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Leadership Starts With Leading Our Own Minds

Our unconscious minds react to our interpretations that include villains out to get us, and exaggerating probabilities of harmful outcomes. Exaggerating danger causes our unconscious mind to go into a defensive state that is meant to help us overcome a physical threat. The results are self-generated anxiety. People who are anxious, therefore, tend to become aggressive, avoidant, or otherwise defensive. These unconsciously generated fight-or-flight states are designed to amplify our ability to overcome danger. The fight-or-flight state includes shutting down the parts of our brain where we are most capable of proactive, creative, expansive, and brilliant, obstacle-reducing thinking.

Successful leadership requires that we minimize the internal aggravating effects of our unaware and out-of-control minds. Though it often may not seem so at the time, how we react and respond to external challenges becomes the issue that real challenge that we must overcome. The more we inflate the challenge with our interpretations, the more difficult the challenge will become. The more we call our opposition an unreasonable jerk, the more difficult they will be to work with in the future. The more we see them as a human being with needs, the more we remain in a proactive leadership perspective, and the easier it is to smoothly accomplish our objectives with minimal disruption.

Smoothly navigating past challenges without exacerbating them with our interpretations and creating anxiety is part of what distinguishes great leaders from the rest of the pack. Great leaders take dominion over their minds in order to reduce the size of the obstacles they must face, turning challenges into mere road bumps. The reactions and anxiety of less than great leaders often contribute to make mountains of mole hills.

The Likeable Lawyer is featuring two classes this month that focus on the people skills to increase influence and lead negotiations to very successful resolution.

The Trusted Lawyer is illustrated with colorful examples and anecdotes, this program 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 moves beyond logical argument, this insight-filled and entertaining program examines persuasion in a fresh light and gives lawyers skills to effectively persuade anyone—including clients, opposing counsel, and staff.

Both classes are offered Live Interactive Webinar on November 30, and are also available anytime On Demand.

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

Anxiety, What is it Good For? Absolutely Nothing

To gain a handle on managing anxiety, it is first important to distinguish anxiety from stress. Stress and anxiety are often lumped together and then blamed for causing various problems and dissatisfactions, though the two are very different. Simply stated, stress is triggered by external events, whereas, anxiety is a byproduct of an individual’s interpretations of external events that predicts future danger. Predictions of future danger invokes a fight or flight response that a person experiences as anxiety. In fact, the fight or flight anxiety response to predictions of future danger is comprised of the same physiological response to the fight or flight fear response to a present danger in the environment, such as a rattlesnake on the path or a car that swerves into our lane on the highway. In other words, our nervous system responds the same way to an exaggerated or perhaps irrational fear of potential future loss as it does to being attacked in the present moment. Heart rate and blood pressure rise, breathing becomes shallow, the frontal brain lobes, immune system and other important functions shut down in favor of blood flow to the extremities, and adrenaline and cortisol releases that facilitate running faster and punching harder. Fight or flight stimulates both defensiveness and aggressiveness. They nervous system is trying to keep the person alive in the face of danger. This fight or flight response is far more appropriate to responding to present dangers than predictions of future possible dangers.

To learn more, check out our course Lessons from Aristotle. This class is available any time On Demand or by Mp4 Video Download.

To learn more about CLE Courses offered by The Likeable Lawyer, please visit: www.likeablelawyer.com

The Inspired Lawyer

The Inspired Lawyer: An Innovative Webinar on Commanding Influence and Building a Rewarding Law Practice

Aug 24, 2018

9:00 am – 4:00 pm Central Time Zone

This CLE seminar is for lawyers at any career stage and will teach you a set of leadership, negotiation 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:

  • Increase your negotiation skill and influence as you assume a leadership role to create expansive solutions for the benefit of all concerned.
  • Overcome victim mentality by asking leadership questions that facilitate more creative and productive solutions.
  • Diffuse wasteful acrimony and obstructions when aiming to accomplish your objectives.
  • Employ leadership mentality to create a more successful and rewarding law practice.

This course is also available On Demand or by Video Download

Click here for more information about this webinar, or to browse a full list of our offerings visit The Likeable Lawyer website: www.likeablelawyer.com

Integrity

This is an excerpt from a book I am currently writing …

Are you currently living in alignment with your most important standards of behavior? Do you have the character that you desire? These are examples of the type of honest questions a person might ask themself if experiencing life or career dissatisfaction. While there are many factors that can lead to unhappiness, being out of integrity with one’s important values diminishes their experience of meaning and is a leading cause of dissatisfaction. Leading with integrity means practicing and living at all times in alignment with one’s important values. Integrity is not only a key to meaning and fulfillment, it is also critical to likeable leadership.

To learn more about The Likeable Lawyer approach to increasing success and fulfillment in the practice of law, invest your time and money with CLE that will teach you a sustainable approach to influence, integrity and long-term success. This month, we are offering Lessons from Aristotle, by Interactive Webinar on July 27.

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 course and many others are also available as CLE On Demand and by Mp4 Video Download. For more information visit The Likeable Lawyer at: www.likeablelawyer.com

Leadership Intention

Many of The Likeable Lawyer CLE Programs empower lawyers with a leadership approach to achieving client objectives. Leaders assume full responsibility for their success and avoid the traps of victim mentality. Leaders further assume full responsibility for their integrity to their important values. Being out of integrity is one of the top causes of career and life dissatisfaction.

Leadership begins with a clear intention. Intention in a mindset, though declaring an intent to move in a particular direction is the first movement in that direction. We will often find ourselves struggling if our intentions are unclear or conflicted. While it is easy to skip this important step, clarifying an intention engages the creative brilliance of the subconscious mind. Many people overly rely upon their conscious mind to accomplish goals. Though the subconscious is the seed of much of our creative brilliance. Think of the subconscious as one of a leaders most important and obedient followers and supporters. Once engaged, the subconscious will percolate upon and discover often surprising and creative strategies to accomplish the programming intention. Don’t shortchange the important step of writing out a clear intention. Just as a staff person will do better work if given clear directions, the subconscious will similarly blossom and do its best work if engaged by clear intention.

It takes only a few minutes to write out an intention. A written statement will not only force you to clarify your desire, it will also give you something to refer back to when if you need to reinvigorate your momentum. There is no right or wrong way to declare an intention, though it is best to state your intention in the positive. Avoid declaring what you will not do. For example, avoid statements such as “my intention is to avoid victim mentality and betray my values.” Stating in the negative reinforces the behavior you intend to avoid, much like bicyclist is more likely to hit a pothole if they keep their eyes on the pothole. Keep you focus on where they want to go and declare what you intend. For example, “my intention is to assume one-hundred percent responsibility for my behavior and my integrity.”

Before writing anything down, spend some time clarifying your intention in your mind. Reflect upon about your current priorities. You probably will not want to take on everything at once. Once you have identified your current objectives, write out your intention. This may be as simple as, “My intention is to take steps to increase integrity to my values of self-care and spending quality time with my husband and kids.” Use your own language and make your statement personal to you. Use words that describe momentum and direction as opposed to achieving perfection. For example, “My intention is to develop better patience and attentive listening skills with my clients.” You don’t need to worry about how your are going to accomplish your objective at this point. Declaring your intention is the first step.

To learn more about our leadership approach to increasing success and fulfillment in the practice of law, please check out our upcoming webinars; The Basis of Influence Series, being presented on June 28-29.  This five-part series will illuminate many opportunities to increase your leadership capacity in your practice. This series is also available as CLE On Demand, if those dates don’t work for you.

For more information about all of our programs, please visit The Likeable Lawyer website at www.likeablelawyer.com

Victims and Villains

One of the most important keys to increasing integrity as well as the cooperation we receive in our professional relationships is recognizing that the vast majority of people we experience as unreasonable jerks are not sociopathic nor intentionally acting these selfish ways. Most of them are, like us, aspiring to act more reasonably and acting in alignment with their values. Ninety-plus percent of the difficult people we deal with are acting out of integrity with their important values, though from their perspective, they are only doing so because they feel provoked and compelled. They consider their behavior retaliatory or defensive, and justified by the people and circumstances they face. In their mind, the villain in their story compels and excuses their out-of-integrity behavior. They wish they did not have to act out of integrity with their values, though they didn’t feel they had any other choice.

Blaming other people and circumstances is how we rationalize acting out of integrity with our values on any given occasion. The villains from our stories justify our transgressions. We might recognize, however, that most of the time, our villains are similarly making up an interpretation of events that blames us for forcing them to act out of integrity with their values. In other words, they justify their behavior by declaring us to be an unreasonable jerk, or otherwise. Consequently, we live in an interpretive world of cross-blame, believing that we are compelled to act differently than we would ideally prefer. We employ self-exculpating, story-telling to justify our out of integrity behavior. The villain made us do it. The result in many conflict situations is that both parties are out of integrity, and both suffer for it. If both parties to the conflict are lawyers, it is likely that both of their clients suffer various consequences as well. Costs and timelines will run higher and longer, and the collaborative conditions necessary for creativity and the discovery of expansive solutions diminish. No wonder clients often declare lawyers to be part of the problem, and trust in lawyers is so low.

To discover how to take the high road, further your influence and avoid a lot of unnecessary conflict, please join The Likeable Lawyer for our upcoming webinar, The Inspired Lawyer to be held on April 20, 2018.

This CLE seminar is for lawyers at any career stage and will teach you a set of leadership, negotiation 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:

  • Increase your negotiation skill and influence as you assume a leadership role to create expansive solutions for the benefit of all concerned.
  • Overcome victim mentality by asking leadership questions that facilitate more creative and productive solutions.
  • Diffuse wasteful acrimony and obstructions when aiming to accomplish your objectives.
  • Employ leadership mentality to create a more successful and rewarding law practice.

This course and many others are also available On Demand.

For more information about CLE Courses from The Likeable Lawyer, please visit www.likeablelawyer.com

 

Leading with Integrity

While the lawyer-leader’s ultimate orientation is to accomplish client objectives, likeable leadership requires that the lawyer do so with integrity to professional standards as well as to the lawyer’s own important values. Being in integrity to one’s values attracts followers who are inspired by people who accomplish great success while also adhering to generally agreed to values and behavior standards. Moreover, integrity to one’s values is also a critical element for fulfillment as deviations from one’s values will result in personal suffering. No matter how creative or seemingly true a person’s justifications or excuses for deviating from their own values, the person will suffer for being out of integrity.

The first time a person deviates from their values, they will likely experience course-correction emotions such as guilt or shame. What many will do to assuage their guilt is develop victim stories to justify their values betrayal and they cover up their guilt with anger directed at their designated villain. After a while these justifications turn into story habits, and the person gets into the unconscious habit of interpreting their disappointing interactions with victim stories. While these victim stories may seem reasonable to the story teller, they do not provide long-term relief from the consequences of being out of integrity. Down deep they know they are out of integrity and they suffer for it. Moreover, their victim stories compound their suffering with the additional negative emotions targeted at their villains.

Courage is required to honestly assess one’s integrity. Though the courage and effort are well worth the investment. There is much that flows from integrity, including satisfaction, fulfillment, magnetism, support and  success.  It is therefore in a person’s best interest to examine our values and take steps towards being in full integrity with their most important values.

To learn more about increasing success and fulfillment as a lawyer, check out the CLE webinar The Likeable Lawyer is offering this month on March 23. Lessons from Aristotle is a 6.5 hour CLE Webinar (also offered On Demand) that examines Aristotle’s persuasion model to guide lawyers to increase success in negotiation. 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.

To learn more about this course, please click on This Link. For more information about all of our courses, please visit www.likeablelawyer.com

Likeable Leadership

Likeable leadership is powerful. Whether taking the lead to achieve a particular objective, to negotiate an agreement, or to improve one’s career or life, leaders are more likely to realize their highest aims than are those who are waiting for a better time, or blaming circumstances outside of their control for falling short of their visions and aspirations. Having the cooperation and support of followers is central to leadership success. Likeable lawyers earn cooperation and support by being perceived as trustworthy and caring and from the successful implementations of certain mindsets. Likeable lawyers are expansive and seek creative opportunities to overcome obstacles and accomplish not only their own objectives, but also everyone’s objectives whenever possible. The likeable leadership mindsets discussed in CLE Courses offered by The Likeable Lawyer help lawyers accomplish more objectives as well as overcome obstacles and challenges that arise as they move their team toward the desired objectives.

We have two great CLE Courses offered By Webinar this month that give great guidance on how to be a more likeable leader:

Dimwits, Ramblers and Jerks – Whether aggressive opposing counsel or clients who talk on and on, this program will give you fresh approaches to work more effectively with anyone. Legal knowledge is important, but the most effective lawyers know how to influence and gain cooperation, even with challenging people, in order to get the job done.

Unreasonable Expectations – The number one cause of client dissatisfaction is unreasonable expectations. This program helps lawyers better manage client relationships by facilitating clients to define reasonable expectations, and also improve negotiation skills to better achieve client objectives. Lawyers will further have the opportunity to examine their own law practice expectations, and learn simple ways to improve life as a lawyer.

We also have dozens of CLE Courses offered On Demand and by Video Download. For more information about our courses, please visit: www.likeablelawyer.com

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

 

 



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