Today every lawyer has a stressed-out client to deal with.The process of guiding a client is similar to that of teaching a child how to respond to situations he does not understand. The bond with your client should be like a symbiotic relationship; you both should learn from each other. You should know that this is a new area for them and things that seem reasonable to you may be very stressful for your client.
1. Prep them for everything. Let them know about your Plan A and Plan B, tell them in advance what you both will be doing and what you are expecting to happen.
2. Prompt them during the process. Remind them along the way that this is what you are hoping to happen so that they have a better understanding if you hit an obstacle or things get tense.
3. Expect a meltdown at some point. Don’t be surprised if they lose their composure for a while. Don’t get upset; they need to let go of the stress they may have accumulated. Understand and assure them things will go your way.
4. Expect to hit a few speed bumps. You can’t predict the future or all the obstacles you may face. Even if things seem reasonable to you, the client may not react the same way since it’s new territory for him. Let them know about your back-up plan.
5. Acknowledge their successes. When they respond flexibly to obstacles and changing circumstances, point out their accomplishments. Cultivate their confidence.
Be sure to always give feedback to your client; your words will be essential in solving every problem you may face. The client has to feel confident as you both keep working on your difficulties. You always need a Plan B or even C if your first effort fails or doesn’t work. Just like a child, your client needs to hear what is he doing right, so his mind starts working positively.