Love Law Firm - December 2018

BUILD. NOT BILLED.

TM

DEC 2018

BUI LDING BLOCKS

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S W I MM I N G W I T H D O L P H I N S I N A S E A O F S H A R K S

These days, it can feel like certain ideals, like kindness and compassion, are in short supply. I’ll admit these values seem rare in lawyers.

When I started my law firm three years ago, I did so because I wanted to practice law and really engage and work with people. I wanted to get closer to people who had goals and ambitions for themselves and their families. These are people who aren’t just in it to make a buck; they want to make a living and enrich the lives of their loved ones, employees, and, by extension, the families of their employees.

This was in stark contrast to my background in the corporate world where I served the needs of a company. That was a place where business wasn’t personal.

I also wanted to establish a different kind of law firm — one that stood out from others. A friend once told me about her experience hiring a lawyer. She found an advertisement where a lawyer billed himself as “the sociopath on your side.”

When I think about that ad, it reminds me of everything that’s wrong in law — and in the world. We don’t need sociopaths on our side for any reason.

You’ve probably heard lawyers compared to sharks. A lot of my colleagues even bill themselves as sharks, swimming in the deep, dark legal waters, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. A vivid image indeed. But not one that I share. When people go on tropical vacations, only the most adventurous go diving with sharks. Those brave tourists climb into a cage and get lowered into the water while people on the boat toss bait to bring the frightening predators closer. Do you know what is a much more popular attraction? Swimming with other highly intelligent and loyal creatures that are remarkably proactive when it comes to saving people: dolphins. Everyone can participate in that activity — you don’t need to have a death wish.

Instead, we need more of what we all learned about as children. No matter our upbringing or traditions, we’re all taught about decency, kindness, and compassion. We’re told to treat others how we want to be treated. Our firm strives to live by this golden rule. We stand for integrity along with other such rare values. We’re here to help people sleep better at night, whether it’s by resolving a dispute amicably, successfully buying or selling a business, or helping a dream come true. I know that people don’t hire lawyers because they want to. Very few wake up saying, “Today will be a happy day when I find an attorney.” Instead, people are often forced to consult a lawyer due to a dire need, or when they’ve simply exhausted their options. I want our firm to be here to take care of people who come to us because they don’t know what to do next. Sometimes, people need a lawyer to help make things better, and I want us to be there to lend a hand.

I tell every audience I can that Love Law Firm is the dolphin of the legal world.

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TREAT CONFLICT AS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY E ach November, the Long Island Business Forum (LIBF) hosts its annual Thank You Reception. As I’ve shared in prior newsletters, one of my proudest accomplishments is starting the LIBF and being blessed to have so many amazing women business leaders be part of its gatherings. This past November, 50 of us gathered at the Westbury Manor for an evening of good food, great conversation, and an incredible talk from our guest speaker, Liz Kislik.

Stephanie Larkin, Elizabeth Vaz and Liz Kislik

satisfy the client regarding your product or service. Without the conflict, you might have never known that the client was discontent. Having conflict is the alternative to them simply leaving, going to your competitor, and never telling you why. Thus, the first lesson of conflict resolution is to not shy away from it because it is able to teach us something important. Another lesson in conflict resolution is learning how to be kind to others. Here, Liz suggests that, when we lock horns with another person and only see hostility, we try to recognize our chance to be kind. The way she suggests to do so is to think of that person as his or her 9-year-old self — a child with hopes and dreams — not the adult who is now creating an issue. Ask yourself, What did that 9-year-old want? How can I meet that former dreamer and make amends? Then, approach your antagonist differently. We all know situations in which someone solved a problem because of how they handled it, not what they did to handle it. As a parent, many of us are adept at doing this. I can yell at my children to get them to do what I want, or I can make it a game and let them compete against each other to do it the fastest. Another point Liz made that really resonated with me is that conflict teaches us our worth. I started my business because I wanted to work with the clients I enjoyed working with. But what should you do when you have someone you don’t enjoy working with? One of Liz’s suggestions is to raise your rates. It’s certainly a lot more pleasant to be paid more to deal with a difficult client than to be paid the same as before. Sometimes, the additional compensation is just enough to tolerate the angst they bring. A higher rate also forces the person to stop and assess how much they value you. I know if I pay $500 an hour for someone’s services, I respect them and their time a lot more. If I spend a lot of money to hear what they have to say, I am more likely to seriously consider their advice. When I pay a lower amount for a consultation, I don’t value it as much. The psychology is clear and real. It could be, Liz suggests, that when we experience conflict with a client, it’s the result of them not valuing us enough. Overall, Liz’s talk was very well-received. Many people shared that she was the highlight of the evening. While having conflict is never my goal in business, I am very happy that Liz taught me some great ways to resolve it.

Here’s a bit of background on Liz: She has worked as a management consultant and executive coach for 30 years. She is also a frequent contributor to the “Harvard Business Review” and

“Conflict can be very instructive as it gives us an opportunity to be kind and can teach us our own value.”

“Entrepreneur,” has a TED Talk on conflict at work, and has served as an adjunct professor at Hofstra and NYU. Needless to say, Liz had a lot to bring to our gathering.

Liz shared the value of conflict with us. Now, I know many of us hate conflict and try to avoid it as much as possible,

but, as Liz shared, conflict can be very

instructive as it gives us an opportunity to be kind and can teach us our own value.

Obviously, when conflict arises between two parties, it shows the business owner that something is broken in the relationship. This is an opportunity to turn the situation around and

To reach Liz and learn more about her work, please visit her website at LizKislik.com .

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Love Law Firm wants to give an emphatic “Thank You” to Bill Moseley, President of BBA Photography Corporation. For the last two years, Bill has attended the Long Island Business Forum’s Thank You Reception and captured the event in pictures and videos. His photographs are terrific — you can see several in this issue — and helped us preserve the evening. Bill’s professionalism and experience are evident. Besides doing event photography, Bill also helps corporate clients with headshots, including on location. PICTURE PERFECT

We appreciate Bill’s willingness to help us. We think his amazing wife, Suzanne LoBiondo, one of the LIBF’s long-standing members, may have helped persuade him to work with us — and we are glad she did! Thanks, Bill!

... CONTINUED FROM COVER

If you want a shark, you can find one. Just put a drop of blood in the water and see what happens. But you won’t find any at our firm. Here, you’re going to find a group of intelligent, compassionate, loyal people who want you to succeed. We are grateful that our clients, vendors, employees, and community recognize this. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. I know I do. I’m thankful for everyone who has chosen to work with Love Law Firm. It’s wonderful to get to help people do well in their businesses and then watch them succeed after they’ve worked with us. Beyond that, I love what this law firm stands for. This is a place of kindness and compassion, and as the year comes to an end, I hope this is a season of joy for you and yours. Spend as much time as you can with the ones you love, and together, you can revel in the magic of the season. Here’s to peace and family. See you in 2019!

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Isn’t it time you learned to love your lawyer?

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Swimming With Dolphins in a Sea of Sharks INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1

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Conflict Is a Learning Opportunity

Picture Perfect

A Guide to Making Ideas Stick

CHIP AND DAN HEATH’S ‘MADE TO STICK’ Uncovers What Makes Ideas Matter

Have you ever wondered why certain stories that have no basis in fact get spread around like wildfire? Whether they’re rumors, urban legends, or conspiracy theories, these tales can often gain more traction than important ideas and facts. In their book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” Chip and Dan Heath explore the qualities that give ideas relevance and pass-around value. “An accurate but useless idea is still useless,” they write. This point is key to understanding why people get excited about certain ideas and ignore others. The Heaths argue that the presentation of ideas can have just as much of an impact on their “stickiness” as the content of the ideas. After analyzing hundreds of examples, they note, “We began to see the same themes, the same attributes, reflected in a wide range of successful ideas.” “Made to Stick” explains those attributes using myriad examples to illustrate how stickiness works in the real world. Early in the book, the Heaths share six key principles, demonstrating how good ideas are made valuable and exciting by their simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, and credibility; are capable of rousing emotions; and are often presented in the form of stories. While these principles are relatively straightforward, they are often subverted

in an effort to use business jargon and other neutered forms of language.

The Heaths deploy John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about putting a man on the moon as an example of a compellingly relayed

idea. “Had John F. Kennedy been a CEO, he would have said, ‘Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team-centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives,’” they explain. Nobody would have been excited about that. If you’ve ever thought that you had a great idea but couldn’t get your employees to buy into it, a lack of stickiness may be the cause. Understanding how to present your ideas in an inspiring way could unlock the key to increased productivity and growth like you’ve never achieved before. The next time you present an idea to your team, a group of conference attendees, or any other audience, ask yourself if that idea will stick. If it won’t, you’re just wasting your time. If you need a little guidance on how to make your ideas punch a little harder, “Made to Stick” should be on your holiday book list.

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