It comes as no surprise that being a lawyer requires dealing with people. Perhaps “dealing” is not the best word. Handling, maybe. Interacting. Helping. Regardless of adjective, people are in the mix and we have to learn how to [insert adjective] people.
Debra L. Bruce wrote a useful three-part series on the topic, calling it a “Tech Support Manual for Problems with People.” She observes that when we encounter technical problems, we reach for the tech support manual, a 1-800 number or some other source to troubleshoot the issue. When it comes to people, however, there isn’t such an option so we have to learn to be our own tech support. To do that, Debra offers three tools: monitoring your attitude, engage in active listening (which is different than merely listening) and creating an atmosphere of safety for discussion. Being aware of them, and practicing them in every conversation will help you be able to manage difficulty situations when they arise, or provide that level of customer service that makes a difference.
Using the tech support manual for problems with people in your practice requires having clients. Data continues to demonstrate that people are looking for lawyers online. That begs the question: how do I get found online?
Most common responses are blogging, social media and other forms of search engine optimization and, perhaps, some search engine marketing. Steph Abbott from the Clark County (NV) Bar Association demonstrates how creating a local listing is a useful, yet overlooked, method. She gives you point-by-point steps, and provides a list of resources so you can quickly learn more and setup your local listing today.
Featured image: “Fist hitting, fist punching” from Shutterstock.