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Business & Life Skills

Graduation – Advice on How to Swim with the Sharks

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bunch of fishIt’s time to enter the real world for many grads out there.  Tim Hoch, a trial attorney, offers life lessons and shares some of pearls of wisdom from his book, “50 Rules for Success for Young Men Leaving Home”.  Originally what started as a letter to his son, Tim shares lessons from his personal experience.  Join us for a playful, yet serious topic of how to play firm, but friendly in the real world where power and grace need to go hand and hand.

Show Highlights

  • Segment 1: Graduation- Advice for Winning an Argument.  Who knows more about winning an argument than a trial lawyer? There will always be folks in life that want to fight and win an intellectual battle.  That person may be your wife, your co-worker, or worst enemy.  The goal is to be right.  Sometimes in this desire to “win”, we lose.  We lose sight of some simple things we can do to shift the debate to a new place.  Get some simple advice for yourself or to pass onto your new graduate.   
  • Segment 2: Graduation: Playing Nice on the Playground of Life   There is an proverb, ” Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it”.  Try as you might, there are still pigs in this world. What do you do when you encounter someone who likes to fight and fight dirty?  How does being “wrong” some times help you win in life?

Blog Post for our Upcoming Guest

When my son was thirteen he was invited on a beach vacation with his best friend’s family. His friend’s mom (we will call her Doris) took my son and hers to the mall to shop for beachwear. They were in the market for a pair of flip-flops. Doris walked into Pac Sun, the boys close behind. “Can you help me?” Doris tapped one of the teenage sales clerks on the shoulder. “Yeah, what do you need?” he grunted. “I’m looking for boys’ thongs” she declared. Doris’ son tried to slip away unnoticed while my son and the clerk did a poor job stifling their laughter. After a few seconds of mortified silence, Doris persisted: “My gosh, you act as though you’ve never even heard of thongs for little boys.” Just before they left for the trip, Doris came by and spoke of the difficulties of raising a young man. “He hardly even speaks to me. It’s like he’s embarrassed to be associated with me.” I just smiled. What I wanted to say is: “You’re doing it wrong.” Lord knows, I’m no expert. I’ve had more than my share of cringe worthy attempts at navigating the teenage discourse dynamic. But I have been able to decipher some hard and fast rules when trying to converse with kids. Here are a few: Rule number one: Don’t use outdated cultural references or phrases. Noone “talks to the hand.” Nothing you want to discuss is “bitchin’” or “gnarly” or “rad.” Fo-shizzle. Rule number two: Don’t join their conversations unless you’re invited. I was driving my daughter and three of her friends to an eighth grade dance. They were giggling and whispering about some of the boys in their class when I decided to chime in. Bad idea. They don’t want my opinion about whether a certain classmate is a “sweet kid.” Rule number three: Don’t interrupt or argue. That is not a conversation. It’s a lecture. Rule number four: No nicknames. Even if your son’s friend is named Tony, don’t refer to him as “T-bone.” Your daughter’s friend is “Elizabeth” not “Lizard.” Rule number five: Try to have a functional understanding of (and ability to pronounce) things that are important to them. For example, don’t keep referring to twitter as “tweeter” or Instagram as “Instant grams.” Rule number six: Conversations are not teaching moments. So don’t make them one. Don’t criticize them or tell them how you would have handled a situation differently. If your child says something that bothers you, hold that thought. You will have time to circle back to it later. Rule number 7: Don’t dismiss their thoughts as “silly” or “stupid.” My daughter once told me about a difficult day at school. She was in a fight with one of her best friends. It was a silly argument and I told her so. Big mistake. She would come to the same conclusion on her own a few days later. I didn’t need to speed it up for her. I just needed to listen. Rule number 8: Don’t rely on your kids to fulfill your need for conversation. Develop your own interests, your own “cool” independent of your kids. Show them that you have a life outside of whatever they are doing. They will engage you on it. Trust me. Rule number 9: Do not use any of the following phrases in conversation: “When I was your age…” or “If I were you…” or “pull my finger.” Just stop. Rule number 10: Don’t gossip. There is nothing more pathetic than an adult who gossips with kids. And adults who gossip with kids about other kids? They should be marched straight through the gates of hell….in boy’s thongs.

About Our Guest

tim hochTRIAL LAWYER. STRATEGIST. CONSULTANT. Tim Hoch is a trial lawyer with over 20 years of experience. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This is a distinction shared by less than 1% of the lawyers in Texas. He has litigated over two thousand cases and tried many cases to verdict. He has taken and defended hundreds of depositions. He is a zealous and tireless advocate for his clients. Tim was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is a 1985 graduate of Texas Christian University. He obtained his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He has practiced law in Fort Worth, Texas since that time. He is licensed in both Texas and Oklahoma. Tim has achieved the following successes for his clients: –         Achieved control of a $126 million property for his client in a dispute between lenders; –         Negotiated a settlement for over 1300 clients in a pharmaceutical case for an aggregate amount of over $400 million; –         Negotiated a settlement for hundreds of clients in medical device litigation; –         Negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of families of babies who were administered a lethal drug in a neo-natal intensive care unit of a major hospital; –         Tried and negotiated verdicts in excess of a million dollars for victims of business fraud, railroad injuries, medical malpractice and negligence actions. Tim is active in his community. He serves as Vice Chair for Catholic Charities-Fort Worth where he has served on the Board for over 4 years. He is a past member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council at TCU. He is on the Board of Directors for Frog Club at TCU and is past Program Chair. He is a volunteer at The Assessment Center, a shelter for abused children. He is also a volunteer at Child Advocates of Tarrant County, an organization which assists victims of child abuse through the court system. He is on the Finance Committee for Trinity Valley School. Tim is a small business owner. In addition to his legal practice, Tim is the owner of Property Tax Fix, LLC, a property tax lender where he has built a multi million dollar loan portfolio in two years. He also owns a real estate brokerage firm. Tim takes special interest in lecturing on the art of persuasion. He has given numerous presentations for lawyers and other groups on trial and negotiation techniques. He is a dynamic, passionate and creative speaker.