Influential Super Power
“There’s no question IQ is by far the better determinant of career success, in the sense of predicting what kind of job you will be able to hold. It typically takes an IQ of 115 or above to be able to handle the cognitive complexity facing an accountant, a physician or a top executive. But here’s the paradox: once you’re in a high-IQ position, intellect loses its power to determine who will emerge as a productive employee or an effective leader. For that, how you handle yourself and your relationships — in other words, the emotional intelligence skill set — matters more than your IQ. In a high-IQ job pool, soft skills like discipline, drive and empathy mark those who emerge as outstanding.”Daniel Goleman
It’s fair to say that as a lawyer you are in the high IQ bank. So, going on the theory of Goleman, the man who first wrote the book “Emotional Intelligence”, you and all those around you are capable of the job at hand. But to decide who will be the front winners? Which lawyers, can and will, push ahead in what they offer their clients and colleagues? It seems EQ will be highly decisive. Despite evidential research, people have a tendency to dismiss the power of EQ and active listening. Whilst they may be soft skills, they serve as a hard currency in business as well as personal life.
Goleman states there are 5 main components of EQ; self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Whilst all these components are necessary, if we were to give our clients just one area they should focus on to improve, it would be active listening. This is because active listening underscores all of these components. Self awareness, self regulation and motivation require listening to oneself, understanding our own motivations, paradigms and conditioning. Empathy and social skills are focused more on our outside relationships where active listening plays a pivotal role. Furthermore, active listening is something that many of us are already sufficient at and where tweaks and enhancements can help us excel.
With a client centric approach now being necessary for continued success, there is no better way to establish rapport, trust and respect. Active listening allows you to be able to truly understand the underlying needs and objectives of the client. In all aspects of a Lawyer’s professional (and personal) life active listening is highly effective at improving the listener’s ability to build deep and meaningful relationships, influence, persuade and lead.
Read our Active Listening Handbook which will give you a good overview of all the essential skills that we should all regularly work to improve.