Cordell Parvin and Attorney Credibility

I notice today’s blog post for attorneys from Cordell Parvin speaks to why credibility matters. He does a nice job of concisely spelling out what it takes to be perceived as credible. Check out the link below to read it for yourself.

Now I will take a stab at answering

Why does credibility matter?

(I don’t believe Parvin really did answer it – even though his title suggests he will) Let me simply suggest the following – credibility always matters, unless we’re dealing with family or friends. When we’re dealing with those folks we know well, we put up with things longer than we should.  We feel we’ll get a good deal, we’ll get the inside scoop, we’ll get a personal touch. And for any of those reasons, we dismiss credibility for sake of the “better” benefit. Until it hurts.

With professionals, we seldom have a relationship based on like-ability unless the only thing that matters to us is relationship. However, the more money we pay to get a service or product, the more we hope to get quality, which is based on accomplishment, proof, and factual results. These things inspire trust.

Let’s not mistake ourselves and think relationship is no longer important. It is. For credibility to really be outstanding, a lawyer has demonstrated accomplishment/trust AND strong relationship/like-ability. But the nature of the credibility beast is based on follow-through. This means results and quality.

Attorneys are pushing themselves constantly to get all the hours of billing into their day, to inspire confidence among the members of their practice group or other practice groups in their firm, and even to have to think about building their network while filling their business pipeline. How can they juggle the credibility piece as well and feel good about the results?

Bottom line – check in with people. Whether with their peers, partners, clients or network, they ask a few simple questions:
1. What are your expectations with this task I’m handling?
2. How do you see our efforts working, so far?
3. What suggestions do you have?

These questions, although simplistic in appearance, are inspiring in result. They get to the heart of the task being executed, they allow for assessment – (a conscientious person’s gold mine), and they problem solve, letting all involved have a say. That inspires both trust and like-ability.

Maybe only one of these traits is important to any given attorney (like-ability or trust). Yet they are collectively important to those observing and assessing us. Once we develop habits and behaviors which lead to both trust and likeability, our credibility explodes. Not only do others see our value. We do. Inspire both.

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