Low resilience causes lawyers to narrowly focus on an active, negative agent or concept, which means they may miss other important data. This can result in errors of ommission, said Richard, which can lead to malpractice. The good thing, said Richard, you can manage low resilience with cognitive skills.
Richard works in "positive psychology." A branch of psychology that looks at positive factors that lead to an outcome. People with high resilience have high social connections and are generally optimistic, he said, adding that these are two qualities that, in general, lawyers are not good at.
Building meaningful social connections, said Richard, often means displaying weaknesses. And being optimistic is not generally a trait projected to clients. Rather, coined Richard, lawyers are in the "problem business." They are good at showing strength in finding fault, identifying issues, and then finessing or marshaling a resolution.
To improve productivity, build resilience, advised Richard, by, among other things:
paying attention to negative facts and outcomes, but focusing on the positive;
concentrating on strengths not weaknesses; and
building social connections.
For more information on Richard's approach, see What Makes Lawyers Tick.
The two-day conference cost $2,195 per person, with group and other discounts available.