Do Divorce Attorneys Have Empathy for Clients?

Lawyer presents to client a signed legal contract
Celebrity Divorce Lawyer Christopher C. Melcher Explains if Divorce Attorneys Have Empathy for their Clients?

[Source: The Empathy Edge]

Top family law attorney Christopher C. Melcher of Walzer Melcher LLP, which was named best family law firm in 2020 by Chambers & Partners, Explains why Divorce Attorneys Should Have Empathy for their Clients

Christopher Melcher: Do Divorce Attorneys Have Empathy for Their Clients?

Isn’t it funny how we see certain professions as more empathetic than others? When you think of empathetic jobs, health care workers, counselors, or teachers come to mind; when you think of jobs that may result in a lack of empathy, you may believe that it could be a tax attorney, or someone that works for the IRS, or perhaps a divorce lawyer. Well, my conversation with today’s guest, Christopher Melcher, is going to shatter your myths about the importance of empathy in his success as a top divorce attorney in California. Christopher shares with us about the important role that empathy plays in his success and throughout, you’re going to learn how active listening can help a lawyer and any of you be a good advocate for your clients, customers, and employees. 

 

Key Takeaways:

  • The cases aren’t complicated, the people make it complicated. It’s 90% emotion and 10% law. 
  • The best leaders allow people to find their way and make their own decisions. People like to take ownership of how they get to the endpoint.
  • It is about connecting, not about believing. The truth is hard to know. 

 

“Listening is the most powerful part of communication.” —  Christopher C. Melcher

Maria Ross:
Isn’t it funny how we see certain professions as more empathetic than others? When you think of empathetic jobs, healthcare workers, counselors, or teachers come to mind. When you think of jobs that kind of result in a lack of empathy, you may be someone who believes that it could be a tax attorney or someone that works for the IRS, or perhaps a divorce lawyer. Well, my guest today, Christopher C. Melcher, who is a celebrity divorce lawyer, is going to shatter your myths about the importance of empathy in his success. Christopher is a partner at Walzer Melcher LLP, which was ranked best family law firm in Los Angeles, CA by Chambers & Partners.  Business owners, celebrities, and trust beneficiaries across California turn to Christopher for his assistance in protecting their most valuable assets.

Maria Ross:
With deep experience in complex family law litigation and premarital agreements, Mr. Melcher helps his clients achieve successful outcomes despite extremely challenging circumstances. He understands the need to keep sensitive family matters private for his noteworthy and celebrity clients, and is dedicated to handling family law matters in a discreet manner that still gets the results clients are seeking. And no, today on the show, he’s not sharing any celebrity gossip with us. He’s just going to talk to us about the important role that empathy plays in his success. He’s presented approximately 200 continuing legal education programs to other attorneys on the issues of complex family law issues. He’s an international family law attorney and published author, and he wrote the only treatise in California, premarital agreement law published by LexisNexis. Christopher is also an adjunct professor of family law at Pepperdine University in Malibu.

Maria Ross:
We had an eye-opening conversation about how important the role of empathy is to his work, and why it took him a while to discover that.

We talk about how divorce clients often treat their lawyers like therapists in venting about their spouses, and what a lawyer needs to do to balance the fine line of creating a strong, trustworthy connection, but not revealing too much and not being too vulnerable so they can really be there for their clients.

We talk about how divorce lawyers can tell if a client does or doesn’t have a case, how they effectively represent a client that they may not like. That’s where they really need to call on their empathy. Most importantly throughout, you’re going to learn how active listening can help a lawyer and any of you be a good advocate for your clients. You’re going to love today’s conversation, and especially what Christopher had to say about representing people he doesn’t always like.

I love that we are having this conversation. I love that you are representing family lawyers and divorce lawyers everywhere to talk about this, because I think that there is a preconceived notion of certain professions that are more or less empathetic than others. What you’re going to share with us today is really going to be about how to find empathy in any situation, and so I want to first ask the question, do divorce clients treat their lawyers like therapists, inventing about their spouses? So how much of that information do you need to represent to the client, do you deal with, because then we’re going to talk about what role empathy plays when you’re forced into that role.

Christopher Melcher:
Well, that’s something that we struggle with as lawyers, and I think that clients struggle with, is really understanding what our role is. I’m not a therapist. I’m not qualified to deal with psychological crisis, but as a lawyer, I’m dealing with people in crisis. So I need to understand that these clients are going through a really, really difficult time, and everything’s at stake in a divorce. So it’s their kids, it’s their money, it’s their house, it’s their future. So there’s a tremendous amount of anxiety, anger, resentment, everything you can think of bound up into this case.

But for the lawyer, if they’re looking at it rigidly, they may say, “I just need to know what you want and how much your budget is, and that’s it.”

But what I’ve realized is that these cases are not that complicated. It’s the people that makes them complicated. So it’s 90% emotion and 10% law, and so I need to understand who my client is as a person and what they’re going through.

I need to understand who the other side is as best as I can and what they’re going through, because if I’m not attacking the problem as really a psychological one or mental health crisis, or just a regular crisis, then I’m losing the point and I’m not going to serve the client well. But there can be a limit, though, as to how far we can go with that.

Maria Ross:
Absolutely. I think because this is a profession where you do need a high level of emotional intelligence around being able to navigate and adapt with your clients based on what they need, I want to ask a question about the role of empathy to help you do that. Is that something you deem as a strength for yourself, of being able to put yourself into another person’s shoes? Is it something that you had to strengthen because of your profession?

Christopher Melcher:
Well, I think I got it from my mom who was just an incredible listener and always really an outward looking person, not inward. So some of that came naturally for me, and then I realized how powerful that is in my profession, because I need to listen to people before they’re going to listen to me. It’s really through talking these problems out that I can then gain the understanding of what needs to be done, and then the client would have the trust or rapport with me to listen then, when I’m giving guidance on how the case should go.

Christopher Melcher:
And then where I’m taking it further where many lawyers have not is a listening to the other side, and that’s something that clients resist. Why do you care what my husband wants? It’s like, “Well, because we have to get out of this case. The only way we’re going to do that is through a court, which is going to take years and be very expensive, or through making an agreement. If we’re going to make an agreement, we need to have trust and communication and respect.” So they resist that, but that’s the level that I’m working towards.

Maria Ross:
How do you handle, because you are dealing with people that are often in a heightened, if not sometimes, dare I say, irrational emotional state because of the high stakes that you talked about? I’d love for you to talk, because I think it could benefit leaders of any ilk, of any profession, listening to this. How do you deal with someone who may not have enough empathy of their own? How are you able to summon that empathy for them, be able to keep the level head? Do you have any tips or practices or habits that help you do that?

Christopher Melcher:
I’ve struggled with this, and I’ll tell you the thing not to do. So I had one client who just was not being rational and not listening to advice and going to blow, which was a very generous deal, and I said, “Don’t be an idiot.” Now, that came out of frustration and it just ruined the relationship. It just was the wrong thing to say, and so I learned that is not the way to go.

Maria Ross:
The reaction versus the response, right?

Christopher Melcher:

Yeah. So there’s a push-pull method, and so that was the push method. “Don’t be an idiot, listen to me,” which doesn’t work. And then there’s the pull. So what I’m working on is that angle of being maybe the crazy lawyer. “Client, you should absolutely fight for everything and you should not settle this case. We’re going to court and I don’t care what it takes on this. You need justice.”

And then they say, “Well, Chris, I don’t know. Maybe that offer isn’t so bad.” That’s the part I’m working on right now, because I think it’s easier for the client to dial the lawyer back. It’s easier for the client to take the lawyer from a nine to a seven than a seven to a nine.

Christopher Melcher:
So this is the dynamic here, unfortunately, is that I am being hired to advocate. That means different things to different people.

For me, it means effectively getting the outcome that the client wants, but a lot of clients are unsophisticated and think that means attack. So if I’m constantly talking about settlement and thinking about what the other side needs and compromise, many of these clients view that as weakness. “I have a bad lawyer, my lawyer doesn’t listen to me, my lawyer doesn’t believe me.” So that’s why I’ve been using some of that other technique of the pull method to get them into where I want them to be, by really having them recognize, no, that’s a ridiculous approach that you just outlined. I don’t want to do that. Even though that was my idea, the way was to get them there. It’s now their idea that I’m working on.

Maria Ross:
Right? I think that’s the takeaway there too, is not necessarily be disingenuous or make somebody think you’re trying to do something you’re not, but this idea of helping empower them to come to a positive conclusion.

So the best leaders enable people to find their way and make their own decisions. You’re sort of acting like a Sherpa in that respect of you know where you want them to go, but maybe they have to take the ownership of trying to get there.

So being able to say the right thing in the situation, which like you said, is not just do what I say, is really the lesson there for folks. Being able to know your client, your employee, your colleague, your customer well enough so that you can maybe play that devil’s advocate and try to get them to come to a conclusion that is going to move them forward.

Christopher Melcher:
Nobody likes to be told what to do. So even though they’re coming to a lawyer for advice, they need to make their own decisions. So just telling them the client, because we can predict in most of these cases how it’s going to turn out and we don’t have to fight. They need to be led to that, and they need to make their own decision after information and not just being dictated to. So it is a dance there that has to happen, and so the client gets the information, makes an informed decision of their own, hopefully through my guidance, but not through me telling them what to do.

Christopher Melcher:
I would just add in family law, the other dynamic is that all these clients are coming out of a very personal relationship. There may have been a very dominating partner that they’re leaving, and so I don’t want to replace, be that new dominating person and force in their life and just saying, “Well, hey, you need to listen to me.” And all of a sudden now, they’re just deferring because I’m the new strong person in their life. I’m aware of that risk. So with that type of client, it’s just going to take time for them to basically recover from what they went through to start making decisions on their own, living independently, perhaps for a while until they’re able to make a decision.

Maria Ross:
I would imagine that a lot of it, like you alluded to at the beginning, is really about listening. They just want to be heard. They want to be able to tell their side of the story. So that’s where you almost adopt a therapist persona. Not that you are a therapist for them, but being able to just be an ear to listen to them, talk about maybe the pain or the suffering that they went through.

Christopher Melcher:

So what I’ve found is listening is the most powerful part of communication, and when we talk about communication, we think about talking. All the great things that I’m going to say. It actually should be 90% listening and 10% talking. We don’t learn anything by talking.

So what I found in these cases is that people are looking for some semblance of justice, and that sometimes is a dollar amount, but many times it’s just a feeling that, “Hey, somebody recognized what I went through was wrong. I was mistreated. Somebody cheated on me.” They want to hear that. So definitely listening and reflecting back, and I’ve tried my best to work on those skills, extraordinarily important rather than just diving in there and starting to fix stuff. That was early on a mistake that I made so many times. But it’s listening and reflecting.

Christopher Melcher:

We’ve seen judges do that too. Some very difficult cases. I remember one, in particular, we could not settle this case for anything, and we actually had to start trial. We realized, finally, that wife was just so upset about what happened that she just wanted to say what she wanted. Normally in trial there were these very formal rules about testimony, and so we realized that she just needed to talk.

We all talked to the judge, her lawyer, myself, and the judge in chambers about how we’re going to approach this, and we just basically said open mic. Because we started the trial and we said, “Missus, what would you like to say?” 20 minutes. “Okay. Anything else?” No. “Okay. Now we’re moving on.” That’s all she wanted, and it was just to get it out there to say what she had to say and for it to be listened to. We found out that’s what we were fighting about the whole case.

Maria Ross:
Yeah. It was her literal day in court, right?

Christopher Melcher:
Exactly/.

Maria Ross:
But do you ever find yourself to show your clients empathy for the other side, or sadly, when there’s children involved as well, do you struggle to help your clients see the impact that their emotions or whatever are having on other people? Is that a role you have to play sometimes?

Christopher Melcher:

It’s almost daily, and this is the hardest part of it. Because again, I’m hired for one side, and the other side has their lawyer. It’s just naturally polarizing. The client is paying me a lot of money and doesn’t want to hear me saying that they’re doing something wrong, but ultimately I am not a cheerleader and I’m not helping the client one bit by just telling them how great they are.

So once I have listened and I’ve built a rapport, I can be extraordinarily direct, because it’s better that they hear it from me than go through some case to trial thinking that they’re winning because no one’s ever criticized them or told them otherwise, and then for the judge to say it. So I am highly evaluative. I don’t say, “Don’t be stupid,” anymore. I say it in a nicer way.

Maria Ross:
We all learn from our past mistakes. Right? So that leads me to another question, is how much of your work is about you, I don’t want to say believing your client, but really connecting with your client and believing in them and in the fact that this can be a good outcome? How much of it is that, and then how much of it is also when you have to tell someone that they don’t have a case?

Christopher Melcher:
So it’s about connecting, not about believing necessarily, because the truth is hard to know. In court, it doesn’t really matter what the truth is, it matters what the court finds to be true. There is a subtle but important distinction. I am very skeptical, so anything that the client tells me at some point, I’m going to ask for verification of it, if it’s a verifiable fact. Not because I don’t believe the client, but because I want to be able to prove what they’re saying, and I don’t want to rely on their word for it.

Through that process of testing, then I realize, is this a reliable client or not? If they’ve told me things that all check out, then if we had to go to trial, I’m going to feel very confident about our case, because I know this client delivers truthful, accurate statements. If not, then I’m going to call them out on that.

Christopher Melcher:
So before I can get to there, I have to meet them where they are. So if it’s just like a train that’s moving and you’re trying to jump on it, you’re going to have to run at the same speed to get on it. So I’m gauging, “Okay, where are they right now, and how can I meet them where they are? Okay. Now we’re together. Now we’re going on a journey.” For me, it’s not just watching them go through this. I’m an active participant in this and like a guide, saying, “Hey, I’ve been down these roads before and we can make a left. This is what this looks like. It’s big and scary and dark. If you like that, let’s go. But if over to the right, it’s very simple, there’s no excitement, and we could go this way too.” Just letting them make the decisions with as much information as possible.

Maria Ross:
So that’s a good segue into really how you make that connection with a client. Should you share personal details with a client to show them that you truly understand their problem? Is there a certain aspect where you will be vulnerable versus not, because this is so different from any other sort of service provider relationship, like the kind I have with my clients. I can be very vulnerable and share things with them, but how do you draw that line? Because if you see yourself almost as a guide and as a leader, outside of the legal context of your responsibilities, are you willing to share personal information in order to work with them or connect with them? How does that go?

Christopher Melcher:

So it’s going to depend on the client. I think a lot of the clients that I represent are self-made people, very intense, and they don’t even care about me or listening to anything I have to say. So all about themselves. So I don’t even have to make the decision, because they’re not going to listen anyway, anyone other than themselves. Then there’s other clients who definitely would listen, but I have to be very careful with that, because I want to maintain boundaries and a professional boundary. So I have to make sure they understand, hey, I empathize with them, but I’m not identifying with them. So there’s a difference there. That’s where many of the divorce lawyers are just terrible at, which is that they identify with their client and they can no longer be objective. They can’t see the truth and they can’t realize what the other side’s going on. They just put in these ridiculous arguments that nobody believes.

Christopher Melcher:
So they make the client feel really, really happy up through the end. Until they get the decision by the court, the client thinks, “This is the best lawyer I’ve ever had in my life.” But they’re getting horrible advice, because we need to be objective.

So in terms of sharing personal detail, I remember early in my career, I was struggling starting out and the client, it was an issue over money. The client was like, “Hey, I need this money or whatever.” And I said, “Yeah, I need money too. I want to win this case. I need the money too.” That just didn’t go well, because at the end, I think what the client started realizing is, “Well, how stable are you? Why do I want a lawyer that’s not really that successful?” And then it just goes into a bad spot. So that was oversharing or sharing wrong information.

Christopher Melcher:

If the client’s saying, “My life is a mess and I can’t handle this anymore,” it’s not going to help if I say, “You know what? My life is a total disaster. Let me tell you how messed up I am.” They’re not going to listen to me. I don’t share any of that stuff. I think if I get to know a client for a long time, and then obviously we’re going to spend time together, and if they ask and I’ll start sharing information. But I am careful about that because I don’t want them to think that I’m a mess, because I’m not going to be able to serve them.

Maria Ross:
I think that’s the big difference with when we talk about just standard workplaces, I think there’s an extra layer of pressure on you not to be able to be vulnerable and share that vulnerability. Because we’ve talked a lot on this show and in the book about the fact that in a corporate environment, in a work context or an organizational environment, it is okay for a leader to go, “Look, this is a crazy crisis we’re going through right now. I don’t have all the answers, but what I do know is X, Y, and Z, and this is my commitment to you.” Being able to be seen that way in terms of, I don’t have to have all the answers, but here’s the status of what I’m working on to get to resolution. So you’re in a very unique profession in that it’s almost the opposite of what we’ve been talking about a lot, in that you do have to present that persona a little bit so that, maybe because your clients are in such a chaotic emotional state at that point.

Christopher Melcher:
I don’t think that they’re expecting me to share a lot. The connection happens through active listening. So I’m listening to them, and then I’m reflecting back. So to me, that’s where they feel like I get it. They may then fill in the blanks, “Well, maybe Chris has been divorced before. Maybe Chris has personally been through this before.” They can maybe fill in that stuff, but I don’t need to go through all that detail with them. But I think it’s that, because rather than just saying, “Okay, client, I’ve heard you now. Here are all my gifts of solutions for you,” which they’re not ready for that yet.

Maria Ross:

I think that’s such an important point to remember, is that the power of active listening is so strong that it in a way can make someone think they know you, because you’re listening to them so well. I’ve had conversations with people that I’ve just met or whatever where they’ve done all the talking and I have just listened, and they’ve walked away with such a positive impression of me because of that. I don’t feel like they got to know me at all, but, but the power of active listening is that it can help you create that connection. It can help you create that connection very quickly, even if it’s not reciprocated. This is what I always try to tell people who say, “Well, it’s all well and good for me to be an empathetic leader or to be an empathetic coworker. But what if my coworker’s not empathetic?” And I always say, “Well, that’s not your problem to solve. You can only control you and how you show up in the interaction.”

Christopher Melcher:
Yeah. I realized this. It was actually fairly recently. I had to take a class on suicide prevention counseling, and so I took this class. At first I was like, “Why am I taking this?” But I had to, so I took it. Through that, and I recommend it for anyone to listen to something like that, because these are the 911 operators basically who are taking these calls from people who were suicidal. Literally, if you say the wrong thing, somebody could kill themselves. So through that course that I took, learned active listening so much better, really upped my skills. For example, one of the questions that you wouldn’t ask, “Caller, okay, well, don’t you have family? Don’t you have friends?” And then if they’re going to say, “Well, no, thanks for reminding me-”

Maria Ross:
It’s a trigger. Yeah, absolutely.

Christopher Melcher:
Now I feel really awful. It’s being very judicious or careful about these questions that you’re asking people, rather than just listening and saying, “Wow, okay. I can understand why you would feel really bad about what happened to you,” rather than trying to then offer solutions about, “Well, why don’t you talk to your family about this?” So through that little training, I really realized I have to choose my words very carefully.

Maria Ross:
What’s a gem or a tip you can share around how you’ve been able to effectively hone your active listening skills?

Christopher Melcher:
So I think some of it’s through my own personal experience. For example, I was out to lunch with my mom yesterday, and mom’s a great, great person. Loved it. I was complaining my back was bothering me, and so she’s like, “Well, have you tried this? Have you tried that? Have you tried this? I could get you this. Have you done this?” It’s like, “Okay, well, I don’t like that. I don’t want to do the chiropractor. I don’t want to do this.” I just felt myself just constantly saying no, no, no, and it sounded like a drag. I’m always just shooting all these ideas down. Really, what it came down to was it would have been better just to say, “Hey, I’m sorry your back hurts.”

Maria Ross:
Yeah. That must be tough. Yeah.

Christopher Melcher:
Must be tough. It must be really tough.

Maria Ross:
I’m horrible for that with my husband, by the way. He says that all the time to me, he’s like, “Stop trying to just throw solutions at me. I’m just venting.”

Christopher Melcher:

So that’s the thing where I’m like, “Okay, well, am I doing that to clients?” Because maybe they’re not ready to say, “Well, hey, have you thought about buying your husband out of the house? Have you thought about going back to work? Have you thought about taking less money?” They’re just not ready for all that, and especially if I get them into mode where I’m asking questions or making solutions that are just unworkable. Now they feel like, okay, I don’t get it and it’s not working. It’s not a good connection here. So that’s where it’s just really, the tip for me is listen a lot. Reflect back. Don’t try and solve the problem, wait for them to then ask, “Well, what do you think?” Now I’m being invited to do that, rather than just getting my tools out and trying to fix the problem from the beginning.

Maria Ross:
The great thing about that is if able to do that and do it well, and they feel heard in the moment, you can always circle back later because then they feel heard. They feel they can trust you. They’ve built a rapport. Even if you come back a day later or two days later, whether you’re a manager or a lawyer or someone’s mom and say, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about what you told me yesterday or the other day. If you’re open to it, I have some ideas for you.”

Maria Ross:
I think we get so impatient with trying to solve, and I’m speaking as the hello, my name is Maria and I’m the person that does this. But we get so caught up in trying to solve someone’s pain. We don’t want to see someone in pain. We jump to, “Well, here’s how you can fix that.” It does no one any good. So I’m going to ask the question that I’ve always wanted to ask, and I have two lawyers in my family and they’re not lawyers like you are. So I know other people would be wondering this question too. Can a lawyer effectively represent a client that you don’t like? If that’s the case, what does empathy help you do?

Christopher Melcher:
Legally, it shouldn’t matter, but it does. Really, where it comes out is am I going to work nights and weekends for this client? Because I’ve looked at and I can see the sacrifice that I make. I have a son who’s 11 years old, and I know every moment that I’m working is a moment that I’m not with him. So I’m making a decision to sacrifice that. Now, if I really like the client and there’s a need, and I just have to do this to win this case, I will do it. But if I don’t like the client, why would I want to do that? So that’s really for the client if the client was smart, and I’ve had some that are very great people, and they send gifts or thank you’s or just all the praise and understanding. And then if we lose, they’re still like, “Hey Chris, it’s cool. You did a great job. Don’t worry about it.” Those are the people I want to work nights and weekends for, whether I’m paid or not. So that’s where it comes out.

Christopher Melcher:

When I’m seeing that I don’t like the client, I do ask myself, “Well, am I understanding the client? Was there something here that I’m missing? How can I not like this person?” So sometimes it’s just about getting on the phone with them, getting more rapport so I can understand like, “Hey, this isn’t a transactional relationship here. We’re going through a lot of personal stuff here in your life, and we need to have a better connection. Let’s have a meeting.” If we could do an in-person or the Zoom or telephone calls, some more connection, the time spent to me has helped then maybe understand and bring that together. And then other times it was just awful clients. There’s just people that there’s nothing redeeming about them. I have done, in those cases, just say, “You need to find another lawyer. I don’t want to represent you.” I’ve done that, and actually turned out to have some clients that turned around and became really good clients after that, to say, “Wow, okay. I didn’t realize like I was being such a difficult client. What can I do to be a better client?”

Maria Ross:
Right. Well, that’s the dream if you can say no, because I love how you said that. This idea of it’s not so much about liking the other person, but if there’s a good relationship there, you’re going to go the extra mile. You’re going to make the sacrifices for that client. Not that you’re going to represent them any more poorly than you would. You’re always going to do your best and honor your responsibility. But I think that’s the difference between doing the transaction and building a relationship. When you build the relationship, whether it’s with your client as a lawyer or a customer as a business, when you go the extra mile for them, they go the extra mile for you. It’s a much more satisfying conversation.

Maria Ross:

The data and the research show that with employees as well. When they’re working with organizations they deem empathetic, they’re willing to work more hours for less pay. Not that we want them to, but they’re willing to do that because they feel valued. It’s the same thing, just not only do you feel valued as a customer or a client, but as the service provider, you want to feel valued as well.

Christopher Melcher:

That’s exactly right, because we’re all people and we have our needs for care and feeding. If they’re not being met, we’re not going to be happy. I think in that other example about the difficult client is there has to be boundaries and limitations in any relationship. Where I think people get abused is where we’re not setting limitations, and to tell the client, “Hey, your behavior is unacceptable. I do not want to work for you. This is not right.” Some people need to hit the limit, and if you don’t set where the limit is, it’ll just keep going.

Maria Ross:
Right. You can even assume positive intent there, that maybe they just don’t even know. Maybe they don’t even realize they’re pushing. I’ve had working relationships like that in my past where it’s like, “Wow, I didn’t even realize I was doing that. I’m so sorry. I will try to be better about this.” Or I assumed when I didn’t hear back that you were fine with me giving you more responsibility and more stuff to do. I didn’t realize you were curled up in a ball crying because I was giving you too much work. So all of these things that we make all these assumptions, and if we could just, again, let’s just check in with each other and see where the other person is. Do we need to set a boundary? Do we need to clarify communication instead of just making these assumptions and just going off with the I’m right and they’re wrong mentality.

Christopher Melcher:
Yep, yep.

Maria Ross:
Absolutely. Well, this has been great. Do you have any final nuggets to share with us about this idea of the importance of empathy to help you be successful?

Christopher Melcher:
Well, I think every business, it doesn’t matter what type and where your role is, whether you’re an employee or an employer or you’re a client or a provider, we’re dealing with people. It’s such an obvious fact, but it’s overlooked.

I think focus more on people than the product, the service, the process, the goal, the money, and everything else will fall in line. Those are all secondary. That’s where I’m learning, is the power of people. Especially with employees, I mean, I’ve had to learn this. These are fragile beings. They’re like little butterflies. You have to treat them excellent and they’ll treat you well, but you can’t just grab them. You’re going to kill them. And then knowing how I respond when little acts of kindness and gratitude that clients have given me that I want to go the extra mile for them, I want to be that person. I want to have other people feel like they want to help me and go the extra mile. It’s all about treating people well.

Maria Ross:
I love it. Well, thank you so much for your insights today, Christopher. How can folks get in touch with you or learn more about you?

Christopher Melcher:
Well, if you Google Walzer Melcher, W-A-L-Z-E-R M-E-L-C-H-E-R, or Christopher Melcher, you will find all the information you need. Always happy to be a resource. I practice in California, but I know lawyers all over the country, even in other countries, and so always happy to connect up somebody to make sure they get the right fit for legal representation. So I’d love to be that resource, and id anyone ever needs it, just please let me know.