Leading with Empathy - Step #20
Purpose must be communicated, but we need a receptive audience for it to be impactful in your case.
We must work on building a connection with the power brokers in the case including the police department, prosecutor, judge and the probation department.
We must connect these folks to our purpose, which will drive the results; if we can achieve this connection, we will facilitate transformational change. If purpose is not clear then purpose is ineffective in impacting your case; we cannot simply create goals and make promises, we must show our purpose through meaningful and an organized series of proactive steps.
Think of your purpose in pictures rather than mere words; envision your case behind you, and you are now on the path to deep change; what are you doing in your career, family life and personal life in order to use your case as a valuable life lesson.
Are you back to your old habits and not working on yourself, or are you focused on a daily transformation to your ultimate purpose?
Your higher purpose can only be maximized when the power brokers are aligned, and we must act deliberately to convey this purpose.
This means concrete progress that is documented and presented for review and inquiry; to be prepared to take feedback and respond to follow-up questions.
As clients become purpose-driven their level of vulnerability must increase; personal stories convey a higher level of purpose and authenticity which allows the prosecutor and judge to pay closer attention and move away from the transactional mindset and into embracing the human-being in the case.
Revealing yourself to those in power can feel like a risk, but the real risk is in not revealing yourself and remaining a name and a charge to be part of a busy series of transactions. When clients become more authentic and personal, they inspire others and make discoveries about themselves in the process.
Driving purpose from a bottom-up approach cannot be a single leap; meaning we should not try to move every single person in the case at the same time; the goal is to go to party by party.
We must begin with the police department who then helps get the prosecutor aligned, who then gets the judge onboard who then engages the probation department.
As each power broker becomes motivated and aligned with our purpose, we can engage network effects to build momentum.
We go from having no formal power to engaging folks with power to help us leverage our purpose and influence the next person in the power chain.
A client who owns the process of reflecting purpose and doesn't run from adversity will be able to continue moving forward. A client must own their development and convert challenges into opportunity.
Real life example of bringing it all together with purpose
Difficult cases come with challenges, and it's near impossible to move all the power brokers as a group; it is easier for them to remain in status quo, especially with a challenging case. The goal is to go one by one and work your way up the chain.
When a client is faced with a truly unique circumstance, such as a person in the military, and certain convictions would remove them from the military, you need to convey this fact quickly and efficiently.
A very common response from a prosecutor will be "they should know better" or "they can't get any special treatment". Those make sense with a transactional mindset and focusing on problem solving, but if we focus on purpose finding, there is a different path to create.
The difficult task with such a request is getting the power brokers onboard. I have received the above response from prosecutors all the time; in this situation I might say "would you be willing to the talk to the police officer about our request?"
This is an effective approach because you are not getting mad or fighting the prosecutor, it is instead shifting the burden to another power broker.
A police officer has already done their job and at this point probably will say something like "I don’t have an issue with that" (this assumes the client was respectful during the arrest). Now as the attorney I can say, "well the police officer doesn't object to this request". I have now leveraged the police officer's formal power for my client's case and gained support for my request.
During this downtime as we reach out to the police officer, my client is engaging in a proactive plan to further their purpose and growth; we want to support our request with currency.
The prosecutor now has the police department backing the idea, and my client justifying consideration; it takes the heat off the prosecutor in two different ways. If we can get the prosecutor onboard, I can now go to the judge with the formal support of the police and prosecutor.
We have now leveraged the formal power of two power brokers, and it will be easier for the judge to become aligned because others are backing the idea. This is a way to combine minimal support for an idea of multiple people, which grows enough to get the job done. Nobody is going to be head over heels on supporting my idea, but if enough people don't object, it empowers the next person to follow suit.