As a family lawyer, I used to feel there was so much to “do” in my early client consultations. I needed to provide answers, educate, inform, guide, lead … or did I?
When I changed the way I engage with clients, by asking and listening (and dropping the telling), I found that clients left my office more relaxed, even happier. My wonderful assistant started noticing the difference in clients arriving and leaving the office - she said it was like they had d]been at ‘the spa rather than a divorce consultation!
Then I knew I was on to something. Meeting clients’ needs does not mean having all the answers. It means having good questions and the sense to ask and listen. Ask and listen. Ask and listen.
The productive parts naturally follow. I learn more about
- what matters to this client
- what’s concerning to this client
- how this client needs me to support them
- what information is needed in order to make good decisions
And we can co-create a plan to meet their needs and address their concerns, which is so much more productive. I don’t feel so much pressure to perform and inform. The client feels a “breath of fresh air” (real quote) and opens up to possibilities they never thought of.
The client experience of feeling heard and understood brings calm and reduces tension - which helps us do a better job of informing and educating.
Bring that balm to your practice.
The Our Family in Two Homes client preparation tools support our client’s learning and discovery, making them far more effective working with us.
I created them because I learned to stop telling and do more asking.
I wish I had known this when I started out as a lawyer!