More than 2000 years after some poor bloke was nailed to a tree for suggesting that people should just be nice to one another, the kindness movement still has a long way to go.
One profession which most people would not think you needed a jot of kindness to be successful in is law. This is understandable as lawyers have a reputation for ruthless self-interest. I have known litigators in particular who refuse to smile for profile pictures on their firm’s website for fear of being considered a soft touch or not quite up to the job of being nasty.
In my mind this attitude misses the point. My daily work involves the resolution of disputes. I am successful in doing this. Client feedback in leading independently researched legal directory Chambers 2017 wrote ‘What is incredible about her is her great grasp of the likelihood of success and the momentum she builds to get results very quickly’.
When working with you I am 100% on side and go all out to get the result that achieves your commercial objective. I am like a lioness protecting her cubs. But do I need a reputation for being Mrs Nasty or to put on a scowl to do this. Not at all. In fact the secret of my success in dispute resolution is actually having been born with both a kindness and a friendliness gene. It means I am able able to empathise not just with you but with your opponent. Why would I want to do that? It’s because if I understand what an opponent needs as well as what you need I can see solutions that some lawyer in eternal stand-offs with their opponent do not. In this way I can avoid unnecessary escalation and often wrap things up quickly. Working like this is good for you, good for me and good for opponents some of which end up forming strong business relations with our clients. Lawyer folk I urge you to try it.
By Margaret Briffa
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