Jury service is your civil duty and should be looked at, as an opportunity to grow and give back. I had the opportunity to be a juror in the district court on a criminal case. The Jury did not know each others name, just a letter until the final verdict was given.
Here are 5 skills you will utilise:
- Active listening: Listening to others and understanding their insights, is an amazing experience. You all take away from a trial different aspects of the proceedings. How the jurors read into the situations presented, is as if you are all watching a different movie. Fascinating.
- Recognising bias: everyone has a bias that shows up in deliberation, its quite incredible, what you share when you are locked in a room for days on end. You learn about the bias, as in most cases the juror called it out as it was based on a personal life experience. I learnt more about bias in 7 days than I have in my time in business. On reflection we can do more with our teams in business to understand biases and how they show up. Met a leader of a business today, who told me all employees conduct a culture interview. Recently a 25 year old female interviewed a older male and his comments were inappropriate, so the company did not hire and she had the support of the whole company.
- Questioning: Asking questions to draw out why someone has come to the conclusion they have, what they heard and how they interpreted the information. Jurors shifted on the back of asking great questions that revealed information they had not considered. A question that shifted jurors :what is the worst that can happen for a guilty or not guilty.
- Respect: We had a number of people with soft voices, that were uncomfortable projecting in the group. The support to ensure they were heard was phenomenal. At first they were drowned out, but soon everyone would stop when they spoke, thanking for their valuable input and encouraging more. On another note about respect, one day we were asked to get in early and three members turned in late, one apologised the other two not. I asked them to apologise to the team, as many had come over an hour to get here on time.
- Take your time to consider all the evidence.: Cannot consider evidence until you know all the evidence: Its tempting to start considering the evidence as you hear it, but its not appropriate to consider any until you have heard it all. In business we often jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts, human nature is resolve the problem, rather than get a deep understanding before acting.
Performing civil duties, develops us all as there are so many leanings. I will look back on this time fondly as I came away a different person than the one that walked through the door. As a result of being a Juror have a huge respect for the legal system and police.