answer a phone call every single day from you? What can we design around communication? What can we design around your availability for witness prep? What can we design?"
You're designing all of this with your client. Oftentimes we will just tell the client, and then we'll come and we'll complain about our client never listens to us. You haven't designed. There's no investment. They're not invested in the process. They don't have any part in it. It's a top-down relationship. When you are with your client, you design how this is going to go. That doesn't mean that you may not redesign during the process saying, "Okay, this isn't working for me." Or the client says, "This isn't working for me," and you have a redesign. But that second piece is once you outline what the process is, you say, "How do we want to be in this process?" And those are being words. We want to be calm, we want to be respectful, we want to be hopeful. Whatever it may be, start with your client.
How do you want to be during this process? And if they say, "Well, I want to be calm. I don't want to be stressed out." Because going to trial is very stressful on clients, as you know. Then you can go to step number three, which is, okay, so what do we need to do so that you remain calm? And so the client might say, "Well, I'm only going to open emails from you once a week." Or, "Let's schedule a phone call, and I'm going to go on and live my life, and we'll check in every Monday at 10:00." Or whatever maybe. I'm just throwing out ideas.
But the point here is that you want to go with why, how, what. That's a design. Why are we doing the thing that we're doing? What's the big why? What's the ultimate goal? How do we want to be? What will we do? So why, how, what? I thought I would give you this tip on designing this first July podcast because many of you are going into family vacations. Try it. Try it with your kids, try it with your spouse. We're going to be in the parks for three days. There's three of us. We decided one person is in charge of one park a day.
That means they get to decide what time we get there, they get to decide what time we leave. They get to decide what rides we ride. They get to decide what food we eat. And we just designed it down to the bare tax. I'm not sure that's the right word. But that's the point is that we all have a plan going in. Now we may need to redesign, we're going to be open to that. But we're not going to wait until a problem happens, and then freak out and ruin our vacation. I hope this helps. Talk soon.
Have you ever wished that you knew what the jury was thinking? Well, grab a pen and paper because I'm about to give you instant access to a free training I created for plaintiff trial attorneys called 3 Powerful Strategies to Help You Read a Juror's Mind. It's going to help you to understand what the jury is thinking so you'll feel confident to trust them and yourself in the courtroom. Ready for the address, go to sariswears.com/jury. Enjoy.
3 pOWERFUL STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU READ A JUROR'S MIND
Let the Jury Solve Your Problems in 3 Easy Steps
Join me for a free training to understand what the jury is thinking so you have the confidence to trust them - and yourself - in the courtroom.
Use the H2H Funnel Method so that jurors tell YOU the principles of the case instead of you telling THEM.
Subscribe to the Podcast
Tune in weekly as Sari shares tips that will help you up your game at trial, connect with jurors, and build confidence in your abilities so that you’ll never worry about winning again.
Sign up for trial tips, mindset shifts, and whatever else is on Sari’s brilliant fucking mind.