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The Physics of Emotion

Posted in Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Teamwork, Uncategorized

Dr. Candace Pert was, among many other posts, the chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health before going into private research. She passed away suddenly a few years ago, but her research has made notable contributions to the study of emotional intelligence.

In an interview, The Physics of Emotion, Pert explains that neurotransmitters called peptides carry chemical messages triggered by our emotions to every corner of our bodies. “As our feelings change, this mixture of peptides travels throughout your body and your brain. And they’re literally changing the chemistry of every cell in your body.” These peptides also create an electrochemical charge that radiates both within our bodies and without. “We’re vibrating like a tuning fork — we send out a vibration to other people. We broadcast and receive. Thus the emotions orchestrate the interactions among all our organs and systems,” according to Pert.

This discovery makes apparent the importance of our emotional state to every part of our minds and bodies and dispels once and for all any lingering Cartesian sentiments about their separation. An example of the operation of this discovery is the well-documented and widespread physical and mental damage that ongoing stress hormones wreck on those perennially stressed. This also suggests a physiological basis for the phenomenon of emotional contagion, which has long been established. Emotions, particularly those felt by people in a higher power position, quickly emanate to and are reproduced in those around them. These emotions may well be contagious because we are physically “transmitting” them, whether on purpose or not, to others who pick up our vibrations.

This research also makes plain that trying to consciously and cognitively suppress emotions is doomed to fail. Suppression has been demonstrated to intensify emotions, not eliminate them. Having the emotional intelligence skills to be able to accurately monitor and then internally change our felt emotions is the avenue to improving the messages we are sending to every cell of our bodies and to our colleagues and loved ones, as well.

 

NYU Law School Program: Using Emotional Intelligence for Successful and Satisfying Legal Careers

Posted in Announcements, Assessments, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction

Join us at 12:45 pm on Wednesday, February 28, when Ronda Muir will be making a lunchtime presentation at NYU Law School on Using Emotional Intelligence for Successful and Satisfying Legal Careers and signing copies of her book Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence. For more information and to register, go here. See you there!

 

A Valentine’s Warning

Posted in Uncategorized

Now that Valentine’s Day is past, you might want to reconsider that intraoffice romance you’ve been contemplating and your firm or department might want to consider what kind of procedures to put in place to protect all of their lawyers from unwanted advances and from liability–whether unintentional or not. “When Lawyers Court: Dating in Law Firms,” by Gayle Cinquegrani, published in Bloomberg Law’s Big Law Business on February 14, 2018, quotes Muir and other consultants in cautioning lawyers and legal workplaces about the potential #MeToo exposure in business as usual.

February Discount on Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence!

Posted in Announcements, Assessments, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized

 

Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence has been chosen as one of the ABA’s  Top 2017 Legal Titles.  For those who haven’t yet gotten this comprehensive guide to understanding and using emotional intelligence in the unique context of practicing law, you can buy it here for yourself and others in paperback or as an E-book at a 30% discount through the end of February, 2018. Just enter the discount code YR17E when you check out.  Go here for more information.

 

 

 

BigLaw Firm Welcomes Leadership Women

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Innovation, Leadership, Management

Congratulations to BigLaw firm Drinker Biddle & Reath for becoming an industry headliner: half of both of its two main leadership bodies are now women. As of Feb. 1, the firm’s managing partners committee of 8 has 4 women and the firm’s executive management team of 4 has 2women.

To give perspective to this development, according to the National Association of Women Lawyers’s 2017 annual survey report, the average firm has 12 people on its highest level governance committee, of whom, on average, only 3–or one-fourth–are women.

How did this happen? Drinker Biddle’s women’s leadership committee reached out to  eligible women lawyers to determine who were interested in running and then spread the word about those who were. “It’s just making sure that, No. 1, the women make sure they put their hands up if they would like to be considered, and [No. 2], people know” those women are eligible, said Lynne Anderson, co-chairwoman of the women’s leadership committee, noting that the aim was not to pressure a vote for particular candidates, but to make sure the members knew these women were interested in leadership.

Potential Legal Workplace Liability Expands Further in the #MeToo Age

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Risk Management, Uncategorized

On Monday, February 5, 2018, Resolution 302 was adopted unanimously by the American Bar Association expanding the ABA’s existing provisions, dating back to 1992, in the case of harassment or retaliation based on gender, gender identity and sexual orientation in legal workplaces and by any one (including third parties) connected with legal work, wherever that conduct occurs. Provisions include requirements, among others, that at least one confidential anonymous reporting method (such as a hotline) be instituted; prompt, fair investigations of all complaints occur, with a written resolution to complainant; compensatory and corrective actions, including disciplinary measures, take place; disclosure is made to the highest level of management of any settlement amount paid; and regular and effective training programs be instituted.

“There can hardly be a resolution more timely than 302,” said Stephanie Scharf, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the resolution’s chief sponsor, while one delegate pointed out that “this resolution … is primarily about men…Men must say, ‘time’s up’.”

Rule 8.3 and revised Rule 8.4 of the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct adopted in August 2016 had already expanded legal workplace liability for harassment and discrimination and lawyers’ related failure to report any misconduct. Rule 8.4 prohibits behaving in ways “the attorney knows or should reasonably know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.” And Rule 8.3 requires that those who observe another lawyer’s misconduct have an obligation to “inform the appropriate professional authority.”

Those rules in combination with this new resolution will put many lawyers and their legal organizations and all those who service or work with them on notice of a gigantically expanded exposure not only to financial liability, but, as recent examples like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Steve Wynn and former U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski have shown, to professional ruin, as well. Make no mistake: these are provisions that the increasing population of Millennials in law will take very seriously and will not be afraid to pursue.

What is it that makes lawyers so vulnerable to the historically mounting filing of sexual harassment suits and the rising tide that may well follow these provisions?

As we pointed out in Scandals at the Gates, low emotional intelligence definitely plays a part. While some lawyers no doubt consciously and purposefully harass and discriminate, many more stumble because of their deficits in navigating work and social relationships. The primary deficit is in emotional awareness–which has been demonstrated to be lawyers’ Achilles heel. A failure to accurately read the emotional cues being given by their colleagues–ones that clearly spell disinterest or more strongly offense, disgust and rejection–can lead lawyers down what may seem to them an acceptable path. Low emotional empathy keeps them from appreciating the distress they are causing. And their understanding of emotions, which lawyers theoretically are better at than in other more underdeveloped emotional areas, is hampered by having the incorrect emotional data to start out with–again that emotional awareness deficit wrecking havoc. Finally, deficits in managing emotions–not knowing what to do or not being able to properly do what they may know should be done–can prompt behavior that makes the original sin even worse.

In Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence, Muir discusses how taking steps to raise emotional intelligence among lawyers and legal organizations can help address these and other challenges facing the legal industry in the 21st Century–and avoid the tsunami of liability and ruin that looking the other way may expose us to.

May Your Holidays and 2018 Be Emotionally Intelligent!

Posted in Announcements, Emotional Intelligence

With all the stress of holidays and work–travelling, managing money, seeing relatives or not, all of which can be stressful–emotional intelligence skills can be more imperative than usual. We at Law People Management wish you the ability to enjoy a peaceful, invigorating and successful holiday season and new year!

CLE on Ethics and EI

Posted in Announcements, Books, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Risk Management, Teamwork

Just a reminder that you have only two days to sign up for the CLE offered by the ABA’s Center for Professional Development on The Ethical Advantage of Emotional Intelligence at 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET on December 12, 2017. Panelists are Dr. David Shor of Northwestern University and Ronda Muir, Esq., Founder and Principal of Law People Management, LLC, and author of Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence. Registrants receive 1.50 Ethics/Professionalism CLE Credit Hours.and two significant discounts10% off your registration rate when you enter discount code CE15CPDWEBVIP and a 30% discount off Muir’s book. Offer Expires 1/12/2018. Join us!

Sign Up for CLE on Ethics and Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Leadership, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Wellness

Sign up for the CLE offered by the ABA’s Center for Professional Development on The Ethical Advantage of Emotional Intelligence at 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET on December 12, 2017 and receive two significant discounts. Panelists are Dr. David Shor of Northwestern University and Ronda Muir, Esq., Founder and Principal of Law People Management, LLC. Registrants receive 1.50 Ethics/Professionalism CLE Credit Hours.

What is emotional intelligence and what does it have to do with ethics in the practice of law? This webinar will review the ways that emotional intelligence can produce more ethical behavior, including better communication, risk analysis, and advocacy. 

While emotional intelligence is relevant to many provisions of the Preamble and a number of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, we will focus on Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.4 (Communication), 1.7 (Conflict of Interest), 3.2 (Expediting Litigation) and the recently revised Rules 8.3 and 8.4 (Professional Misconduct and Reporting). We will review the current trends in disciplinary and malpractice claims, probable causes of unintentional unethical behavior and recent examples of ethical dilemmas with respect to these Rules.

The four major components of emotional intelligence will be identified and their contribution to ethical behavior under these six Rules will be explained. We will also demonstrate basic exercises to help raise individual emotional intelligence skills, starting with emotional awareness, and explore the steps legal workplaces can take to raise their organizational emotional intelligence.

As a member of the faculty, Muir is able to provide you 10% off your registration rate when you enter this discount code CE15CPDWEBVIP at check-out. In addition, registrants also receive a 30% discount off Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence by Ronda Muir. Offer Expires 1/12/2018.

 Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence