By Karen McMahon
Creating a Win-Win for you and your clients!
Divorce attorneys get a bad rap, have an incredibly challenging job and often go unacknowledged for their heartfelt desire to help their clients and for putting forward their best efforts. Serving a clientele that is angry, bitter, fearful and untrusting is no easy task and takes a special person!
As a divorce coach and trusted guide to hundreds of divorcing men and women, I have the unique opportunity to support my clients in experiencing a win-win relationship with their matrimonial attorney. I would like to share with you…the matrimonial attorneys of the world…your clients’ fear based and sometimes distorted perspectives; their basic (and too often unmet) needs; and the 3 Keys to helping your clients emerge from the legal process of divorce satisfied, appreciative and truly desiring to refer other’s to you. Communication. Communication. Communication. Take a look…
#1 Key: Proactive, Responsive Communication
- Complaint: I don’t feel important
- Responding quickly, even if to say you are not available until later
- Answering questions without judgment or frustration
- Having clients mirror back what you have said so that YOU know they understand
- Realizing that what they understood yesterday, may have been lost in the chaos of their lives
#2 Key: Clear Consistent Communication
- Complaint: I don’t understand!!
- My attorney doesn’t answer my questions /
- I cannot comprehend much of what he/she tells me
- I wasn’t told… (you may have and they could not absorb it)
- Tell them. Have them repeat it back. Next time you talk, check in to see if what you had covered needs to be discussed again.
- What is clear or obvious to you, is foreign and frightening to them.
- Many divorcing clients can only absorb information in small bits. You may have told them and they heard you, smiled and nodded but did not absorb it.
#3 Key: Communicate Acknowledgement and Validation
- Complaint: I’m upset with my attorney
- Don’t take your client’s fears and interpretations personally
- Inquire with curiosity rather than judgment
- Inform rather than defend