“Listen. I wish I could tell you it gets better. But it doesn’t get better. You get better.”
– Joan Rivers
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It is quite common in our counseling practice for clients to express the view that “You can’t change how this company operates.” When we hear that said, we almost always respond with words to the effect that “We are not seeking to change how this company operates; rather, we are seeking to change how you operate within it.”
You see, the navigating and negotiating we practice is new to most of our clients. They usually expect lawyers to do two things: (a) spout law, and (b) threaten lawsuits. Unfortunately, they are usually right.
Instead, we view our mission to be to avoid the significant risk, disruption and expense of lawsuits, and instead to seek to “motivate” those who operate enterprises to want to do the same. It’s like changing a patient’s lifestyle to keep her healthy instead of wheeling her right into surgery. There’s a whole lot of learning going on in lifestyle change that’s missed in surgery, as is learned during the process of effective navigation and negotiation.
Joan Rivers’ quote, above, seems right out of our usual playbook. She acknowledges that circumstances are not likely to improve, but reminds us that what you need to improve is your adapting to difficult circumstances. That’s real strength. As she says, “It doesn’t get better. You get better.”
This insightful and appreciated quote was recently submitted to us by Lucille D. of Paso Robles, California, a small mid-state city known for its vineyards, wineries and olive groves. Her short note simply expressed, “Hey, I didn’t know Joan Rivers was a client of yours!” We thank you, Lucille!
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