Sunday, January 13, 2013

Leave Your Negative Emotions at Home

Good advice on business etiquette from Nancy Mulloy-Bond, the director of ALI-CLE:

  1. Don’t impose your bad mood on your team or your legal adversary. It works against you.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Establish a pattern. Be calm, be cool, be clear.


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