Last week 12 of our members flew home after a week of inspiration and support from us here in Boulder, CO. They re-entered their everyday lives with a whole new set of tools for connection that they did not have before this life-changing week.
I fell in love with each and every lawyer in the room. And, I believe they fell in love with each other as well. Best of all, I think we all fell a little bit more in love with the fact that we get to be lawyers AND serve clients in such a meaningful and impactful way.
You see, what I think every lawyer in the room got is that we have SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY for connection with the people in our community, our clients, our referral sources, and our prospects.
And, for the most part, due to lack of training, living in our heads, and not ever having seen this modeled in the legal realm, we’ve been missing something huge.
Instead, we go right to problem-solving mode. Often not even realizing we’re solving the wrong problems, or at least not the problems that actually matter to our clients and prospects. We cut off connection as a result. Or, maybe we go into interrogator mode, asking question after question, without taking time to listen and make sure that the person we’re talking to knows we’ve got the answer to the question they came for in the first place.
These traditional and highly prized lawyer traits have been a big problem for me in my personal relationships. They made it hard for me to make friends, and really connect with my kids. And, I’m sure I lost out on lots of clients over the years because when I met people in informal settings, I probably put them off with my too lawyer-ish ways of being.
Sure, once I got someone in my office, I engaged them, but only because I eventually developed the scripts we use in our Family Wealth Planning Sessions, which have connection techniques as a foundation. I learned that connection naturally leads to enrollment, and I got really good at giving presentations and running ads and doing direct mail, but I am CERTAIN I missed the boat when it came to networking and informal relationships leading to clients (all FREE SOURCES of marketing) because I didn’t initially understand the importance of true connection. Honestly, until I had those skills, life in general was just less satisfying.
One of the greatest gifts I received this weekend was when one of the lawyers shared about a ten-minute conversation he had on the phone with his 13-year old daughter. Before this weekend, he said that never would have happened. He would have called and she would have handed the phone directly to her mom. But now, with some simple (not easy necessarily, but simple) new tools, he connected – really connected with his daughter. And believe me, connecting with a 13-year old girl is one of the hardest things to do!
Another lawyer recently sent me this message which was another great gift and confirmation that this training is going to lead our lawyers into beautiful new directions:
“It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to say about the experience in Boulder and I am glad I waited because my response to the experience has changed over the week. I share similar thoughts to those who have already commented and would like to share further that the last week of “integrating” back into the real world has been a real emotional roller coaster. Probably the greatest thing I learned was to stop talking and just…. listen. And the workshop showed me how important that was. I have had the experience of finding that the less I say, the more impactful what I say is. And that’s a pretty powerful realization!
While learning about myself was great, the impact, however, over the last week on my interactions with other people has been even more amazing. I just needed to be ..quiet for awhile after getting home. So I did t hat. Or tried. But it seemed people practically came out of the woodwork to share important stuff with me. It was kind of strange. People I have said good morning to while buying coffee nearly every day suddenly dropped really important, tough stuff on me instead of just the usual pleasantries. Co-workers showed up in my office to talk about challenges they were facing. It was almost too much. I wanted to turn it off because it was more than I could handle even though I wanted to help every single one of them.
Instead of avoiding the interactions, though, I realized that I needed to protect my own capacity and honor my own limits. Then I was better able to help those reaching out to me by suggesting places they could go. I also realized that sometimes I was helping just by listening. And that felt good.
I also had the opportunity to have a really meaningful, breakthrough
conversation with an old, old friend about something we experienced 20
years ago, but had never talked about deeply. Then I had an experience
delivering some tough news and messages to colleagues and clients this
week, expecting the worse, but getting great feedback. Then, I had a
meeting at my kids’ school that I thought would be extremely difficult, but
walked out feeling that the administrator felt inspired and supported to do
more meaningful work on relationship building within the school community.
It was….nothing short of amazing.
Ultimately, I agree that this has been life changing – in all areas of my life. I cannot recommend strongly enough that if you are on the fence about going, do whatever you can to make it happen. It has been that powerful!”
Now, each of these 12 lawyers who attended this valuable week of connection will be able to use the new tools they learned to connect with people when networking, out in social situations, in initial client meetings and presentations, and in their own families. I am beyond excited to hear about the impact of that! And, I trust that the connections they made with each other will last a lifetime.
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