Engagement, Engagement, Engagement
- You and your client;
- You and your colleagues;
- You and your suppliers;
- You and your on-line audience;
- You and your friends, family and those people who you connect with;
- You and your inner voice.
The experience has to be more than: “If you press 1 or say Yes/No …”.
It has to be deep, meaningful, emotional and something that leaves a positive, lasting impression.
Listen first. Don’t jump in on the conversation and think you can (always) solve the hurt. Yes, you might have the answer but try to curtail your wish to shine a light on the problem, but rather take time to understand the person and engage.
If you think about the provision of legal services the future is automation. Cost is the driver. But that removes one of the strongest aspects of our being: people to people engagement.
We need to feel connected.
[I love Amazon but I don’t want to live my life out through a computer.]
Next time you have a team meeting or find yourself discussing your service, just remember that what your clients treasure is meaningful engagement. It builds a strong bond of trust.
Get better at communicating your message, internally and externally. It so much more than part of the process. Don’t go the other way and come up with a cheesy message: “You deal with real people”. Like there is something else!
We all have a tendency to become blaze about things and never more so than in the engagement department. But when was the last time your initial client interview was filmed and your performance reviewed by your peers? Or your last telephone call was recorded and you asked the Managing Partner to rate your performance? Or your appraisal was reviewed by an external moderator?
Get better is a perennial theme of mine. It is all part of the message to be the most of anything.
I know if I were in practice still I would want to go back to basics and get some honest feedback on my style of engagement.
Of course, engagement has a darker side. How many times have you felt your arm being twisted, or your words misrepresented or simply experiencing bad manners? Lawyers are not unique in this department but they do have a tendency to think they are always right and with that comes a subversive style of engagement.
Avoid this at all cost.
Go to work on your engagement skills. Over communicate, over communicate, over communicate.
Don’t keep resorting to emails and be prepared to get out from behind your desk once in a while and speak to everyone including those people who you have walked past or seen in the last 18 months but still can’t remember their name.
Sorry if this sounds a bit bleak but it is all part of the new path that you must walk along to move you and your practice into the modern world and out of the cave that you have been dwelling in for the last 100 years.
~ JulianSummerhayes ~