Lawyers: Understanding your client’s brain, mood and functioning will make your job easier in the long run
If you have a good understanding which part of the brain your client is in, you’ll enhance the relationship, and streamline you job.
Knowing which part of the brain your client’s currently operating from, will give you a professional advantage. You’ll have more information on how they are processing information, which will point you in the direction of how best to work with them.
Why it will make your job easier…
On any given day, your client will be functioning from any one of three parts of their brain, and sometimes this can change moment by moment.
During your entire relationship with your client, you’ll likely see them operate out of all three parts of the brain.
Each part impacts significantly on their ability to make sound decisions for themselves, how they’ll receive the information you give them, and how they’ll mentally record their relationship with you (either positive or negative).
To work to your full advantage, you’ll need to know which part of the brain they are living in at a particular time, and this may dictate what you do next and when to deliver information for more positive results.
Get them into thinking mode, not emotional
The front brain is responsible for higher order thinking and processing, sensory perception, motor commands, cognition, abstract thought, consciousness, spatial reasoning and language.
If your client is in their front brain, this is when you’ll be able to get decisions made quickly, they’ll be able to understand your data and process things logically.
When someone is centred in the front brain, you’ll likely see behaviours such as the person processing a thought, making decisions, reading, listening, making notes or asking questions.
The front brain is also called the Neocortex.
If you want to access your client’s emotions for a better outcome
Then you want them in their midbrain (or limbic system) which rules motivation, often unconscious value judgements, pleasure, and emotions like fear, anger, frustration and resentment.
The midbrain can override cognitive processing and cause a person to react emotionally, rather than from a more intellectual perspective.
When your client is centred in the midbrain, you’ll see displays of strong emotions, ignoring facts, low cognitive processing, bodily functions like shaking or being nervous, showing a preference for things from memory or strongly held values, ie “I don’t know why but I just want it that way”.
Why will understanding your client’s brain make your job easier?
There is little point giving hard facts to a client who’s firmly planted in the limbic system. They will be likely to reject the facts in preference for their own values and motivating emotions, even if the facts do make sense.
Likewise, if you are trying to appeal to your client’s emotional motivations and they are in the neocortex, it’s likely that they’ll see your reasoning as unwise and meaningless.
Both scenarios will make your job more difficult as you try to complete your tasks and don’t entirely understand why you don’t seem to be having the desired impact.
If you can identify where your client is at, try then to present things in a way that he/she can resinate with – either from a thinking (front brain) or feeling (midbrain) perspective.
What we can do that can make your job easier
You didn’t become a lawyer because you actually wanted to be a therapist. You need to get your job done as time efficiently as possible and usually you have in mind the direction you want to take things in.
In some critical junctures, you’ll need to shift your client from one brain to the other to get the desired outcomes and this isn’t always easy, even if you did know how.