Communication Awareness = More Money

The paralegal who doesn’t give you the level of detail you want
The important client who takes too much time explaining things
The associate who crams every conceivable detail into an otherwise routine document
The referral source who just wants “the big picture”
The partner whose attention is always bouncing from one matter to another

One way or another, all of these situations cost you money.   You’re either going back to get the detail you wanted or you’re wasting time with unnecessary information, or you’re taking extra time re-doing or re-explaining something.

There’s another toll, too: increased frustration and stress.  But assuming that these individuals are basically competent and well-meaning, how do you explain their behavior?   How can you influence their behavior in a positive way?

And how about you?  How do other people experience you in terms of your basic behavioral and communication style?  Are you perceived by your staff or prospective clients as forceful?  Friendly?  Cautious?  A know-it-all?  Relaxed?  A perfectionist?

Here’s the point: (The degree to which you are aware of your own core style AND the core style of the people with whom you’re interacting, the more effective you will be with them and the better everyone’s performance (including your profitability performance).

For example, a prospective client whose core style is one of careful analysis, who needs data to get comfortable making a decision, will generally not respond as well to someone who is highly talkative and emotionally energetic.

Another example: a paralegal whose core style is marked by a high need for routine and accuracy will likely have a hard time handling change (e.g., when new people or new technologies alter the environment).

When you’re aware of the other person’s behavioral and communications preferences, you can consciously modify your approach to get better results.  Though this may sound difficult, it doesn’t have to be.

Consultant legalThe most powerful way to quickly gain awareness of how this fundamental dynamic is at work in your practice is to take a DISC Style Preferences Assessment.

Similar to the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the DISC focuses on who you are at work. It provides an extremely accurate profile not only of your core behavioral and communication preferences, but it shows you how to best interact with people who have different – and often opposite – preferences.  You’ll be much more effective when dealing with the scenarios at the top of today’s SuccessTip.

Click HERE to see an actual recent DISC Profile of one of our clients.  It’s redacted, of course, with no identifying information.  You’ll see how this friendly, strong-willed, often impatient individual successfully applies his strengths – and just as importantly, where he tends to trip over his weaknesses, and how he can interact more effectively with everyone around him.

There is a lot in the report, but focus on these four sections: General Characteristics, Communication Tips, Time Wasters, and Areas for Improvement.

If you would like to get your own confidential DISC Profile, call us.  It takes 10 minutes.  There is a nominal fee and we spend time with you explaining how to use your report to improve the quality of all of your interactions – which, without fail, translates into increased revenue (as well as greater professional and personal satisfaction).


About the Author

Bill Jawitz, Law Firm Coach and Consultant

Bill Jawitz has been coaching lawyers to become more profitable and enjoy a higher quality of life since 2002.

He can be reached at or at 203.806.1300.

I maintain a deep library of hundreds of best-of-breed checklists, templates, guides, and white papers on every aspect of managing a legal practice and law firm, from lawyer marketing plans, to hiring process checklists, to alternative fee engagement letters.

If you need a quick resource, call me. I’ll send you what I have on the topic free of charge with no strings.

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