January 13, 2013
Leave Your Negative Emotions at Home
Good advice on business etiquette from Nancy Mulloy-Bond, the director of ALI-CLE:
- Don’t impose your bad mood on your team or your legal adversary. It works against you.
- Leaving your negative emotions at home does not mean that you must avoid conflict. We are lawyers in an adversarial system; we embrace conflict. Deliberate and respectful conflict among friends and opponents can be productive.
- We know that you cannot always agree with everyone on everything. But know what you want to argue about, and don’t pile on anger you brought from home.
- Control your emotions. You will not impress your client at a negation table if you fuel your words to opposing counsel with anger left over from this morning’s shouting match with your teenager. You’ll just seem a little crazy. Control your emotions, and use them deliberately as a lawyer. Your anger is uncomfortable for those around you if they don’t see a reasonable cause. Unexplained anger is kind of scary.
- Establish a pattern. Be calm, be cool, be clear.
January 13, 2013 | Permalink