James Donovan, managing director at Goldman Sachs, is known for his down-to-earth approach to teaching as a professor at the University of Virginia.

In one of his lectures, he explained that language and conversational skills are extremely important for a businessman.

“Take classes in the law and business section,” he suggests. “You will learn about the world in which your clients live and you will learn their jargon. This way you won’t be intimidated by the business lingo because it really is just a thin veneer- so learn the language!”

He adds, “Use a pregnant pause while you’re talking to someone- it elicits conversation and feedback from the other side. It also forces you to slow down if you’re nervous.”

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As a managing director at Goldman Sachs, University of Virginia professor James Donovan has extensive personal experience in the business world. During his “Outside the Box” lecture, Donovan explained that client relationships can be strengthened significantly when the whole picture is acknowledged.

“If they [the client] think of you as their trusted financial advisor, they’re going to call you when they need help instead of going piecemeal to different bankers, or different people, or different firms. It allowed me to box out the competition.”