Emotional Intelligence: Your Authority Key Differentiator
Ready to become the sought-after expert your clients will want to work with and be willing to pay a premium to do so? Do you want to know how you are unique to your clients & how you can stand out in the sea of competitors? Are you the "best kept secret in your market?” If you want to know the shortcuts to build your personal brand and become the go-to expert and the authority in your field, DO NOT MISS this series by advocate Itzik Amiel, bestselling author and international speaker and the global authority on personal branding for professionals.
When you think of a "perfect authority," in your legal field what comes to mind?
You might picture a lawyer who never loose her temper, no matter what problems she's facing. Or you might think of a lawyer who has the complete trust of his staff, listens to his team, is easy to talk to, and always makes careful, informed decisions.
These are qualities of someone with a high degree of Emotional Intelligence.
High Emotional Intelligence is what differentiates successful lawyers and great legal leaders from the rest.
I am aware that I just shared with you a strong statement. And in this article in our series I will share with you why I believe so and how can you also get EQ traits to work for you and to build your authority.
We all know these lawyers who are self-aware, self-motivated, self-regulated, and are eager to do more and more.
But what is it that makes this sort of lawyers, in many occasions, transcend the competition and accomplish together with their team the impossible?
Understanding how emotions affect your own performance, as a lawyer, is important.
Understanding how emotions impact your team’s performance is even more important.
Think about a great manager that you’ve had in the past in your legal career. You likely (I hope) felt comfortable going to that person with your questions, concerns, and needs, and they were likely receptive to you and worked to address them and make sure that you felt supported. And if (or when) you both had disagreements, they were likely respectful and productive exchanges.
And you probably remember these people for good. Right?
So how can we re-wire our brains to perform at a higher level and STAND UP in a crowded legal market place?
To understand it, let me start by defining “Emotional Intelligence” for the sake of this article.
“Emotional Intelligence” - Definition
So, what is emotional intelligence?
In short, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage emotions and relationships.
The term emotional intelligence comes from the work of researchers Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer (Daniel Goleman later popularized their work in his book, Emotional Intelligence).
In their work, Salovey and Mayer concluded that people with emotional intelligence do the following:
They understand their own emotions (positive and negative).
They understand the emotions of others (positive and negative).
They are effective at regulating their emotions effectively to pursue their goals.
They are effective at influencing positive emotions in others.
So what is that to do with building your authority and stand out as a lawyer?
Emotional intelligence begins with a lawyer recognizing and then managing his or her own emotions.
When you as lawyer are able to do this, you can begin to improve your credibility with others.
The next step for you, as a lawyer, to stand out with the help of emotional intelligence is to recognize and manage the emotions of others.
Emotional intelligence has the following five dimensions:
Self Awareness - Being aware of your emotions (understanding what you are feeling)
Self Motivation - Ability to persist in the face of obstacles and setbacks (influencing constructive emotions in yourself)
Self Management - Ability to effectively manage your emotions and impulses (controlling your destructive emotions)
Empathy - Sensing how others are feeling (understanding what others are feeling)
Social Skills - Ability to effectively handle the emotions of others
So, now when you are familiar with the general definition of EQ, let’s go back to the main question for this article - how can we re-wire our brains to perform at a higher level of EQ and stand out?
To help you out, in a practical way, let me share with you how you can cultivate your emotional intelligence:
1. Self Mirror While mentoring many lawyers to build their authority and stand out – one question I asked many of my mentees is how do you want to stand out?
What does that top lawyers look like? What do they do that makes them to stand out and be considered as an authorities in their respected fields?
If you can clearly see what those legal authorities are doing to stand out and then think of your current reality, you will identify weaknesses.
That could be a great starting point to start growing your own authority by using EQ.
2. Create a Self-Challenge
One of the proven ways to change habits is by making small steps in the direction you want to go.
If I can confront my weaknesses and see in my minds eye how I'll respond to certain difficult situations I can push myself in real life.
Try it for yourself.
Visualize yourself and how you may handle a challenge in your practice.
Get comfortable with that challenge. When you confront those issues in real life they will begin to come more easily and you surly solve them.
3. Use support
If you have colleagues who are seeking growth in their legal career or to grow their legal practice as well, ask for support.
By the way, it can also work with a support from a friend outside of the office too, that have similar challenge.
Offering candid feedback and the mutual trust is important for growth for both of you.
4. Go out of your routine
This way helped me and many other professionals dealing with many challenges.
You can use an offsite location or be involved in a team activity outside of your office.
This is a great way to break old habits of yourself or of interaction with your team members.
In my humble opinion, this is one of the best ways stimulate the creativity of yours and your team members and many times allows for you to try new responsive patterns to your colleagues.
5. Cultivate self-confidence
I mentioned many times before that self-confidence is an important trait to become an authority in your field. EQ can help you achieve it faster.
Learn for example to reward yourself even for the smallest wins in your practice.
Another example is getting comfortable with feedback, by seeking a constant constructive feedback from relevant people. This is uncomfortable, I get it. But if you can get to zero (which will be painful), you can begin to build on your weaknesses.
All these sort of small actions will help cultivate your self-confidence.
6. Control your Emotional reactions
When helping recently a lawyer to build her authority and grow her practice, we realized that her team was underperforming because she was out of the office too many times.
I assessed the issue with her, and we decided to modify her schedule accordingly.
Becoming emotional in such a fast-paced, high-stress legal career is inevitable, but your success depends on your ability to maintain an even keel.
In other words, by controlling her emotional reactions and pointing a finger at her team for the low performance. She took a step back to address the real cause of the underperforming.
You can imagine the effect this had on her practice. Positive, of course.
7. It is Contagious!
Here is the secret – EQ is contagious. So, you cannot only keep it to yourself.
High or low EQ travels through law firms like wildfire.
If you're approaching your work with self-awareness, empathy and compassion your team will too.
Part of building your authority and stand out is learning to be someone who can remain positive during adversity
I know it is not easy (I’m guilty too :-). But that is why it is always a work in progress.
Daniel Goleman, the author of the book “emotional Intelligence” notes in his article about emotional intelligence in the workplace, that:
“[n]o matter what leaders set out to do—whether it’s creating a strategy or mobilizing teams to action—their success depends on how they do it. Even if they get everything else just right, if leaders fail in this primal task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will work as well as it could or should.”
To stand out from the crowd as a lawyer is not difficult if you understand how to develop your emotional intelligence.
Your IQ alone is not what will make you stand out and develop your authority in your field. High emotional intelligence as well as embracing your authenticity will set you apart from other lawyers.To be effective Authority lawyers must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around them.
Studies show that the emotionally intelligent lawyers out-perform in production and revenues their less emotionally intelligent colleagues,
The better a lawyer relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be in building his or her authority.
In addition, emotionally intelligent lawyers are likely to stand out amid the rise of artificial intelligence and machines performing more tasks in the workplace. Take the time to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Working on these areas will help you excel in the future!
Want to discover more on how to develop your EQ to build your authority in your field and attract the right clients – and the steps you need to take? Download my workbook [for free] here and answer all the relevant questions or schedule a strategy call here.
If you have any specific questions with regards to building your authority position and your personal brand or need our help in building your authority position and attract more of the right clients consistently, please send us an e-mail and share it with us. We definitely can help!
Your time to STAND OUT is NOW!
About the Author
Itzik Amiel is considered the global leading authority on Business Development, Business Networking & Personal Branding. He is a sought-after international speaker, trainer, business mentor, & attorney-at-law. He is also the bestselling author of “The Attention Switch” & Founder of THE SWITCH®, the global community for professionals to grow their practice.
Itzik teaches Lawyers and other professionals to attract and win their ideal clients by becoming seen as authorities in their field and to SWITCH their relations to Referrals+Revenue+Results.
If you want to get in touch with Itzik and to learn how can you build your Authority in your field, you can book a free discovery session with Itzik HERE