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When Thinking Like a Lawyer
Gets You Stuck
Practical Tools for Creating Space and
Building Resilience
Introduction
Overview
• Getting Stuck
• Ways Our Thinking Leads Us Astray
• Some Tools for Creating the Space to be
Curious, Creative, and Courageous
Tools of The Trade/The Lens We Use
• Think Criticially (With Skepticism, Pessimism)
• Avoid Risk and Find Certainty (Don’t Be Wrong)
• Follow the Rules/Conform
• Work on Your Own and Compete
• Uniqueness of the Practice
Things You Can’t Unlearn/Lens is Stuck
“Please remove the ‘e’ in ‘judgement’ in
one of your slides (towards the end).”
How Do You Use the Tools?
• Seek Compensation, Clients, Advancement
• Get Affirmation (from Clients, Decision-makers,
Higher-Ups)
• Avoid Blame in a Zero-Sum Game
• Extrinsic and Linear (Means to an End)
The Tools When Things Don’t
Go As “Planned”?
• When your Emotions Get the Best of You?
• When You Are Burnt Out?
• When There is More Uncertainty than Clear
Answers?
• In Your Personal Relationships?
Distress (Getting Stuck)
• Something is going to happen
• That Happening is going to be awful
• That Something is Going to Be My Fault
• (Repeat)
Reactions to Distress
• The need to try and control it (find comfort)
• Suffering=Pain x Resistance
• Getting Stuck (Chemically and Otherwise)
• The Open Loop
Chronic Stress and the
Mind/Body
• Cortisol That Never Leaves
• Fight, Flight, or Freeze … All the Time
• Awful consequences- for the body
(including the mind)
What is Missing When Distress Sticks?
• The Capability to Manage Emotion
• Space to Respond (Rather Than React)
• Context/Awareness
• Cooperation/Collaboration/Communication
(Listening)
• The Willingness to Change (Curiosity, Creativity)
You May Not See The Whole Picture
• Natural Selection and Survival
• The Tribe
• The Fundamental Attribution Error
Blind Spots (Frame, Lens,
Tuning)
Blind Spots
Why Do Blind Spots Matter?
Sometimes We are the Tool
We’re Also Wired …
• For Cooperation
• For Collaboration
• For Connection
You Can Change Your Brain
• Notice
– How you relate to your thoughts
– How you relate to other people
– The Stories You Tell About Yourself (and others)
– Your body
• Widen Your Lens/Frame/Adjust Your Tuning
• Process and Not Just Result
One Definition- Ellen Langer
• Mindlessness- the application of yesterday's
business solutions to today's problems
• Mindfulness- attunement to today's
demands to avoid tomorrow's problems
• If you want to change it, you have to see it
for what it really is.
“Present-state awareness that helps
you be non-reactive.”- Tim Ferriss
Create Some Space in Your Head
• Use the breath and the body as an anchor
and a measure
• Reduce the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response
• Work on being a student of your own mind
• Even once a day
Creativity= Curiosity>Fear
• Space to look at your processes and the
recognition you can improve them
• Courage to consider changing them
The Creativity Button
Growth is Uncomfortable
Embrace
Challenges
Learn from
Criticism
Build Things That Can’t Be
Taken Away
• Get quiet
• Get outside
• Get on a different schedule
• Play and connect
Create Space For Attention
• Habits/Routines
• Fewer Decisions
• Fewer Distractions
Create Space with Computer Tools
Evernote
Podcasts
Create Space By Giving Time
• Be Generous of Your Time and
Your Knowledge
• Without Expecting Anything in
Return
Hold Space For Others
Give Yourself Space to Laugh
- At Yourself
Three (Ok 5) Things You Can
Do - in Less than 5 Minutes
• Breathe out
• Sit still (even if just long enough to listen to
your favorite song) (Ferriss)
• Start your workday by thanking someone
• At the end of the day write down three
things that went well (and why) (Seligman)
• Forgive yourself (again and again)
Conclusion: Create Space for
Solving Problems
Questions?
Jack Pringle
Adams and Reese LLP
(803) 343-1270
jack.pringle@arlaw.com
@jjpringlesc
http://pringlepracticeblog.blogspot.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-pringle-5834554/
1501 Main Street, 5th Floor
Columbia, SC 29201
www.adamsandreese.com
Resources
• Jeena Cho, The Anxious Lawyer, https://www.amazon.com/Anxious-Lawyer-Satisfying-
Mindfulness-Meditation/dp/1627226249
• Baba Shiv, How Do You Find Breakthrough Ideas?, Stanford Graduate School of
Business, http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/baba-shiv-how-do-you-find-
breakthrough-ideas
• The Resilient Lawyer http://theanxiouslawyer.com/rl-23-jack-pringle/
• Farnham Street https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/
• One You Feed With Michael Taft http://www.oneyoufeed.net/michael-taft/
• Tim Ferris with Brene Brown http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/08/28/brene-brown-
on-vulnerability-and-home-run-ted-talks/
• On Being With Ellen Langer http://www.onbeing.org/program/ellen-langer-science-of-
mindlessness-and-mindfulness/6332
• You Are Not So Smart http://youarenotsosmart.libsyn.com/062-naive-realism-lee-ross-0
• “How Biases, Politics and Egos Trump Good Strategy,” Chris Bradley, January 16, 2018
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-biases-politics-egos-derail-business-decisions-
chris-bradley/?kui=qdGk5TG7MixpsWIoQ-NS2Q
More Resources
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande
http://www.amazon.com/Checklist-Manifesto-How-Things-Right/dp/0312430000
Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, by Clive Thompson
http://www.amazon.com/Smarter-Than-You-Think-Technology/dp/1594204454
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D
http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Success-Carol-Dweck/dp/0345472322
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam Grant
http://www.amazon.com/Give-Take-Helping-Others-Success/dp/0143124986
Resolve to Use Your Device as a Tool- And to Resist Being Tooled By It https://medium.com/@jjpringlesc/resolve-
to-use-your-device-as-a-tool-and-resist-being-tooled-by-it-3bccb43f98ab
'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia,
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia
“Art of Letting Other People Have Your Way: Negotiating Secrets with Chris Voss,” The Knowledge Project
Podcast, https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2018/01/chris-voss/

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When Thinking Like a Lawyer Gets You Stuck: Practical Tools for Creating Space and Building Resilience

  • 1. When Thinking Like a Lawyer Gets You Stuck Practical Tools for Creating Space and Building Resilience
  • 3. Overview • Getting Stuck • Ways Our Thinking Leads Us Astray • Some Tools for Creating the Space to be Curious, Creative, and Courageous
  • 4. Tools of The Trade/The Lens We Use • Think Criticially (With Skepticism, Pessimism) • Avoid Risk and Find Certainty (Don’t Be Wrong) • Follow the Rules/Conform • Work on Your Own and Compete • Uniqueness of the Practice
  • 5. Things You Can’t Unlearn/Lens is Stuck “Please remove the ‘e’ in ‘judgement’ in one of your slides (towards the end).”
  • 6. How Do You Use the Tools? • Seek Compensation, Clients, Advancement • Get Affirmation (from Clients, Decision-makers, Higher-Ups) • Avoid Blame in a Zero-Sum Game • Extrinsic and Linear (Means to an End)
  • 7. The Tools When Things Don’t Go As “Planned”? • When your Emotions Get the Best of You? • When You Are Burnt Out? • When There is More Uncertainty than Clear Answers? • In Your Personal Relationships?
  • 8. Distress (Getting Stuck) • Something is going to happen • That Happening is going to be awful • That Something is Going to Be My Fault • (Repeat)
  • 9. Reactions to Distress • The need to try and control it (find comfort) • Suffering=Pain x Resistance • Getting Stuck (Chemically and Otherwise) • The Open Loop
  • 10. Chronic Stress and the Mind/Body • Cortisol That Never Leaves • Fight, Flight, or Freeze … All the Time • Awful consequences- for the body (including the mind)
  • 11.
  • 12. What is Missing When Distress Sticks? • The Capability to Manage Emotion • Space to Respond (Rather Than React) • Context/Awareness • Cooperation/Collaboration/Communication (Listening) • The Willingness to Change (Curiosity, Creativity)
  • 13. You May Not See The Whole Picture • Natural Selection and Survival • The Tribe • The Fundamental Attribution Error
  • 14. Blind Spots (Frame, Lens, Tuning)
  • 16.
  • 17. Why Do Blind Spots Matter?
  • 18. Sometimes We are the Tool
  • 19. We’re Also Wired … • For Cooperation • For Collaboration • For Connection
  • 20. You Can Change Your Brain • Notice – How you relate to your thoughts – How you relate to other people – The Stories You Tell About Yourself (and others) – Your body • Widen Your Lens/Frame/Adjust Your Tuning • Process and Not Just Result
  • 21. One Definition- Ellen Langer • Mindlessness- the application of yesterday's business solutions to today's problems • Mindfulness- attunement to today's demands to avoid tomorrow's problems • If you want to change it, you have to see it for what it really is.
  • 22. “Present-state awareness that helps you be non-reactive.”- Tim Ferriss
  • 23. Create Some Space in Your Head • Use the breath and the body as an anchor and a measure • Reduce the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response • Work on being a student of your own mind • Even once a day
  • 24.
  • 25. Creativity= Curiosity>Fear • Space to look at your processes and the recognition you can improve them • Courage to consider changing them
  • 28. Build Things That Can’t Be Taken Away • Get quiet • Get outside • Get on a different schedule • Play and connect
  • 29. Create Space For Attention • Habits/Routines • Fewer Decisions • Fewer Distractions
  • 30. Create Space with Computer Tools Evernote Podcasts
  • 31.
  • 32. Create Space By Giving Time • Be Generous of Your Time and Your Knowledge • Without Expecting Anything in Return
  • 33. Hold Space For Others
  • 34. Give Yourself Space to Laugh - At Yourself
  • 35. Three (Ok 5) Things You Can Do - in Less than 5 Minutes • Breathe out • Sit still (even if just long enough to listen to your favorite song) (Ferriss) • Start your workday by thanking someone • At the end of the day write down three things that went well (and why) (Seligman) • Forgive yourself (again and again)
  • 36. Conclusion: Create Space for Solving Problems
  • 37. Questions? Jack Pringle Adams and Reese LLP (803) 343-1270 jack.pringle@arlaw.com @jjpringlesc http://pringlepracticeblog.blogspot.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-pringle-5834554/ 1501 Main Street, 5th Floor Columbia, SC 29201 www.adamsandreese.com
  • 38. Resources • Jeena Cho, The Anxious Lawyer, https://www.amazon.com/Anxious-Lawyer-Satisfying- Mindfulness-Meditation/dp/1627226249 • Baba Shiv, How Do You Find Breakthrough Ideas?, Stanford Graduate School of Business, http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/baba-shiv-how-do-you-find- breakthrough-ideas • The Resilient Lawyer http://theanxiouslawyer.com/rl-23-jack-pringle/ • Farnham Street https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/ • One You Feed With Michael Taft http://www.oneyoufeed.net/michael-taft/ • Tim Ferris with Brene Brown http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/08/28/brene-brown- on-vulnerability-and-home-run-ted-talks/ • On Being With Ellen Langer http://www.onbeing.org/program/ellen-langer-science-of- mindlessness-and-mindfulness/6332 • You Are Not So Smart http://youarenotsosmart.libsyn.com/062-naive-realism-lee-ross-0 • “How Biases, Politics and Egos Trump Good Strategy,” Chris Bradley, January 16, 2018 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-biases-politics-egos-derail-business-decisions- chris-bradley/?kui=qdGk5TG7MixpsWIoQ-NS2Q
  • 39. More Resources The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande http://www.amazon.com/Checklist-Manifesto-How-Things-Right/dp/0312430000 Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, by Clive Thompson http://www.amazon.com/Smarter-Than-You-Think-Technology/dp/1594204454 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Success-Carol-Dweck/dp/0345472322 Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam Grant http://www.amazon.com/Give-Take-Helping-Others-Success/dp/0143124986 Resolve to Use Your Device as a Tool- And to Resist Being Tooled By It https://medium.com/@jjpringlesc/resolve- to-use-your-device-as-a-tool-and-resist-being-tooled-by-it-3bccb43f98ab 'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia “Art of Letting Other People Have Your Way: Negotiating Secrets with Chris Voss,” The Knowledge Project Podcast, https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2018/01/chris-voss/

Editor's Notes

  1. DHS Risk Lexicon: ability to resist, absorb, recover from, or successfully adapt to adversity or a change in conditions.
  2. I didn’t come down here to change your mind about anything, but to ease my own mind about everything.
  3. Law School is Different. "What do you call everyone in your office who is not you? A Non-lawyer. The Law is a Jealous Mistress. What does the law say. Bound by Precedent. BlueBook and Manual on Style
  4. “A bundle of tense muscles defending our existence.”- Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche Extrinsic and Linear.
  5. Kids and the Now Ever Thought Your Way out of a Painful Emotional situation?
  6. Letter from ODC, Motion for Attorney’s Fees, Frivolous Claim, Partner in your Office Stress not equal to Distress, Shame not equal to Guilt Distress is Not Wanting What We Presume is Going to Happen
  7. (worry, anxiety, discomfort) Problem is the Bear isn’t always chasing you. Are you running because you are scared, or scared because you are running. William James. Thoughts and Sawyer- altruism project. Resist, React, Kill the Pain Work and effort. Struggle and fear. relaxing
  8. Interferes with learning and memory lower immune function and bone density increased weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease increase risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy. potential trigger for mental illness and decreased resilience—especially in adolescence.
  9. We are “problem solvers”, but often unaware of the problem (especially when the problem is us) Unaware of any clue how to solve it; But absolutely certain that we do know or unwilling to admit otherwise. Most of us live mindlessly all of the time- Using the Tools We Have means we don't see the whole picture and miss what is right in front of us Not there and not there to know we are not there You are Not So Smart (False Consensus) – Lee Ross- believing that from situation to the next, people are more likely to do things or see the world the way we do. Ambiguity, doubt. we don't perceive everything that is important. Our brains and emotions don’t always make sense of the world Naïve realism
  10. What to Think (We all got holes to fill, and them holes are all that’s real . . .) (Turn Off The Brain) A Reminder from Time to Time that Things Are Relatively Easy (Why Do You Need Space?- Creativity-Risk-Vulnerability)
  11. Less evaluative of other people; feel unique but recognize that everyone is also unique; ability to take risks. Situational rather than personality-based. (When You notice Things about yourself, you notice things about others) (opposite of projection). Gets you off your back foot and in a posture of being ready to actively solve problems and create possibilities David Allen and the open loop. Hard not to be humble when you see the way your brain works.
  12. (Not Presence but instead "noticing"- you can't make a decision to be "present") (what do you mean "without judging") Managing the fog of emotion Being aware of your patterns Getting space Without judging letting go of the illusion that we are in control Beginner's mind and the ability to listen or evaluate without preconceived notions One cannot learn what they already know. -Epicetus. If you're offended easily, you're a bad resource allocator. It's a waste of energized gy & attention; a greater sin than wasting time- @tferriss Train yourself to value most the things that can't be taken away.  Observation and perception Observe people having sex Parker J. Palmer- eustress.  Creativity=Curiousity > Fear (choosing Curiousity over fear).  Something only special people do.  Rigidity in intention, but flexibility in implementation. One You Feed, July 20th
  13. Get comfortable with discomfort, insecurity, doubt, and build the courage to change From Ellen Langer and the HBR (Sidebar on Courage) (get out of your comfort zone)
  14. (see distractions, biases, self-serving thoughts and actions)
  15. Fear is the misuse of a very powerful tool: imagination. 
  16. Can you accept some criticism, share some credit, and allow for some mistakes? Courage to Change) take risks, be seen, tell your own story. (Best Measure of Courage is Vulnerability)- (You might as well show yourself, because people are going to form opinions of you anyway). Shame can’t survive emphathy: (Shame Needs Three Things: secrecy, silence, judgment) Be seen Are You Trying to Get Better from a Good Place, or Trying to Fill a Hole? I am really good, but I can be better v. I am flawed and I need to prove myself If you are enough, and want to improve, that is different from always needing affirmation from others. (Perfectionism is the 20-ton shield)- you can't be seen. Being Here or Living for the Future Curiosity and Being a Lifelong Learner Listening
  17. Silence isn’t the absence of sound, it’s the absence of noise.
  18. Omm Writer, Freedom, Leechblock. Email exacerbates the urgent to the exclusion of the important You Need Sustained Attention Fuel, Fallible, Finite Technology is a (Constant) Distraction and Saps Attention Minimize Your Beeps and Notifications (and your Interruptions and Meetings) Guard Your Attention Jealously
  19. (Put Your Own Mask on) (When You notice Things about yourself, you notice things about others) (opposite of projection). Shame can’t survive emphathy: (Shame Needs Three Things: secrecy, silence, judgment) Be seen If I am going to fall prey to cliches, I will choose these.