Succeeding in Legal Practice is not only a function of the legal training. As a lawyer, you need more than your legal education if you are to succeed especially in the present day economy.
Recently, the World Economic Forum listed a number of skills every professional must possess by year 2020 to avoid being labelled as an endangered specie.
Endangered species are professionals who rely heavily on their intelligent quotient as a tool of performance and promotion.
These professionals deploy outdated tools and are wondering why they aren’t climbing up the success ladder as fast as they desire.
The possibility of a lawyer being labelled as one of the endangered species is high where such lawyer lacks one of the skills listed by the World Economic Forum which is Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is encompassing and a sum total of a person’s ability to control himself and effectively relate with others as well. As a lawyer, one significant tool you must acquire is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) since the bulk of your day to day affair requires that you relate with all manner of people.
Only little can be achieved with Intelligent Quotient. For Attorney-Client Relationship, emotional intelligence plays a critical role. Greater emotional awareness and strength helps you to be sensitive towards your clients. Sensitivity to your client’s emotional state positions you to respond accordingly where the client is nervous about his case for instance. It also helps you show a reasonable level of empathy which is one of the bedrock of emotional intelligence.
As a lawyer equipped with EQ, you will possess various tools with which you can effectively manage your clients, ensuring you deliver quality legal services whilst you are also well remunerated.
EQ is also relevant for court trials, especially during cross-examination. A Lawyer equipped with EQ knows the kind of questions to ask to elicit the right answers from a witness thereby discrediting the evidence earlier given by the witness. A number of lawyers have lost cases which ordinarily they should win due to inability to argue well their case and discredit the opposition’s claim.
As legal service providers, timeous and quality service delivery is of high importance. EQ helps in quality time management and efficient service delivery thus helping you to be top of mind and attractive to potential clients.
Summarily, Emotional Intelligence has several components that everyone is familiar with which we however, fail to acknowledge and deploy to our benefits.
Some of these components are highlighted below:
Self Awareness: This is your ability to know yourself. How your feelings and emotions affects your performance and relationship with others. It helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses, positions you to leverage more on your strength while you downplay your weakness.
Patience: As lawyers, lots of patience is required when dealing with clients, senior and junior colleagues. EQ helps in this regard.
Empathy: Your level of empathy reflects in the degree of care and love you display towards your clients. Empathy helps you to put the client first and above your professional fees. This will in turn increase your client base and help to generate more revenue.
Awareness of others: With EQ, you are more sensitive to others and their feelings and able to relate with them accordingly.
Relationship Management: Due to the nature of the services you provide as a lawyer, you are bound to come across diverse kinds of people that you cannot but relate with. You will have very difficult but high net worth clients. You must be able to attract, nurture and retain them else you may be out of business. This is another reason to be emotionally intelligent. It helps in your relationship management.
So much can be said about emotional intelligence and how it contributes to your success as a lawyer. Every lawyer desirous of a successful legal career will do well to get equipped with EQ to avoid being labelled as an endangered specie.
Busola Ajala is a commercial lawyer and a Certified Emotional Intelligence Specialist.
Busola Ajala is a lawyer, entrepreneur and a motivational speaker. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org