Home Concepts Strategy Coaching in Legal Institutions Happiness is an Option for Lawyers: Creating Success and Fulfillment in Work and Life

Happiness is an Option for Lawyers: Creating Success and Fulfillment in Work and Life

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LIFE SATISFACTION

Research indicates that the following strengths are most highly correlated with overall life satisfaction:

1. Capacity to love and be loved (valuing close relationships)
2. Curiosity (interest, novelty seeking, openness to experience)
3. Zest for life (vitality, enthusiasm, vigor, energy)
4. Gratitude (awareness and thankfulness of good things)
5. Hope (optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation)

A growing body of research is indicating that emotional competence is essential for success at home and on the job.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

The concept of emotional intelligence became popular after the immense success of Daniel Goleman’s book in 1995, Emotional Intelligence, Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Goleman defines it as the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.

Most people have trouble managing situations that are emotionally charged, especially when the emotions aroused are anger and anxiety. This difficulty is often accompanied by, or causes, poor communications skills. Individuals who are able to handle their emotions─ the expression or regulation of them─ are also able to internally generate the kinds of emotions that are productive and efficient.

Goleman summarizes emotional intelligence into the following components:
1. Emotional self-awareness
2. Managing one’s own emotions
3. Using emotions to maximize intellectual processing and decision-making, including self-motivation
4. Developing empathy
5. The art of social relationships and managing emotions in others

The use of multi-rater 360-degree feedback surveys are increasingly being used in law firms to measure emotional intelligence, because such assessments ask colleagues, boss, direct reports and even family to rate the person on emotional competencies.

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