blog1What are the secret strategies, tools, and beliefs that the world’s highest achievers have? Those who are considered to be ‘High Achievers’ outperform others. One thing these high performers have in abundance, is the ability to Influence other people.

I want to share with you one specific strategy, so you can improve your ability to ‘Influence’ the relationships you have, such as the relationships you have with your clients, your professional colleagues and most importantly, the people in your own family, whom you communicate with every single day.

The interesting thing to be aware of, is what we often consider to be of common sense in life, is often not common practice.

For example, we know we should be loving, kind and patient (because patience is a virtue) but then we can easily become impatient and snappy, and respond in a reactive way, rather than the way in which we would have preferred to respond. (Especially after we may have blurted out some comment we wish we had never said.)

Being ‘Influential’ means you must have discipline to influence yourself first. It’s important to surround yourself with people who support you, believe in you, and champion you along. If you want to be influential, then start with your relationships at home and your relationships at work.

The important thing to develop, is your attitude.

Have you ever considered what intention you set regarding your relationships with others?

First, you must set a specific intention, so you can then follow through, and implement. For example, set your intention about how you want to treat a particular person, or people. Instead of simply reacting to other people’s emotions, which may cause you to respond in a particularly way, you must set a conscious intention, as to how you want to show up.

Ask yourself this question: How specifically, would you like your clients to perceive you? For example, if your clients were to speak about you, or refer you to others, what three words would you feel proud of people using to describe who you are as a Lawyer?

For example: The Dahlia Lama is considered to be kind, and compassionate.

So how do you want to be perceived by your clients? Because if you don’t consciously come up with your specific intention, about the three words or the phrase you want others to have about you, then how can you expect clients or colleagues to think of you in the way you want to be thought of, if you don’t even know what that is yourself?

One of the things you must consider is this: What reputation do you want to develop for yourself as a lawyer, and most importantly, as a person.

One thing you could do, is when you meet and see your client’s face, you immediately think about the word or phrase you want this person to feel about you. If you want to be considered friendly and approachable, think about these words when you look at your client’s face, because thinking so, will make you so.

Another thing to consider is: What sort of conversation would you like your clients to have about you, if they were to refer you?

For example:

Sarah says to her best friend Jane: “I really want you to go and see my lawyer John. He’s the best. Not only will he get you the best possible result, on top of that, he’s just so nice to deal with. He’s really understanding, and really friendly, which will make you feel comfortable straight away. He is a kind person, and he has a really empathetic side. It made me feel so good, having someone who seemed to understand how I was feeling. It just made such a difference to my difficult and upsetting situation. By the time I left his office, I felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I really felt like I had someone on my side…..someone who got what I was going through. I know you’re feeling really nervous and scared about going to a lawyer, but believe me Jane, you are going to feel 100% better, when you’ve met John and explained your situation. Make sure you call and make an appointment, and tell him I sent you. Believe me, this will be the best decision you ever make.”

Now let’s, consider another referrer named Billie. This is what she has to say to Sarah about her lawyer: “Yeah my lawyer was pretty good…I can give you her name if you want, but bear in mind, she’s a bit standoffish, and not very personable. She knows what she’s doing, but she’s straight to business. She’s very black and white in her approach, and not all that friendly to deal with. She doesn’t smile much, but she gets the job done. Don’t get put off if she seems a bit cold and reserved. As I said, she does a good job and will get you a good result and I’m sure you’ll be happy with her, but try not to let her manner put you off and make you feel uncomfortable. As long as you can overlook the fact that she doesn’t show much if any emotion about anything you tell her, you’ll be fine.

Jane has been given these two referrals. One by her good friend at work, and one from her best friend from schooldays. She trusts both of these people very much.

In the first example, Sarah speaks with passion about her experience with her lawyer. Mostly she speaks about her lawyer’s qualities of kindness and empathy. One of the things she focused upon, and stressed to Sarah, was how comfortable her lawyer made her feel.

In the second referral, Jane was told the lawyer was good also, and would get her a good result, as long as she could overlook someone who could be a bit standoffish and a little cold in their approach.

Sarah has two choices. Which one do you think would be way more compelling and influential when it comes to getting Jane to make a choice as to which lawyer she will actually pick up the phone and make an appointment to see?

Which firm stands to make thousands of dollars, because of the way one lawyer was described as opposed to the other?

Don’t Fool Yourself – When people give referrals, they will use words and phrases to describe you, just like those spoken by Jane and Billie. This is exactly how your clients will speak about you…. or perhaps they won’t even bother to speak about you at all.

You MUST decide upon the three characteristics you want to be known for. The first step is to decide the three words you would love other people to use, when describing your attributes and attitude. You MUST pay attention to who you want to be known as, because creating this intention, is what’s going to build you the reputation you want, as opposed to the reputation you don’t want.

If you don’t create a specific intention, then this will cause you problems when it comes to your ability to gain quality referrals. Instead of coming across in the way you might really want to subconsciously, you might come across, with whatever attitude you’ve turned up at the office with for the day.

If you’re feeling good that day, then you’ll have a higher chance of imparting this attitude onto others, but if you’re telling yourself the day is lousy, or you feel tired, or bored, or you’d rather not be there……….then this is exactly the attitude you’ll be imparting onto your clients and everyone else you interact with……. even if you don’t intentionally mean to come across in such a negative way.

There is real power in knowing how you want to show up as a lawyer. How you want to be perceived. How you want to be seen, and how do you want to serve your clients.

You may have an intention to be a certain type of lawyer, but the problem is, most people forget to implement their intention. Remember, instead of reacting to other people’s emotions, follow through with the words and behaviours that will support the attitude and characteristics you want to be known for.

One of the most important words and emotions for a lawyer to tap into, is empathy. Having empathy for others, will change the entire conversation you have with your clients. You’ll come across in a very different way. Having empathy as a lawyer, means you come across in such a genuine way, in a way no-one else does, in a way that your client feels compelled to choose you.

When your clients are going through a really difficult time, look at your client, and think about the word ‘empathy’ and as you look into their eyes, and say the word ‘empathy’ in your mind, over and over, you’ll change the whole tone of your conversation to follow, and you’ll come across in a completely different way. When you practice doing this when the situation calls for ‘empathy’ as an example, you can create a trigger for yourself, that by practicing you will easily connect to, every time it’s appropriate to your client and their situation.

Having the ability to control your emotional state, and being able to take on an emotional state that allows you to support and connect with your clients in a more meaningful way, is how you can create high quality client relationships.

There is power in creating your intention, and power in identifying the characteristics you want to develop in yourself. This is what high performers do. They create specific intentions regarding how they present themselves to others.

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