Martin Lopez: The Power of Genuine Curiosity

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Martin Lopez discuss:

  • The three tenets of curiosity.
  • Being interested in the other person.
  • Peeling the onion to understand the other person’s problem.
  • Tips to foster deeper connections between lawyers and clients to improve relationships.

Key Takeaways:

  • You’re not building trust when you’re talking at someone. You need to connect with them to build rapport and trust.
  • Nobody asks for a pitch unless they explicitly ask for it, then it’s answering a question.
  • It is not about answering questions, it’s about asking questions. Once you start answering questions you’ve lost control of the meeting if the foundation is not yet built.
  • Take yourself out of the picture so you can better understand and assist your clients with their problems.
  • Tension, frustration, and anxiety arise when needs are not being met.

“There’s three tenets or three foundations of curiosity: trust, safety, and respect. The more trust they have in you, the more safe they feel, and the more respect that you have between each other, the more they’re going to open up and start sharing.” —  Martin Lopez

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Episode References: 

About Martin Lopez: Martin Lopez is a Speaker, Author, Trainer, and Master Coach in the personal development industry. His book The Curiosity Theory is a powerful methodology that radically changes the way we look at life, the way we look at ourselves, and the way we look at each other. Martin’s gift is strengthening professional and personal relationships by applying curiosity thus improving communication and collaboration at a fundamental level. The result… individuals, teams, and organizations work together more openly and efficiently. During his 35+ years in business, Martin has seen opportunities lost due to misaligned energy, conflict, and self-sabotaging communications. Almost every time, the issues were fixable:

• Simple misunderstandings

• Personal disagreements

• Fear-driven distrust

The Curiosity Theory is the culmination of his search for answers on how to transform the tension and destruction he found in conflict into connection, creativity, and results.

Martin is a graduate of the University of Santa Monica’s Spiritual Psychology program and holds multiple certifications in Coaching, Communication, and Mental Performance.

He lives at the beach in San Diego with his fiancé Ingrid and his two boys Jordan & Diego.

In addition, he is a Real Estate Professional with over 35 Years of Experience, Former Founder and Vice-President of Equity National Funding, Former Record Producer & Jazz Musician (Piano & Saxophonist). He also leads men’s groups and teaches a course called “BREAKTHROUGH” dedicated to helping people powerfully communicate with clarity, love, and kindness.

Connect with Martin Lopez:  

Website: https://www.thecuriositytheory.com/

Cell Phone: 619-838-1553

The Curiosity Theory Book: https://www.thecuriositytheory.com/thecuriositytheorybook

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrmartinlopez/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100025535526690

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecuriositytheory/

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, before we get to the show, wanted to share another amazing event we have coming up called Bootstrap Your Marketing to Build Your Personal Brand with me and my friend Ashley Robinson. We’re going to be talking about cost effective ways to grow your personal brand. It’s on March 22nd. You can sign up by going to Fretzin.
[00:00:15] Steve Fretzin: com slash events. See you there and enjoy the show.
[00:00:23] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.
[00:00:45] Steve Fretzin: Well, hey everybody, welcome back to another amazing episode of Be That Lawyer. I’m Steve Fretzin, your host and, uh Happy that you’re with us twice a week, catching up on all the things to make you an amazing lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. The credo is to be that lawyer.
[00:01:01] Steve Fretzin: And, uh, Martine, what do you think about that? Be that lawyer.
[00:01:04] Martin Lopez: I love that. I, you know, being is like, is that’s what it’s all about. Cause some people are, what do they call it? You got that imposter syndrome. So they’re You know, they’re, they’re being something that, uh, they have an idea of, but not being themselves.
[00:01:16] Martin Lopez: Right. Yeah. Well, I want to be
[00:01:18] Steve Fretzin: that father. I want to be that husband and I want to be that coach to lawyers. So those are my Bs. Oh, I love it. Cool. Okay. All right. Yeah. All right. And that concludes our show today, everybody. Thank you for stopping in. Thanks for coming. Okay. No, we’re, we’re off the mic. Yeah, Martina and I are just having a little silly fun at the beginning, but you guys know the show.
[00:01:39] Steve Fretzin: It’s all about helping you to be that lawyer. So we’ll, we’ll continue on the, um, the quote of the show is, is one of my favorite parts of the show. And, and, uh, I want to just share yours. And it, it really just goes right into what this episode’s all about. It’s, um, was it Viktor Frankl? It’s between stimulus and response.
[00:01:56] Steve Fretzin: There is space in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies, our growth and our freedom. Now, why does that work with me and my teenager?
[00:02:07] Martin Lopez: It does. You just, you just get stuck in that, uh, what I call it, the, the trigger react regret mode, you know, man triggered in your, the, you actually have that opportunity, but it’s automatic, you know, and that’s what mostly happens.
[00:02:20] Martin Lopez: That’s kind of what I talk about. Yeah. Is how do you like, what is that moment? Where, where is that moment? Viktor Frankl talks about that moment, but he doesn’t tell you how to get through that moment. He never distinguished it. Like what actually happens in the trigger, in that mode, you know, in this stimulus, like what’s being stimulated, that’s the thing.
[00:02:38] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Well, my father’s stimulation was me and the result was a red tush because he got the belt out and did it old fashioned. And today, you know, you got to really parent differently, right? You have to use your words and you have to try to use some psychology and work your way around. And that isn’t just for teenagers, right?
[00:02:54] Steve Fretzin: That’s for lawyers and clients and everybody we interact with.
[00:02:57] Martin Lopez: Absolutely. What, you know, the evolution of consciousness is. Is it kind of the, the concepts ahead of actually the practice? Like I know that I should be kinder to my kids. I should be less punitive with my children. You know, I should be better with my employees, with other attorneys.
[00:03:16] Martin Lopez: I should be less threatening. Maybe how can, how can we work together? But what’s natural for us is to attack. What’s natural for us is to defend. That’s just, we’re built that way. Yeah. So as well, it’s a fight or flight, right? Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. So as we evolve, how do we, how do we evolve and then communicate more effectively at that next level?
[00:03:36] Martin Lopez: And how do we experience ourselves at that next level?
[00:03:39] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, that’s really cool. Really cool. Um, Martine Lopez, you’re the founder of curiosity theory, the curiosity theory, and you have such an interesting background. And I wanted to just give you a few minutes to kind of share that with everybody. And then we’ll, we’ll dive into.
[00:03:53] Steve Fretzin: You know, I don’t think full, full psychological mumbo jumbo. I think we’re going to keep it really level and, and, and, uh, and, and interesting for everybody. Not that, that, you know, mumbo jumbo isn’t exciting and interesting, but, um, give us, give us your, give us your background.
[00:04:07] Martin Lopez: Well, real quick, I’ll tell you, like, it’s not a psychological thing.
[00:04:09] Martin Lopez: It’s a biological thing. So we’ll get to that. So the curiosity theory is all about biology, psychology a little bit. Probably 99 percent biology. So, uh, so my background is I’ve been in sales ever since I was about 15 years old. I started DJing at the age of 15 was real good at it. So I just went out and started getting a bunch of weddings and I had to sell myself as a little kid to, you know, make money, you know, DJing for weddings.
[00:04:35] Martin Lopez: And then I went to college, didn’t do so great in college. So my dad said, you know, you need to get a job. So. I went and had a, got a job at a, at a car dealership. I hated that. So I went and got my real estate license. And at the age of 20, I was selling real estate. I was one of the top guys in real estate.
[00:04:50] Martin Lopez: So I started teaching sales at 22 to 60 years old. And we knew people that had, you know, transitioned from their old career into real estate, and I was real effective at that. And I didn’t know what I was really training. Oh, the, the thing was, is that I. Was always curious about people, but I didn’t know it was curious because what happened is I’d be sitting in front of a husband and a wife and, or, you know, a couple, any, any couple, uh, and, and I, and I was, I felt kind of like that.
[00:05:20] Martin Lopez: I didn’t know enough and I needed to know more and I didn’t want to act like I was smart. So I, I just kept asking him questions. Well, so what did you, you know, just really, just was really curious, but I didn’t know I was being curious. It was really a way to survive the conversations. Hey, Steve, you know, you tell me a little bit about that, uh, you know, you know, about the, the Michael Jordan thing, you like, and you would tell me, and as you would tell me about you, you would start to like me.
[00:05:47] Martin Lopez: And I didn’t realize I was doing that, uh, until a couple of years into it. And then I started teaching people, ask questions, ask questions, but I didn’t know about being curious until one day when I was about 47 years old and I got in an argument with my wife over where we were going to go to eat dinner.
[00:06:03] Martin Lopez: You know, one of those, like, what do you want to eat? I don’t care, anywhere you want.
[00:06:06] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, anywhere you want. And then everything you say gets shut down. That’s not right. That’s not right. How about Mexican? Nah. How about Chinese? Nah.
[00:06:15] Martin Lopez: That’s exactly what happened. So we got an argument. I live at the beach, so I went for a walk on the beach.
[00:06:20] Martin Lopez: And when I was walking on the beach, I realized there were three different situations that just popped up in my head. And this is what I wrote the book about three different opportunities, uh, that I had gotten into a situation where it was a conflict situation and then I was being curious and that’s what got me out of it.
[00:06:36] Martin Lopez: And I was like, Whoa, this curiosity thing might be something. So I ran home, asked Yvette, uh, I said, Hey, I’m, I’m just curious, can you tell me what I did? And she told me what I did that day. And I was like, wow, that’s pretty interesting. And I wasn’t being defensive. That was the really cool part. I, cause I was curious.
[00:06:51] Martin Lopez: And I was like, that’s really weird. I’m not defending what she’s saying. I said, what else? She told me some stuff I had done that week. And I was like, Hey, what else? You know, she told me all the stuff I had done for the last 17 years of our marriage. And even though the things that she had told me weren’t my, in my opinion, true, and some of it were made up, I wasn’t defending it.
[00:07:10] Martin Lopez: I, I was like, Oh, interesting. Like, interesting. Well, it sounds like you’re married to kind of a jerk, you know? And I didn’t demean myself, but I was just understanding what it would have been like for her to be married to me. And, and the, the, the, you know, the different, Experiences that she was having with me.
[00:07:26] Martin Lopez: And I journal a lot and I write a lot. So that night after we had, we, we actually ended up, went out and ate Mediterranean food and went and listened to some music, came home, had a great time. She went to sleep. I just started journaling and I literally journaled a whole journal about 60 pages. Oh my God.
[00:07:41] Martin Lopez: And then that Friday I wrote a uh, I did a speech at my Toastmasters. My friend Richard said, you should write a book. So one of toast there? Yeah. He, one of the guys is Toastmasters, is a, is a writer, and he said, Hey, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll write it out for you. I was like, great. Six weeks later I had a book.
[00:07:59] Steve Fretzin: Wow. Wow.
[00:07:59] Steve Fretzin: You know, the interesting thing too, about, about being curious and asking questions is note what, you know, the reason that people object to things or argue with things is because of something you said. So if you’re not saying anything, you’re just asking questions and interested in curious, there’s no objection.
[00:08:16] Steve Fretzin: So it’s, it actually is a great lead into what makes some of the best, you know, sales professionals and rainmakers. They’re not the best necessarily pitch people. They’re the best at asking questions and being interested in curious and demonstrating empathy. And so I think that’s kind of what you figured out, which is that the, you know, a tenant of, of successful business development.
[00:08:36] Martin Lopez: A hundred percent. Yeah. Because people are going to tell you what they want. And at the more, the more that they, and I say there’s three tenets or three foundations of curiosity, trust, safety, and respect. So the more trust they have in you, the more safe they feel and the more respect that they, that you have between each other, the more they’re going to open up, but they’re now going to open up, start sharing and people are looking for opportunities to share.
[00:09:01] Martin Lopez: And we don’t get that a lot. People, people often, when somebody speaks and you use the word empathy, a lot of times when somebody speaks. The person that’s the receiver goes, Oh, yeah, and then they, and being part of the conversation, what I say, and we teach in the curiosity theory is empathy is the ability to listen to another person speak, connect with what they’re saying, but not impose on what they’re saying.
[00:09:28] Martin Lopez: Yeah. So if, if, if I’m listening and I’m staying curious, which I try to do as the person speaks, they’re just giving me information. I’m staying curious. And then basically what they’re doing is they, they have used my brain kind of like a hard drive. They’re putting their thoughts into my brain and they’re watching them happening, watching them develop.
[00:09:47] Martin Lopez: They don’t get this all the time. So now they’re exploring and they start to come up with ideas and concepts. And eventually they’re like. Hey, um, would you mind writing an offer on that house for me?
[00:09:56] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Right. Like, okay. Yeah. If you, if you insist, that’s such a great idea. I mean, the thing that I, you know, you, you’ve been teaching sales a long time.
[00:10:06] Steve Fretzin: I’ve been teaching sales for over 20 years and what people don’t understand, especially lawyers that, you know, they call it pitch meetings. We’re going on a pitch meeting. We’re pitching our firm. We’re pitching our service. Whatever it might be, is that. You’re not building trust and rapport when you’re talking, you know, you’re, when you’re sharing, when you’re, you know, spewing all over somebody, if, if you can make it about a connection, if you can make it about them and find something to connect on the trust and the likability, that’s going to allow you to continue asking questions or to build the kind of rapport where somebody likes you and wants to buy from you.
[00:10:41] Steve Fretzin: That doesn’t, that, that’s how we do that. That’s how we, that’s how I’m teaching it. And that’s what my lawyer clients are doing. Um, but what’s your kind of approach or thoughts or strategy on building trust and rapport and let’s maybe flip it to, you know, lawyers that are trying to build client relationships, build prospect relationships.
[00:10:58] Martin Lopez: You know, I, I just want to piggyback, I’m going to answer the question and by piggyback on what you said. Okay. One of the, kind of like the bad news at the end of the workshop, I tell people is like nobody cares about you. Like nobody cares about you. So if I’m pitching something like the, the thing is, is nobody cares about what I’m pitching and they only care about it.
[00:11:17] Martin Lopez: They only care about it. If they’ve asked me to, to do that, that’s how I look at it. Like, if you asked me about what I charge for coaching, if you asked me what the curiosity theory workshop costs, if you ask me, can I bring the curiosity theory to your workshop, you know, to your, your company, then that’s, I’m actually answering a question, but anything other than that.
[00:11:37] Martin Lopez: The way I look at it is you’re just not interested in it. So, but who are you interested in? You’re interested in you, like you’re into everyone’s favorite subject. You know, your problem. And if you’re sitting in front of a lawyer, you’re like, you don’t go sit in front of an attorney if you don’t have a problem, unless the attorney is your best friend, you’re out for a drink.
[00:11:55] Martin Lopez: I mean, that’s it. Well,
[00:11:57] Steve Fretzin: what, what makes a successful therapist too? It’s not someone that asks only surface questions, right? We want to, we want to know what the problem is, but it’s where we go from there. It’s how we peel that onion that sometimes determines how, how deep the problem is, how, how impactful that problem is and how committed is someone to change.
[00:12:16] Steve Fretzin: Their situation may depend on your ability to ask questions and stay in the pocket with them as, as, as they answer.
[00:12:24] Martin Lopez: Yeah, 100%. And, and at some point in that conversation, if you’re staying curious, And if you’re being curious and you’re being curious about yourself, then you may see the, the, the path to get to their goal.
[00:12:37] Martin Lopez: Like, wow, they’re telling me something. And I’m, and as, as they’re speaking, I’m kind of like listening, I’m being curious and I’m going, yeah, I think I can kind of get you there. And I kind of like, that’s what I do. And, and at some point I may, I may stop and I say, Steven, I’m, I’m, I’m curious, would you mind me share, sharing you how I see that you were working this out?
[00:12:56] Martin Lopez: And so now I’m going to tell you how to solve the problem. And since this is the thing about curiosity, it’s because we built this connection, like you said, rapport, which is built through trust, safety, and respect, and that’s not built with everybody and curiosity builds a deeper deep. So it gives you a bigger cut at that human connection.
[00:13:16] Martin Lopez: So now we’re cut. Now we’re cut as, as a connection deeper. And now I’m now speaking to your, your problem with a possible solution. But being, being open to this solution might not be the one that’s for you. So now we’re like exploring it together. So you’re looking at it and I’m looking at it together.
[00:13:35] Martin Lopez: Like, Hey, is this, what do you think about this? And I’m, and I’m, and I’m getting you to look at it now. Like, what do you think about this? So we’re both looking at this thing together here. Yeah, I like, I like three, one, two, and three. I don’t like, I don’t like four and five, but I do like six. Cool. All right.
[00:13:52] Martin Lopez: So we’re talking and we’re, we’re, we’re working this out together. So that validates the person that’s sitting across from you. Even if I know the solution and I’m telling you, oftentimes I know the solution, but me knowing the solution, it’s just, it’s just me giving you something and sometimes that’s not appropriate.
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[00:16:03] Steve Fretzin: Well, and it also might, it happens so early sometimes lawyers, and again, not to pick on you guys, but, uh, they’re all about solutions. They all want to fix stuff and they want to do it now. So if I ask a lawyer a question, they’re going to jump all over it to answer it.
[00:16:19] Steve Fretzin: And what I think you and I are talking about is slow it down. Like it’s not about answering questions. It’s about asking questions. And as soon as you start answering questions as a lawyer, you’ve lost control of the meeting there. You’re not digging any deeper. You’re not building deeper trust and empathy.
[00:16:37] Steve Fretzin: You’re just you’re just solving things that, you know, before it’s like you’re. You’re building a skyscraper on the 50th floor. You haven’t put in the foundation.
[00:16:48] Martin Lopez: Well, I call it like burning calories, you know, so you talked about fight or flight. So we talk about the reptilian mode. So human beings are designed to survive.
[00:16:57] Martin Lopez: And in order to survive instinctually, we have to burn less calories. So if I am asking you a question that requires you to burn calories, you’re going to naturally pull back and defend. That’s just the way it is. If I ask you a question that has you burn less calories, And you could see a path, then you’re going to just naturally move in a different direction.
[00:17:20] Martin Lopez: Curiosity, because it’s just, it just does something. It just does. So I can get you to be curious about your situation. And we’re staying in the energy and the concept of curiosity. You’re going to be thinking and being creative and innovative about your own problem. Now, the value of me as an attorney, and I’m not an attorney, but the value that I bring is the value of you being able to explore it yourself.
[00:17:44] Martin Lopez: And the fact is, is that you don’t get that with anybody else, because most people are pitching, most people are doing other things. So your, your experience Which builds rapport, which creates trust, safety, and respect. Your experience with me is going to be different than other people. So you’ve already purchased me.
[00:18:00] Martin Lopez: You’ve already paid for me. You’re already like, I don’t get this with anybody else. So why am I going to go somewhere else?
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[00:18:06] Martin Lopez: guy understands me. And if he doesn’t understand me, I, he’s going to, he’s going to be able to understand me because he
[00:18:13] Steve Fretzin: can’t be better than anybody else. Yeah. And the example that I use is, all right, so I’m, I’m seeing a therapist, let’s say, hypothetically seeing a therapist and the therapist breaks me down in an hour and I’ve crying my eyes out.
[00:18:26] Steve Fretzin: I’ve told them everything or her everything or them, everything I can. And I, the tissue box is empty. That the garbage can is full, the snot’s everywhere. And I say. I feel so much better after talking with you. Thank you so much. Next week, I’m going to go find someone else to talk to. Not going to happen, right?
[00:18:46] Steve Fretzin: I mean, my sister’s a therapist. Nobody, no one leaves my sister. I mean, my sister is like glue. She holds on to clients forever, and I know why. It’s because she’s very, very good at what she does and she gets them to open up. And sometimes I see her work in her magic. I mean, I go, I know what you’re doing, Karen.
[00:19:02] Steve Fretzin: I can, I can tell what I know the manipulator that you, you know, you are with me and getting me to go, you know, do something for her or whatever. But you get, you get the gist that it’s, it’s, um, it’s a big problem when we don’t sit in the mud with people long enough to let them vent and air and, and, you know, let us take it all in.
[00:19:22] Steve Fretzin: And where
[00:19:23] Martin Lopez: does that come from? Like, if you think about it, so I said this isn’t psychological, it’s biological. Where does that come from? The inability to sit with somebody long enough. It’s a physical, biological discomfort. Like, I’m not feeling comfortable inside. So how do I know that, how do I know it’s time to interrupt some, but, well, I don’t know what here, like in thought it actually is a visceral feeling when you think about that, whenever you, you know, whenever you interrupt your wife or your kids or, or anybody, let me just stop
[00:19:52] Steve Fretzin: you.
[00:19:52] Martin Lopez: Right. Let me just
[00:19:52] Steve Fretzin: stop you right there. I was feeling it inside. I’m just messing with you, Mark.
[00:19:57] Martin Lopez: We do. Yeah, we do. It’s a, it’s our resolve of our resolve in communication and conversations. And what I mean by resolve, how we, um, how we lower our tension, how we lower anxiety, how we feel better is to resolve.
[00:20:15] Martin Lopez: It’s a physical resolution. It’s, we, we have a physical experience of what we just did. Oh, I just got that off my chest. Yeah. And, and so it’s a dopamine hit. Cutting people off is a dopamine hit. So you have to find
[00:20:29] Steve Fretzin: another way. It is because it’s, I’m not, I’m so on board with what you’re saying and I can, I catch myself doing it too.
[00:20:35] Steve Fretzin: Like with a neighbor when I, you know, one up somebody or when I catch myself interrupt. Yeah. You’re absolutely feeling a little boost of energy when you do that. And it’s not good. It feels good, but it’s not good.
[00:20:48] Martin Lopez: Yeah. And, and it has its place. Like there’s like when I’m coaching somebody, I’ll let them know, I’m going to interrupt you, like, this is what my job to coach you is to coach you.
[00:20:58] Martin Lopez: And if you’re going down a path, I’m going to interrupt you because I want you to see what you’re doing. Yeah. You stop doing that. Yeah. That’s coaching, right? That’s what coaching is. That’s what, but that’s a different thing. Now, at the point that you build rapport with your, with your clients and now they’re paying clients.
[00:21:15] Martin Lopez: You’re now, you’re no longer closing them for a sale. You’re like getting the job done. So in sometimes in getting the job done as an attorney, you need to shut your clients up and like, Hey, listen, I’m going to interrupt you. You’re going to talk and I want you to know I’m going to interrupt you. That’s just, you know, are you okay with that?
[00:21:31] Martin Lopez: And if you can build that agreement with them to let them know that you’re going to do that because they talk too much, oftentimes they do, you’ve now made an agreement to how you’re going to communicate with them. And once you make agreements and once you’ve built trust and safety and respect and that rapport, you can now start to do things at a different level.
[00:21:51] Martin Lopez: And what happens is you become more effective because you have a different listening with them. Like what I mean by listening. Your communication, how they listen to you and how you can be with them and how they’re gonna be with you is gonna shift because now we’re getting the job done. Like this is how we’re gonna do it here.
[00:22:08] Martin Lopez: And once somebody trusts you, you can tell ’em, Hey, this is how we’re gonna do it. Yeah. Like, this is the game we’re gonna play. I see. This is the problem you have and this is how I’d like to solve the I. This is how I’d like to solve it. This is my game plan. Are you on board? Great. Now guess what, Steve?
[00:22:22] Martin Lopez: The way that you communicate, I need you to communicate this way, and I’m going to communicate this way. Sometimes I’m going to interrupt you. Sometimes I’m going to cut you off. It’s not personal. It’s just, I want to get the job done for you. Are you okay
[00:22:34] Steve Fretzin: with that? I sometimes have to stop vendors from telling me too much.
[00:22:40] Steve Fretzin: Like I’m not a detail. I mean, if you could figure out how someone likes to be communicated to sometimes that’s half the battle. So like they want to tell me how they’re going to code my website or they want to tell me all the mini little details about, about, uh, I remember my dad, uh, Larry, the lawyer. Uh, he had a 12 page contract that he reviewed and he had 14 pages of written notes of changes and we sat at a coffee shop for like two and a half hours going through.
[00:23:06] Steve Fretzin: I was like, this is amazing. And, but, but I remember it was, it was so heavy. It was so much content. So many. Things I had to sit there in, in kind of the two hours to sit there and take in and it, you know, it was, it was impressive, but it was also very difficult for me to sit still for that long because I’m a big picture guy, like, just give me, give me the breakdown.
[00:23:28] Steve Fretzin: What’s it going to do for me and how are you going to, how are you going to win this lawsuit? Are you going to, you know, get them to bend to your will at this contract?
[00:23:35] Martin Lopez: Yeah, absolutely. And, and I, and when you’re sitting in front, so I learned that when I was really young, I learned that, you know, the husband and wife, the wife and wife, husband and husband, you know, whatever, whoever’s sitting in front of me, I realized that they both think completely different, that they think that they do not think the same.
[00:23:52] Martin Lopez: And, and so what I did is I learned how to communicate with two people that could, that had polar opposite ways of communicating and polar opposite needs, different needs. And those needs are shifting. Right. You know, sometimes you’re in safety. Sometimes you’re in survival. Sometimes you’re in love and belonging.
[00:24:07] Martin Lopez: Sometimes you’re in self esteem. Sometimes you’re in self transcendence. You’re moving along the, along Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, like constantly. And once we address one concern, like, uh, do you, did you qualify? Do you qualify for the loan? Yeah. Great. That was, and then what, what’s the next, what’s the next.
[00:24:25] Martin Lopez: Need that they’re going to have, wow, can I make that payment now? You know, first is like, wow, can I even qualify? Will somebody give me this? Can I even play the game? Yeah, now I can play the game. All right. Well, I have another set of needs. And what happens is we have to evolve with those needs. And those are changing.
[00:24:42] Martin Lopez: And if I have a couple in front of me, they’re both going to have different concerns. One could be really conservative. One could be incredibly liberal. One could like the, I just want the details. The other one said, you know, just get to the point, you know, just get to it. And so I’m, I’m, I’m, I have to understand what they want.
[00:24:59] Martin Lopez: Now, the longer I focus on what I want, then now I have a third person that has as a need. So I got to get myself out of the picture so I can deal with the people are in front of me. That makes me more
[00:25:11] Steve Fretzin: effective, but, but when, when we’re talking about lawyers dealing with, let’s just, let’s just list it off as like clients, right?
[00:25:20] Steve Fretzin: They have a list of 10, you know, a hundred, 200 greater clients, whatever they’re dealing with them every day. There’s stressful situations. There’s all kinds of, you know, lawyers aren’t, aren’t around, you know, for no reason. There’s problems in the world. There’s problems people have, you know, need and what are a couple tips that you would share that helps to foster deeper connections with lawyers and clients to improve communication, to improve that relationship?
[00:25:46] Martin Lopez: I would say the first thing is, is understand and use Maslow’s hierarchy of need. And I have a whole chart that I use, and it, and it, it, it distinguishes needs, not just the need concept, but actual, like little details on what a need is. And when you can nail the need that somebody has, you create connection with the person.
[00:26:05] Martin Lopez: Now you’re right, now you’re speaking the same language. So if you have a need for, let’s say trust, and that’s what you’re trying to build, and I can understand that trust is important to you. That’s what I focus on. I’m going to focus on the trust because I know I’m going to do my job. Like I’m a good lawyer.
[00:26:21] Martin Lopez: I’m going to do my job as a lawyer. That’s separate. That’s a separate conversation. And oftentimes I’m not with the client when I’m doing that job. I’m, I’m right. It’s a one, right? No, you’re on your own, working, working behind the scenes. Yeah. So what, so where is anxiety? Where is anxiety built? Where is frustration built?
[00:26:41] Martin Lopez: Where is anger built? Yeah. It’s built in, it’s built in the person not getting their need met. And often it’s just not being heard. So let’s say I’m in a, in a situation that’s a, a civil situation, and I have a client that’s really anxious and calls me all the time and all that. They’re calling me because they have a need if I can identify the need and I can get them to see that that need that they have whatever the however they label that need and it’s really important to have to label that need if I can connect with that need and then show them that that’s what we’re dealing with address that with them that anxiety that they have is gone.
[00:27:18] Martin Lopez: The anxiety is only there because their need they don’t feel or they don’t have an experience that their needs being met. Mm hmm. So it’s kind of like use the word manipulation earlier, earlier. It’s a, it’s a version of manipulation and, but in a positive way, in a positive way. Yeah. It’s like, it’s like my need, let me, let me just kind of give out, I’m going to pick up my, my little list of needs really quick in, in, in my workbook.
[00:27:43] Martin Lopez: Okay. So let’s say I have a need for, let’s say I have a need for security, right? And that’s the need I have. So I don’t really feel very secure in the, in the direction that we’re going. And then if, if I try to convince the person that they’re secure, that’s not listening to the person. But if I go, so what is it you need to feel secure?
[00:28:03] Martin Lopez: And they tell me what they need to feel secure. And I listen, what happens with listening? Is people think that when you listen, you’re agreeing with them? That’s the thing. Like how many times have you talked to your wife or, or somebody, and then you heard what they had to say. And then the other day later, two days later, they said, well, you agreed with me.
[00:28:22] Martin Lopez: No, I just heard what you said, right? Because human beings think that when a person listens to them at a certain level, they’re agreeing with it. So the manipulation, if you will, is if what you’re looking for is security, and I’m asking you what you need for security, and you’re answering that question.
[00:28:38] Martin Lopez: Because, because you, you have trust in me and you feel safe as you answer the question, I’m going to decide, can I give that to you? But you’re, as you’re saying it, having the experience of being able to receive it. So let’s say I’m just listening to you and you’re like, okay, you need security. God, I really got that.
[00:28:56] Martin Lopez: I really appreciate that. I hang up the phone, I might not be dealing with their security anymore. I’m dealing with my file, but their anxiety and their frustration has lowered because they were heard. And it really is that simple. It’s really that simple. What happens a lot of times is people try to convince other people that the thing that they’re experiencing, they shouldn’t be experiencing.
[00:29:20] Martin Lopez: But the problem is, is that they are experiencing
[00:29:22] Steve Fretzin: that. Right, right. Yeah. You’re trying to talk someone out of how they feel, which is why, you know, in a relationship, no matter what it is, has, you know, spouse, spousal or whatever, you know, just the idea that, you know, in, in not solving problems or jumping and, and, and, you know, to save the day, but just being there, being active, listener, empathetic, understanding, you know, these are life skills that, that will benefit everybody versus trying to just solve and, and push your point and win a fight or win an argument.
[00:29:51] Steve Fretzin: Martin, we have to wrap up, but, um, um, I want to just. Ask you about your game changing book, and I’m going to try not to screw up the name. Arate.
[00:29:59] Martin Lopez: Yeah, Arate is a book. I’ve been working with a gentleman. He’s a kind of like a modern day stoic. His name is, uh, Brian Johnson and his, his website is called heroic.
[00:30:08] Martin Lopez: And I absolutely highly recommend everybody go check out that, that website. It’s called heroic. us. And I’ve been working with him as a mentor for probably 12 years. Uh, and what, what, um, what Brian does is he takes like. Uh, modern day science and ancient wisdom, and he puts it together. So, and in kind of a stoic way, and he’ll take a book.
[00:30:30] Martin Lopez: It’s really cool. He’ll take a book. It could be any book. And he’ll take that book and he’ll talk a little bit about that book. And then he’ll talk about other books and other thought process, uh, other thoughts that support that book. And by the time you’re done with what he does, he’s like, they call them, um, philosophers notes.
[00:30:47] Martin Lopez: And they’re like 25 minutes. Kind of like, uh, uh, what do they call it? Uh, you know, an abridged version of the book. Yeah. So he takes all the good stuff out of the book, and then Cliff notes. Cliff notes, exactly, thank you. Cliff notes, and he uses, he, he creates cliff notes, but he’s not only cliff noting that book.
[00:31:02] Martin Lopez: He’s cliff noting that book, but supporting it with all these other books. So you get, like, this interesting version of philosophy from him, and the book Arate is all, like, it’s like a thousand different ideas he has, and they’re just, like, you open up the book and it’s like, that’s really great, and you read it.
[00:31:21] Martin Lopez: And you’re just left with like a different possibility for your day or your life. It’s just like, if you were to talk to like Aristotle or something, you’d like, read it. You’re like, cool. I can use that. And like, every single thing in that book is useful at some point. And yeah, just, and it’s just like giving yourself vitamins of the brain and the
[00:31:40] Steve Fretzin: soul.
[00:31:40] Steve Fretzin: Wow. People can check that out. I’m sure it’s on Amazon. As we wrap up, I want to thank our wonderful sponsors, of course, Lawmatics, Get Staffed Up, and Green Cardigan Marketing, all great friends to the show. Martin, if people want to get in touch with you to hear about, you know, the Curiosity Theory, or they want to pick up your book, or anything like that, how do they get in touch with you?
[00:31:59] Steve Fretzin: What are your
[00:31:59] Martin Lopez: digits? Uh, best place, go to thecuriositytheory. com, or feel free to reach out to me. I have a cell phone and I answer it. 619 838 1553, text me, call me, anything, if I’m available, pick up the phone. Nice.
[00:32:13] Steve Fretzin: That’s all in the show notes. So check that out and thank you so much, man. I mean, and shout out to our friends at Provisors and the Coaches and Consultants Group, which is where we met some of the best people in the world over there.
[00:32:24] Steve Fretzin: And, uh, just thanks, man. I, you know, this is such an interesting topic and it’s not one that we spent a ton of time on, but it really is at the heart of what business is all about. If you don’t have relationships, you don’t have business. It’s just not, that’s just not how things work. Um, so just, you know, thanks, man.
[00:32:39] Steve Fretzin: Appreciate it.
[00:32:40] Martin Lopez: Thanks for having me. I’m very exciting.
[00:32:43] Steve Fretzin: Right. And thank you everybody for spending time with Martine and I today on the be that lawyer podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about Fretson, you can go to fretson. com. If you’re interested in any of my books, you can check them out on Amazon.
[00:32:55] Steve Fretzin: Just type my name in on Amazon. And of course I’m on LinkedIn. Um, listen, if you’re getting a couple of tips and takeaways from every show, then that’s what this is all about. It’s not about, you know, you, you know, necessarily, you know, Every moment being, you know, perfect for you. It’s, it’s what can you pull out of each show, each episode that’s going to make your life better, allowing you to be that lawyer.
[00:33:15] Steve Fretzin: Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, everybody. Be safe, be well. We’ll talk again and very, very soon.
[00:33:26] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.