Three Words That Will Change Your Firm

Please take a moment from your busy day to think about the guidance in this short blogpost.

Is courtesy part of your strategy? It may seem like a trite question, but muse on it. I love that word muse because as a verb it means to consider something, while as a noun it is a person who is a source of inspiration.

Back to courtesy.

I am really surprised how little I hear the words “please” and “thank you” in law firms. These are powerful words that we seem to have eliminated from our work life vocabulary.

I reflect often on what I was and was not taught at Stanford Law School. I was taught lots about appellate cases and how to be adversarial. I was taught very little about courtesy, contrition or appreciation. Perhaps one day classes with those titles will be commonplace.

Henry Clay said that “courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” What beautiful words.

My partner Laura wrote a blogpost last year entitled “Do Your Clients Like You?” I think Laura embodies courtesy. Her last tip of eleven was: “Say thank you!”

As leaders, you can ask your lawyers to unleash these three words (please/thank you) on one another and on your staff. I know the effects will be wondrous.

Courtesy matters. Thank you for reading.

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