Imagine the scene: you go to an important, difficult hearing. During the hearing, you and the other attorney battle hard. Nothing underhanded or dirty, but you go at each other like good attorneys should. In the end, you lose most of the issues argued. You spend the next twenty minutes outside the court explaining the implications of the loss to your client (one of the most difficult conversations to have as a lawyer). Not the best lawyer day ever.

Now, imagine if later that same day, you received a sincere email from the opposing attorney praising you for how well you did during the hearing. That probably wouldn’t take away the sting of losing, but it will make your day a little better. This is the power of telling someone “good job.”

Taking a minute to tell someone “good job” isn’t earth-shattering stuff. It won’t cure cancer or magically repair a strained relationship, but it makes your colleagues’ world a little better. And, isn’t that important in our line of work?

So, next time you have a tough hearing, take a minute to shoot the other attorney a “good job” email. The only way you can ever expect to be treated well as a colleague is to treat your colleagues well.

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