Growing to Be a Successful Lawyer: Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

In your years ahead as a lawyer, you will have gathered lots of knowledge and experience through your practice. But in this field, you will be competing with other equally competent lawyers. Bookish knowledge is important, yes; however, another important soft skill to attain is Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a term that emerged around the 1990’s by psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman. It is defined as the ability to identify and work with emotions; both of oneself and others. This makes it useful in building social skills, communication skills, empathy and trust with others. For me personally, EI is an indicator of professional success and leadership skills.

How can Emotional Intelligence help us at work place and with our clients?

  • EI develops a better understanding of self and being more aware about your own feelings and emotions. It impacts the way you deal with your colleagues and clients, in courts and in negotiation room. You can aim to develop a better relationship with them if you are able to understand the nuances of their behaviour. This simple exercise or awareness helps add greater value to your clients like and will help them to consider you as their trusted advisor.
  • This bring us to another point called Self-Regulation. When you can able to understand the people you work with better, it is easier to choose between aggression and assertion. How many times have we wanted to respond aggressively to a nasty email from our colleagues or clients? EI helps you gain insight, to understand where this aggression is coming from and in turn come up with a solution that adds value rather than more aggression or heat to the matter.
  • When you aren’t being driven around with your emotions on edge you are more motivated to work in any environment and therefore add to the team’s strength. Lesser conflicts, improved group dynamics and a rapport with team members are all signs of good leadership qualities in an individual.

I am sure you had instances where you have dealt with situations on the premise of Emotional Intelligence and as ongoing learner I would strongly recommend you to read EI book of Daniel Goleman which will definitely help in creating better version of ourselves.