Divorce Negotiations – How A Poker Face Can Change The Game | LEAP Podcast

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Podcast

In an effort to continuously let my clients (and potential clients) know who I am, I am making these videos that highlight what type of lawyer I am.

As I’ve been making these videos, it reminded me of when I worked for a Fortune 500 company. Once, my manager approached me and asked me why I was so quiet. I told him that I’m more of a listener than a talker.

I’ve noticed through the years that effective #listening is sort of a lost art. I don’t have to speak to listen, and if I have something important to say, I will say it. There’s no point in talking just to talk.

This led me to liken negotiations in #divorce to people who play poker.

People who play poker are incredibly difficult to read. I find the same about negotiations. People who talk too much reveal too much. I listen, analyze, and come up with a plan according to what I effectively listen to.

When I do talk, it’s for a purpose. That’s the type of #lawyer I am. Like a poker player, I don’t give away too much, and I hold my client’s cards close to me.

When my clients ask me why I’m so quiet, I explain this theory to them, and a light bulb goes off.

I hope this gives some more insight into who I am and how I operate as a lawyer. If you think that hiring a lawyer that will listen to you and not just talk to hear themselves would be a good fit for you, give me a call.

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Show Transcript

I was reminded of a situation when I was working for a Fortune 500 company, managing a team of information technology professionals. And I remember sitting in many, many meetings. And I remember my manager coming to me and saying, A.J., you’re so quiet. Why don’t you say anything in the meetings? And I remember that struck me as odd.

I’ve always considered myself more of a listener than a talker. Listening to me, effective listening is really a lost skill. And I remember looking at him and saying, Well, I’m more of a listener than a talker. And so I take in a lot of information, I take notes. And when I feel it’s important for me to add my thoughts, my opinions, and my suggestions, then I will.

However, if I feel that my ideas have already been fleshed out by other people, then I’m not going to talk just for the sake of talking. I’m much more of a listener. And it made me think about negotiations in divorce cases and poker.

And so to me, some of the best poker players are incredibly difficult, if not impossible to read, they don’t have any telltale signs, you know, their ears don’t twitch, their eyebrows don’t raise, their, you know, they don’t start tapping their feet, they are unable to read. And I find the same thing with negotiation in divorce cases.

People who talk too much give away too much. And so I’m quiet. I’m listening. I’m taking in information. I’m analyzing the information, and I’m thinking about strategy. And I think that by not talking too much, I’m not giving away too much. I’m holding my client’s cards close to me. And then when I do talk, I’m talking with intent, with purpose, with a goal for my verbal communication. That’s the type of lawyer I am.

Like the best poker players, I’m not giving away too much information. I’m trying to gather as much information as I can. And I’m trying to do more observing and listening than talking. Sometimes clients, after a mediation or negotiation session, will say to me, A.J., you didn’t talk very much. And I’ll pull them aside. And I’ll say, yeah, and let me tell you why. Or let me share with you the reasons why I didn’t speak too much.

And so once I share with them what I’ve shared with you today, it’s almost like a light bulb goes off over their head, and they go, Oh, I get it.

Arthur J. Grossman J.D., LL.M., Esq

Arthur J. Grossman J.D., LL.M., Esq

AJ Grossman graduated at the top of his Florida law school class, has been trained in Collaborative Divorce, has a Master of Laws degree in Dispute Resolution, and is a Barrister member of the invite-only Central Florida Family Law Inn of Court. His aggressive advocacy on behalf of his clients provides hope and reassurance throughout challenging divorces.


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