Leading with Empathy - Step #1
What will prevent you from receiving the best outcome for your Michigan criminal case? There are many answers to this question, but as a former prosecutor, who has worked with thousands of clients on the defense side, my #1 answer to this question involves being your authentic self.
What does this mean? When charged with a crime in Michigan, you will be judged on the four corners of the reports; you don't get to tell your side of the story, and your past, present and future are not reflected in your case; you are assigned the fate of an isolated moment in time.
How do we change this process? We lead with authenticity, and change the belief of the judge, prosecutor, probation, the police and the community at large.
Being authentic means convincing these power brokers to put aside years and years of beliefs and adopt a new mindset about your case. These folks lead with "knowing" because they have so much experience in cases like yours.
A judge and prosecutor see hundreds of cases a week, thousands of cases a month; they all look the same, including your case.
We must put "knowing" aside and be open to learning, but that journey begins with you; we need to believe it before others believe it.
Do you believe that your criminal case defines you? Once we say to ourselves that our case will not define us, we can begin the journey of learning vs knowing.
We must become masters of the process; to be able to influence and sway others during the case; to change the belief system of multiple power brokers.
That mastery comes when we adopt a higher purpose. This crime happened for a reason, and we are going to identify that together; deep change is not easy, we must find our purpose during this case.
What is your purpose; is it for your spouse, your children, the job you love? Why do you wake up each morning and go to work? Who are the first three people you would call during a crisis?
People stop smoking, drinking and go on diets every day, but most fail; the changes we make for this case, how do we ensure that we stick with them?
How will you show up during your case; what true impressions will you make? Every act you take will shape your case. Becoming self-aware is at the heart of your case
Become vulnerable, be authentic, find your true self during your case.
Real life example of the power to make a true impression
Worked with a client who was a schoolteacher but was arrested for multiple shoplifting incidents in a short period of time. She faced losing the career she loved, and the possibility of jail and multiple convictions on her criminal record.
Multiple judges, prosecutors and probation officers looked at her cases and judged her swiftly as a bad seed who didn't care about local businesses in the community and did not respect the law.
We shifted the case from the four corners of multiple police reports and dug deep into what was going on in her world during this isolated moment of time. Together we identified key drivers of what set her life on a temporary detour, and we lead with empathy and began to better understand the WHY. Together we adopted a growth mindset and changed her entire case over many months of hard work.
The client kept the career she loves, earned respect and love from her spouse and was able to be a stronger and more dedicated mom to her children. If this life event had not happened, something else was ready to explode, but she took a manageable situation and turned a negative into a positive driver of progress and insight for her future.