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Likeable Lawyers Are More Successful

There are many advantages to a likeable leadership and influence style. Lawyers who employ this style tend to discover creative and expansive resolutions that meet more objectives and that may not have been discovered otherwise. They also do so with far less stress, collateral damage and financial waste because they act in a facilitative rather than an authoritative capacity. Rather than cramming ideas down people’s throats, likeable leaders facilitate creative brainstorming, ask good questions and present choices. Their goal is to gain insights and brilliant ideas from everyone involved in order to expand the size of the pie to achieve more of everyone’s objectives. Expansive solutions are almost impossible if parties negotiate from one-sided polarity which often leads to zealous positioning, defensiveness and aggressive haggling. These postures limit contribution and severely hamper creativity.

Employing a collaborative approach allows parties in a surprising number of situations to creatively discover win-win solutions to what might otherwise have been categorized as “opposing interests” or a “zero-sum game.” With collaboration and likeable leadership, the situation turns out to be a creatively solvable puzzle far more often than the typically adversarial nature of the legal practice allows.

To facilitate and achieve expansive solutions, likeable leaders are willing to share solution ownership. They ask questions that encourage everyone to brainstorm and think creatively. They are satisfied when someone else comes up with the brilliant answer. They avoid dominating, controlling, interrupting, belittling, arguing, dismissing, and the other lawyerly bad habits which diminish creativity and offend people. They instead empower others by soliciting their ideas and presenting choices. This allows participants to contribute and feel heard which increases buy in to and ownership over the resolutions reached.

To learn more, check out our January 26 webinar, The Inspired Lawyer. [about class].  This class is preapproved for CLE credit in most states, including ethics, professionalism and other specialty credits. The Inspired Lawyer, and many others, are also available On Demand, and by Video Download. For more information about The Likeable Lawyer CLE programs, please visit: www.likeablelawyer.com

The Perception of Trust and Care

An important component of assuming one-hundred percent responsibility for relationships is managing the perceptions of those with whom we desire to build and maintain positive relationships. Recall that ninety-percent of what people think happened is their subjective story. We have the ability to shape their stories by giving them information that encourages them to make it up in alignment with our objectives. We might have closed the door to our office because we have a bad headache, for example, and our assistant took it personally and misperceives that we are upset with him. It isn’t our fault he interpreted our action this way. Though if we want to maintain the best possible relationship we could have anticipated this potential interpretation and avoided relationship damage by telling him in advance that were going to close the door because we had a bad headache.

It is perhaps a lot to ask to manage people’s sensitivities and tendencies to take things personally when we do not intend them as personal. Though leaders must do so in order to maintain maximum influence and cooperation. Negligence in this regard often leads to negative perceptions and negative relationships.

Managing perceptions requires proactive awareness of a person’s potential interpretation of our words and actions. This is a form of proactive empathy. We put ourselves into other people’s shoes and imagine how they might interpret our interruptions, idea rejections and multi-tasking before we interrupt, reject their idea and try to finish an email while we are talking to them on the phone. Contemplating their potential negative interpretations incentivizes us to make different communication choices. It’s not as hard as it seems, especially if we intend to let go of victim mentality. We can’t turn everyone into rambling idiots to justify our interruptions; blame traffic for our consistent tardiness; and make a villain out our busy schedule for multi-tasking. If we do, we are in victim mentality and our relationships suffer. Shifting blame rarely gets us off the hook anyways. People get tired of hearing excuses. Accepting responsibility for oneself, on the other hand, earns respect and trust. Honest self-awareness, humility and proactive empathy allows us to cultivate better communication and relationship habits if we assume one-hundred percent responsibility for ourselves and do our best to manage their perceptions. With attention we can give them the information and experiences they need to create favorable stories about us after their interactions with us.

The Likeable Lawyer is presenting CLE Webinars this month that are designed to help lawyers integrate the skills necessary to become for persuasive and influential with all people.

The Basis of Influence Series looks at influence from A to Z and gives lawyers the tools they need to increase their sway with clients, opposing interests and colleagues. This series will be presented by Brian Hammer, JD and Christopher Layton, Esq. of The Layton Law Firm in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dimwits, Ramblers and Jerks takes it a step further and addresses influence strategies for difficult people.

These courses are approved for CLE credit (including ethics and professionalism credit) in most states. These and other pre-approved CLE programs, are also available On Demand for those who desire to view on a different time schedule.

For more information about all of our programs, please visit: www.likeablelawyer.com

For more information about Christopher Layton, Esq. and The Layton Law Firm, please visit his website: www.thelaytonlawfirm.com

 

 

Better Than The Golden Rule

We enjoy influence, cooperation and support from people who perceive that they have a positive relationship with us. They will perceive a positive relationship if they feel that we care about their needs and objectives. To demonstrate care for their needs, we must to do better than the Golden Rule. As opposed to treating people as we would like to be treated, we have to treat them as they desire to be treated. This may seem onerous with all the demands already competing for our time, but it is well worth our effort, paying huge dividends in the form of support and cooperation. As opposed to a one-size fits all rule, we must attune and pay attention to them and learn about their objectives. They will think the world of us if we demonstrate care for their subjective and sometimes particular needs. Some clients prefer to be kept informed by phone calls, others are fine with email updates. It may be easier to send email updates to everyone, though those that prefer the more interactive phone call may interpret an email as a lack of care. While a phone call may seem a waste of precious time, if the client is treated as they want to be treated, they will interpret their experiences with us in the positive and likely be more supportive when we need their cooperation.

The Likeable Lawyer is presenting two classic CLE Approved Webinars on November 29 that clearly demonstrate with insight and relevant examples how to earn the discretionary support of those who are needed to accomplish client objectives.

The Trusted Lawyer is illustrated with colorful examples and anecdotes and examines the effects of a lawyer’s credibility and trust on their ability to win arguments and influence people. Discover the consequences of unintentional communication, and become better equipped to meet your clients’ objectives.

The Persuasive Lawyer takes you beyond logical argument, examines persuasion in a fresh light and gives lawyers skills to effectively persuade anyone—including clients, opposing counsel, and staff.

Both courses are also available On Demand to view at your convenience. Both are approved for CLE credit. For more information about all of our programs, please visit www.likeablelawyer.com.

Leadership Questions

A big factor in what separates outstanding leaders from the rest of the pack is how they respond to conflict, obstacles and challenges as they seek to accomplish objectives. Exceptional leaders know they must stay on track and maintain productive momentum. They do this, in part, by eliciting from their followers creative solutions to the challenges faced. Assembling a team of bright innovative followers is helpful. One of a leader’s most creatively brilliant and dependable followers, however, is the leader’s own subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is a powerful tool, capable of creative brilliance. The subconscious is also capable of leadership sabotage. Whether the subconscious helps or hinders depends on the leader’s conscious and unconscious thoughts in important choice-point moments. A skilled leader recognizes this important choice-point juncture, and asks the right questions to access not only their own, but also their follower’ subconscious creative problem-solving brilliance.

For more, check out our upcoming webinar The Inspired Lawyer, offered by Webinar on October 20 and anytime On Demand.

For more information about The Likeable Lawyer visit www.likeablelawyer.com

Alternative to Victims and Anxiety

I am currently writing a book on leadership for lawyers. As I write, it becomes quite apparent to me that in order to be a successful leader, a lawyer must assume 100% responsibility for their success. As a part of this, it is necessary and critical to recognize and replace victim mentality and it’s byproduct, self-induced anxiety. The replacement is leadership orientation which starts with programming our subconscious minds with the right questions and orientation.

Both victim mentality and anxiety are major obstacles to successful influence. Victim mentality is essentially making a villain out of the other person and declaring oneself a victim to the other person’s bad behavior. Examples include: “The meeting went poorly because the other lawyer is a jerk.” “I am not succeeding because the system is broken.” Anxiety is a fight or flight reaction to making up a story that has oneself a victim to a villain. Although formulated in a way to self exculpate oneself from responsibility and blame the other, leaders must be 100% responsible to succeed. It may be easier to declare the other to be an [fill in favorite adjective[, though it is antagonistic to successful leadership.

Again, both victim mentality and anxiety are completely self-induced and compromise success, health and fulfillment. To derail both, it is necessary to see how and why stories are made up, and how our emotions are the byproduct of the stories. Leaders cannot afford to make up the negative stories AND must plant the right seeds so that those they seek to lead make up favorable stories towards the leader’s influence.

If you are interested in improving your capacity to lead and influence and you would like to earn some easy CLE credit, check out our CLE webinar on September 15: Lessons from Aristotle.

Twenty-three hundred years ago, Aristotle laid out a three-step process for achieving exceptional results in persuasion and influence. This class translates the process for modern-day lawyers and shows lawyers how to employ Aristotle’s model to negotiate more effectively and achieve better results for clients.

- Negotiate more effectively using Aristotle’s three elements of persuasion.
- Learn how to inspire cooperation and support and increase influence.
- Significantly reduce anxiety and acrimony when dealing with difficult people.

This and many other great courses are also available ON DEMAND to view at your convenience.

All of our programs are 40% during the month of September. To take advantage of this offer, use Coupon Code: September40 during checkout.

For more information, please visit The Likeable Lawyer website: www.likeablelawyer.com

Earn Discretionary Support

A likeable lawyer has an easier time achieving objectives because they gain the discretionary support and cooperation from those who might otherwise be obstacles. We might call these lawyers charming, charismatic, or smooth persuaders. Though regardless of the label, what these likeable lawyers have in common is that they know how to earn the desire of their unconscious minds of those they need in order to succeed. They intuit the decision-influencing power of the unconscious mind, and they know how to attract and influence that power in their favor.

Most lawyers know how to present brilliantly reasoned requests and proposals. They love to present their logic and they like to be right and to seem brilliant. These same lawyers often find and report that they have to deal with quite a few ornery, difficult, hard-headed, stubborn and lazy people. These others must be these caricatures and categories of difficult, for how else would you explain their inability to follow the brilliantly reasoned request that the lawyer presented to them?! Or perhaps there is another explanation.

The Likeable Lawyer is presenting two classic CLE Approved Webinars on August 31 that clearly demonstrate with insight and relevant examples how to earn the discretionary support of those who are needed to accomplish client objectives.

The Trusted Lawyer is illustrated with colorful examples and anecdotes and examines the effects of a lawyer’s credibility and trust on their ability to win arguments and influence people. Discover the consequences of unintentional communication, and become better equipped to meet your clients’ objectives.

The Persuasive Lawyer takes you beyond logical argument, examines persuasion in a fresh light and gives lawyers skills to effectively persuade anyone—including clients, opposing counsel, and staff.

Both courses are also available On Demand to view at your convenience. Both are approved for CLE credit. For more information about all of our programs, please visit www.likeablelawyer.com.

Choose Wisely

Many people (both with and without J.D.’s) believe that a lawyer has to be an aggressive bulldog to get the best results. I don’t think this is the case at all. Not to say that aggressive lawyers are always ineffective. They can achieve results. As can assertive, creative, persuasive, smart and charming lawyers. There are many roads to success. I suggest lawyers choose the one that gets great results and is most in alignment with their values. For most lawyers, that is a more likeable approach. For those that wish to increase collaboration, reduce conflict and stress, and increase effectiveness, I invite you to join our upcoming MCLE webinar, The Inspired Lawyer.

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.

The Inspired Lawyer will be offered as a Webinar on July 28. It is also available anytime On Demand to watch on your computer (along with many other great CLE classes). For more information about The Likeable Lawyer and our popular CLE programs, please visit www.likeablelawyer.com.

Aristotle, JD

Want to learn how to apply Aristotle’s Rhetoric to help any lawyer negotiate better results and become more persuasive?

Check out the Lessons from Aristotle webinar from The Likeable Lawyer coming up on June 23, from 9:30-5:30. Approved for 6.5-8 hours of CLE credit (including ethics/professionalism) in most states.

Twenty-three hundred years ago, Aristotle laid out a three-step process for achieving exceptional results in persuasion and influence. This class translates the process for modern-day lawyers and shows lawyers how to employ Aristotle’s model to negotiate more effectively and achieve better results for clients.

  • Negotiate more effectively using Aristotle’s three elements of persuasion
  • Improve negotiation results with advance interest-based planning
  • Maintain clarity during times of stress

The course is also available On Demand, Digital Download and on DVD.

For more information, please visit: www.likeablelawyer.com

Likeable Mediation

Beyond Compromise: A Unique Mediation Model that Takes Parties on a Creative Journey to Discover Better Agreements that Achieve More of Everyone’s Objectives.

The Likeable Approach to Creative Agreement and Resolution. Since 2003, The Likeable Lawyer has inspired lawyers with a unique approach to CLE. Our material teaches advocates how to reduce acrimony and work more creatively and effectively with opposing counsel. Our negotiation models have helped over 50,000 lawyers expand the range of options in order to create better resolutions and achieve more of their clients’ objectives.

The Likeable Lawyer now offers a unique mediation service that facilitates our creative and expansive approach. Suited to any situation where the parties desire win-win resolutions and durable agreements, our mediation model takes parties through the steps of our expansive negotiation models to expand the possibilities and creatively discover better solutions to a variety of situations. Unlike traditional mediation which has one neutral mediator helping the parties forge a resolution they can live with, our two facilitator approach coaches parties through a process that generates creative solutions intended to fully satisfy the goals of all concerned.

  • Our expert facilitation will help you avoid the polarized combativeness that inhibits creativity.
  • We facilitate collaborative brainstorming sessions that reveal brilliant ways to achieve more of everyone’s objectives.

Whether to resolve a dispute (in or out of litigation), create a new partnership, or reach a lasting agreement of any kind, our unique approach helps parties arrive at creative, expansive agreements that achieve more of everyone’s important objectives.

Click here to learn more about Likeable Mediation. To learn more about The Likeable Lawyer, please visit: www.likeablelawyer.com.

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: brian@likeablelawyer.com. 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: www.likeablelawyer.com.



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