Resolution and commitment – something that can’t be fulfilled without the other.  New Year Resolutions are doomed without a long lasting commitment to them, whether it’s “Commit to Get Fit”; giving up sugar and alcohol; getting your 10,000 daily steps done or even contributing to a pension scheme.  There will be no permanent or effective result without it, and it’s not a short term option either.  Taking the time to move towards your goal is a long term investment, and certainly for your clients’ goals too if you’re expecting repeat business, longevity and loyalty from them.

Natalie Payne, Associate Private Client Solicitor at Mackrell Solicitors says:

“..Very often we get so consumed by the corporate part of our professional relationships that we can forget that commitment is also forged by remembering the little things – the human side of the corporate world.  It is that which cements the strong client relationship.

We all pride ourselves in doing a good job for our clients and should always aim to do that.  That in itself can create a committed relationship.  However, in order to really strengthen that relationship, to secure that commitment, it is the colourful, non-corporate side of the relationship that creates the glue and subsequent satisfaction. 

Remembering a milestone birthday; checking in on a client to see how they are; (especially important if they are vulnerable); making them feel that they can ask anything, and for finding common ground creates rapport.  It is this that builds mutual commitment and helps you and your client get the most out of the relationship on a professional and personal level.  It takes non-chargeable time, but you cannot put a value on making someone feel that you care.

In the ten years that I have been practising in private client law it has always amazed me what people share albeit an area of law where people are vulnerable due to events such as a recent bereavement or facing their own final battle.  However, it has shown me that it doesn’t matter how good I am at my job, what matters to them most is me being there whether it’s holding their hand (pre covid-19!) or lending an ear when they tell me stories about their loved one.  It is making the time to speak for those few minutes longer, writing a little note to see how they are and remembering little bits they mention about their family.  That is when true commitment between you and your client happens and this is where I get fulfilment from my professional career.  

Ultimately the saying: “you get out what you put in” epitomises what commitment is all about.”  

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain.” –Dolly Parton

Does being independently owned and/or a bespoke business mean that it can be more committed and more directly involved with client service provision; more focussed and client centric than much larger multi divisional set ups who have layers of decision making process that perhaps makes them less spontaneous or accurate in their response?  

For us at BDB, compromising our bespoke premise would undermine our USP entirely which is why, although it is a very scaleable provision, a franchise model – for example – would never work. Our commitment therefore to our business model is wholehearted and that is both valued and recognised by our clients. They have learnt that we work directly in response to their needs; within their timeframe and at a speed wholly dictated by them and with sensitivity, caring and integrity.  Being allowed to sort through people’s memories is a privilege. Commitment to proceed with infinite respect and understanding a given.

“The distance between dreams and reality is called action.  Commit to all.” Anonymous

Amongst New Year and Christmas celebrations in more “old normal” circumstances, “Mustang Sally” has, so I’m told, become a perennial karaoke favourite. The iconic song from the film The Commitments – written by Paddy Doyle, directed by Alan Parker – tells the story of a mixed group of frustrated musicians who come together, and are initially all completely immersed in the desire to fulfil their dream of forming and performing as a band, choosing their name to reflect their passion.  The first few gigs get them noticed but lack of trust, cohesion, reliability and focus gradually erode the collective dedication so that disillusion and inevitably, dissolution follow.  Is commitment therefore driven by common goals or is it more about what propels personal motivation?  I know we’ve used Team GB and the NHS as beacons before, but their commitment and dedication is both unified and driven individually.

Read a recent magazine article extolling, rightly, the importance of kindness. It listed good manners as one of its 10 points of kindness.  Good manners are a given however – or should be – and not necessarily connected to kindness. Every Bond villain was always polite, well-mannered and urbane.  That said, if there’s anything that the pandemic has achieved – and with luck will be sustained – it is the heightened sense of caring, concern, consideration and well-being of those around us.  

Simply, this by definition, is kindness and something to which we should all – permanently – be committed.

Stay safe and well…

Best Wishes and Happy New Year! 

Claire

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