Many lawyers can have a difficult time working with demanding business clients. It can be challenging to try to meet all of the things that need to be done in fulfilling your legal obligations with the people you do business with. As a result, these situations can cause a lot of anxiety and depression for the lawyers who are involved in working with people who are difficult to please.
Here are six tips on how lawyers can effectively work with those clients who give them a hard time without getting overwhelmed with anxiety, stress, and frustration.
No. 1: Prepare ahead of time
Regardless of how good you are or how many awards you may have won, it is impossible to please everybody all of the time. It is important that a lawyer develops a good reputation in their area of expertise to buffer the possible problems of dealing with difficult customers down the road.
No. 2: Get everything in writing
Sometimes it is your loyal customers who are the most difficult. It is important that you get everything in writing when dealing with difficult people. Misunderstandings will happen and expectations will not always be met. In dealing with anybody, put everything down in writing to save money and heartache down the road.
No. 3: Learn to communicate effectively
Do not assume that you know what your clients want. Listen to them and view your client’s circumstances through their eyes. Ask questions and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Effective communication with your clients will prevent misunderstandings down the road.
No. 4: Learn how to organize, delegate, and plan ahead
Although there is not enough time in a day to get everything accomplished, you have to be smart in how to get things done. A lawyer can delegate part of their tasks to members of their legal team. In addition, organizing your tasks and planning ahead can reduce the chances of getting burned out. Finally, do not put things off until the last minute. Managing your tasks effectively can prevent you from getting overwhelmed and getting fatigued.
No. 5: Ask for some assistance
If you find yourself overwhelmed with a specific case or client, ask others in your firm for advice and assistance. Many lawyers may be reluctant to ask for help because of pride, but it doesn’t do you any good if you are depressed, anxious, or fearful. Getting advice or assistance from others on how to deal with a difficult client will prevent any problems from happening that could damage your reputation in the future. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
No. 6: Learn from your experiences
Over time, lawyers can get a feel of what makes them stressed out and anxious in their legal profession. Find ways to help overcome your stresses and anxieties by recognizing what triggers it. You can't always pick which cases or clients you get, so find ways to manage the stress whether it's by talking to someone or finding a hobby that distracts you. A lawyer can also decide to work for another firm that better suits their needs and work habits. Every lawyer wants to be successful and have a great reputation among their peers, but the key is not to sacrifice your mental and physical health in the process.
Stan Popovich is the author of the popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear”. For more information about Stan’s book and to get some free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at www.managingfear.com