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Likeable Mediation

Have you heard the expression that mediation is considered successful if all parties leave unhappy with the agreement reached?

Beginning later this year, The Likeable Lawyer will introduce a new expansive mediation service that will help parties reach better agreements. Facilitated by two expert lawyer/mediators (each assigned to one of the parties seeking to reach agreement or resolution), the parties will be guided through an Expansive Negotiation model which increases cooperation and creativity, and guides parties to reach a better agreement than they would have reached with non-facilitated negotiation and traditional mediation. It is a better agreement because the process incorporates brainstorming and negotiation processes that help discover creative ways for all parties to get more of what they want and need from the agreement.

Our Likeable Facilitators are highly trained in using our Expansive Negotiation model. In fact, they co-developed the models and have been teaching our processes and approach to tens of thousands of lawyers across the United States over the past 15 years. We are experts in guiding past the pitfalls that often derail and frustrate negotiations. Working with the parties, our facilitated model expertly guides the parties towards a creative, expansive resolution that leaves all parties happy with the agreement reached.

I could use your help. What should we call this new service: Likeable Mediation? Expansive Mediation Services? If you have any ideas, please send me an email: Thank you in advance for you time and thought.

We will have more information on our website about our new service soon. In the meantime, for information about our unique CLE programs which include the models that we will facilitate with our new mediation service, please visit:

Looking for Inspiration

If you have hopes for a more successful and fulfilling life as a lawyer, I invite you to check out The Likeable Lawyer‘s highly-rated CLE program, The Inspired Lawyer.

This six hour program (approved for 6-8 hours of MCLE credit (including ethics) in most states), is for lawyers at any career stage and will teach you a set of leadership, counseling and persuasion skills that will increase your sway with clients and colleagues, and help you create a more successful and rewarding law practice.

In this program you will learn to:

  • Use empathy and other-person consideration to command greater influence.
  • Create an achievable plan for a more successful law career.
  • Diffuse tension in negotiations and overcome challenges when working with others.

This program will be presented live by webinar on January 31, 2017 from 9 am until 4:30 pm central time, and is also available in convenient On Demand and Video Download formats.

For more information about CLE programs offered by The Likeable Lawyer, please visit:

Thinking Can Increase Success

The power of thinking actually works both ways: thinking can increase, but also derail success with your programming thoughts. Therefore, if we want to increase success, we might look for any sabotaging thinking patterns and replace them with thinking patterns that increase achieving our goals.

There are many examples where our thinking can program the outcome. For example, when we make a mistake, we will generally ask ourselves one of two categories of questions: Judging Questions: What was I thinking? Why am I such an idiot? What were they thinking?, etc.; or Leadership Questions: How can I still accomplish my objective, What can I do to improve the situation?, etc. Regardless of which type of question you ask yourself, your subconscious mind will go about answering the very question posed. As you can imagine, judging questions evoke judging responses that are not productive and often lead to enhanced suffering, whereas leadership questions engage the subconscious mind to come up with creative strategies to accomplish ones objectives.

This is one example of where conscious understanding of how our mind works can help us better accomplish ours and our clients’ objectives. The Likeable Lawyer  is offering December Webinars that delve deeply into this topic and not only help you better accomplish your goals, but also get you CLE credits, including Ethics and Professionalism hours. Lessons from Aristotle is a full-day CLE Webinar that is packed with useful advise on how to increase your influence, success and wellbeing in the practice of law. This program is also available On Demand for those who prefer to watch on their own schedule. For more information, please visit:

We are Responsible for Our Choices

Lawyering can be stressful and adversarial. There is often much at stake as clients seek to accomplish important objectives and avoid or overcome loss. Lawyers often play a significant role in the outcome achieved. A lawyer with both substantive and relationship competence might achieve a better than expected result; whereas, a lawyer who lacks either of these categories of competence may antagonize the path towards achieving client objectives.

Serving as a lawyer is a lot of responsibility, and that responsibility often results in tension and stress that must also be successfully navigated in order to avoid pitfalls and maximize results. Lawyers must also have the ability to influence, and towards that end, should have the skills to avoid personality conflicts that often derail productive working relationships.

In this regard, it is critical to recognize when destructive conflict is potential (before it happens), and to develop skills to take 100% responsibility for our relationships with everyone, including clients and opposing counsel. And while it might be tempting to blame others for counterproductive working relationships, it is far more empowering to assume full responsibility for not only the relationships, but also for our choices in how we respond to their actions and behaviors when conflict is still potential. They may do something that irritates or offends us. We have a choice in how to respond. Are we choosing to respond in a way to reduce the likelihood of aggravated conflict? Or are we choosing a response that exacerbates the likelihood?

This is the subject matter that The Likeable Lawyer explores in its CLE programs. Our classes  give lawyers the tools to navigate professional relationships in order to better persuade, negotiate and gain the support needed to achieve client objectives. We are offering some valuable CLE Webinars in December to help you beat the CLE reporting deadline and give you skills you will use to stay on track and better achieve client objectives. Click on this link to see a list of upcoming webinars. Most of our courses are also available On Demand and via Video Download. For more information about our company and our CLE approved classes, please visit:

Leadership for Lawyers

Lawyers are service providers, most often hired to help clients achieve objectives. Pursuing those objectives with the highest degree of competence and skill, and developing the influence needed for support and cooperation are two critical skills for success.

Leadership is required any time a lawyer has a goal or objective that he or she is unable to accomplish alone. To succeed, the lawyer needs at least one other person to willingly choose to follow them. Examples include: jury or bench argument, negotiation, running an office or even client development.

Logical argument alone is not enough to win their support. Perceptions of credibility, trust, care and empathy must be successfully communicated or logical argument will fall upon deaf ears.

To discover how to greatly increase your influence and persuasiveness by managing the perceptions of those you need to succeed, register for The Likeable Lawyer upcoming webinars: The Trusted Lawyer, and The Persuasive Lawyer. Both are being offered by Webinar on September 30, 2016, and are also available On Demand, or by Video Download. These CLE programs are packed with helpful insights that will improve your ability to achieve and exceed client expectations, and will earn you CLE credit (including ethics) without you having to leave your office.

For more information, visit:

Want to Improve Life as a Lawyer?

One of the most frequent comments I have heart over the years that I have been facilitating CLE programs for lawyers is how satisfaction and fulfillment is decreasing for practicing lawyers. To help, I’ve designed a CLE program to give lawyers some leadership tools to simultaneously increase success and fulfillment as a practicing lawyer.

If you are interested in increasing your success and fulfillment  as a practicing lawyer, then join The Likeable Lawyer on August 26 for a full-day CLE Webinar called The Inspired Lawyer.

This CLE seminar is for lawyers at any career stage and will teach you a set of leadership, counseling and persuasion skills that will increase your sway with clients and colleagues, and help you create a more successful and rewarding law practice.

In this program you will learn to:

  • Use empathy and other-person consideration to command greater influence.
  • Create an achievable plan for a more successful law career.
  • Diffuse tension in negotiations and overcome challenges when working with others.

Most states have approved this program for 6-8 hours of CLE credit, including ethics/professionalism credit.

For more information about accreditation, the course, or to register, please click on this link or visit

Unreasonable Expectations

I recently read the results of two studies that I thought came together to make an important point for lawyers.

The first study concluded that 90% of clients who hire private practice lawyers are dissatisfied with their lawyer at the conclusion of the representation. The primary cause of the dissatisfaction was unmet expectations. One of the main lawyer responses to the study claims that clients often have unreasonable expectations.

The second study concluded that the Danish people are the happiest people on earth, because, according to the study, they maintain the most reasonable expectations for outcomes and are generally satisfied when things turn out reasonably well.

What these studies reveal to me is that maintaining reasonable expectations is the key to satisfaction, for both clients and attorneys.

The Likeable Lawyer has a new webinar that demonstrates how lawyers can counsel clients to define reasonable expectations for the representation – both substantive and relationship expectations. The name of the class is Unreasonable Expectations and it is offered by Webinar on July 29, 2016.

The program contains valuable information for lawyers as well, demonstrating how to employ a leadership approach to increase satisfaction as practicing lawyers. This course is approved for CLE credit in most states that require CLE, including ethics and professional credit and is also available On Demand and as a Digital Download.

For more information about any of our classes: please visit

Big Brother is in the Cloud

With a rise in security threats from both within and outside the United States, there is an increase in tension between safety and privacy rights in America. On June 10, 2016 and July 15, 2016 The Likeable Lawyer is featuring two CLE Webinars with a panel of experts who will discuss how modern technology has heightened the legal tensions between citizens’ right to privacy and the need for effective government surveillance of criminal activity.

Big Brother is in the Cloud will review the ongoing debate over bulk government surveillance of citizen mobile phones and email. Digital Eavesdropping examines how technology is changing the social norms and individual expectations that drive privacy law. The experts will discuss: (a) the ability and limitations for social media and tech companies to use customers’ personal data; (b) the rules that govern employers’ ability to monitor employees, and (c) the new rules that govern digital eavesdropping between (virtual) neighbors.

Both programs are also available for CLE credit On Demand and by Digital Download. For more information about these and all of our courses, please visit:

Client Service and Self Care

Lawyers tell me that the practice of law is more stressful than ever. Longer hours, increased acrimony and increased pressure all take a toll on a lawyer’s well-being. Not only is this stress taxing on well-being, it also harms relationships and causes a person to become increasingly self-focused and lose the natural capacity for empathy and creativity.

My message this week is simple and to the point: Take care of yourself, so that you can take care of your clients.

Many lawyers put off self-care and proper work-life balance in order to take care of their clients first. While this approach is seemingly commendable, it actually doesn’t work. If we don’t take care of ourselves, our patience, empathic connection, and creativity will diminish, which will most often compromise achieving best results for clients.

So, what can you do to better take care of yourself? Don’t overwhelm yourself; block out 15 minutes, twice a day to nourish yourself – take a walk, sit quietly and breathe, read a book – whatever best restores your sense of peace, well-being and joy. That will fuel your capacity for better client service by increasing your patience, persuasiveness, and ability to find creative solutions to achieve client objectives.

For a deeper investigation into the relationship between self-care, law practice success and client satisfaction, check out The Inspired Lawyer, a CLE Webinar offered on May 20 by The Likeable Lawyer. This program is also available On Demand. For more information, please visit:

The Satisfied Client

According to statistics published by the American Bar Association, 90% of private practice clients are dissatisfied with their lawyer at the conclusion of representation.  ”Unmet expectations” appears to be the general reason for such poor satisfaction ratings. Lawyers I have talked to about this respond by saying that many clients have unreasonable expectations. Though isn’t it part of the lawyer’s job to set and manage reasonable expectations?

There are two main categories of expectations that lawyers should consider when representing clients: substantive expectations, and transactional expectations. Both are important. Substantive expectations involve what the client hopes to achieve in the matter for which he or she seeks counsel. The lawyer should interview the client and facilitate a conversation that ensures that the client has reasonably achievable substantive expectations.

Transactional expectations involve the relationship between client and lawyer, and include communication and availability expectations, who will do the work, how often the client will be billed, and estimated cost and time-frame to complete the matter. Again, I consider it part of the lawyer’s job to negotiate and set reasonable transactional expectations which might include a range of potential time and cost.

The Likeable Lawyer offers several CLE Webinars that help lawyers develop the tools to facilitate clients to set reasonable substantive and transactional expectations. This month, we are offering three excellent webinars that not only discuss expectations, but also help lawyers develop greater persuasion skills, and negotiate better outcomes for their clients. Of course, better outcomes go a long way to meeting client expectations.

The April webinars include:

The Trusted Lawyer – by webinar on April 8
The Persuasive Lawyer – by webinar on April 8
The Satisfied Client – by webinar on April 15

These programs, and quite a few others, are also available On Demand and by Video Download.

For more information about all of our CLE programs, please visit us at

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