A few years ago, my client took me sailing. I am a novice and relied on his expertise, which for some reason was sorely lacking that day. There were a number of technical difficulties to start. After an hour, we finally left the shore. We did not get very far before we ended up drifting here and there without any clear destination in mind. I thought to myself, is this what I drove 2 hours for? Of course, I have been able to chide him for years about this experience, so it ended up being worth it.
Unfortunately, when it comes to legal matters, too often clients and their lawyers manage deals and disputes in quite the same way. There is a lot of drifting and lack of skill, and it ends up not being a laughing matter.
In dealing with any legal matter, having a crystal-clear goal and destination is essential. Anyone who has been embroiled in a legal dispute or contentious transaction knows that the emotions of fear and anger are ramped up. When these emotions are ramped up, there is a strong tendency to be reactive and impulsive. This type of behavior rarely suits your ultimate goal.
To prevent such reactivity, it is important to ground your thoughts and feelings by asking questions such as “Is my goal crystal clear? Does my immediate goal support my long-term goals? If I achieve my goal, how will it benefit me? Is this the best goal possible for me or my business?”
By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to set a clear destination for your legal matter and avoid unproductive and costly drifting.