Loyalty: It’s Not about You

A few posts back, we shared some insights on loyalty from our post-conference interview with LMA keynote speaker James Kane. As the world’s leading authority on what makes people loyal, Kane has much to offer on the topic, and we will continue to share bits and pieces of his wisdom from time to time. We really liked what he had to say when asked, what is the most surprising thing about loyalty that lawyers should know or understand?

Here’s his answer: “That it’s not achieved by trying to change or manipulate other people’s behavior. It’s really about changing your own. Attorneys have all kinds of relationships that are critical to their success. It’s not just clients, but judges, outside counsel, court administrators, their peers, their staff, anyone who can positively or negatively impact their livelihood. They may believe that it is their brains, or their experience, or their power that engenders support and respect from those groups, but it’s not. A judge won’t enjoy having you in their courtroom because you are so smart and charismatic. They will like you being there because you understand their challenges and their objectives. Because you respect their time, because you understand their manner of doing things, and because they can identify with you. In other words, it’s not about you, it’s about them. The more an attorney can develop insight and empathy, putting themselves in other people’s shoes and acting accordingly, the more loyal relationships they will have.”

“It’s not about you.” How beautifully simple! Imagine the benefits to your practice if you can make this mental shift and turn your focus onto your clients. And what better way to create that sense of purpose in your working life than to come from a place of service so you can make your clients’ lives better?

Are you creating loyalty by putting your clients first? Tell us how, and we may feature your story here.