Lawyers Note Changing Business Patterns Amid Pandemic
As we approach a full year spent contending with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are wondering about the impact of the virus on different industries. In response, we’ve seen plenty of coverage of restaurants and retail and even healthcare, but there are plenty of sectors that have received less coverage. For example, what’s currently happening in our country’s courtrooms and law offices? While certain issues have undoubtedly continued being adjudicated, including personal injury law services and criminal cases, the pandemic has significantly shifted other patterns.
Lawsuits In The Workplace
At the start of the pandemic, one of the biggest changes we saw on a national scale was the shift to remote work wherever possible. For those who couldn’t work from home, though, every day became uniquely risky, and many employers failed to act with their workers’ best interests in mind. The result was a spike in the number of workplace lawsuits, covering concerns ranging from failure to provide a safe work environment to discrimination, retaliation against whistleblowers, and wage and hour disputes caused by COVID-19 related work changes.
Decline In Divorces
While there may be a significant number of workplace lawsuits going on at present, there’s another core legal function that’s seen a significant decline: divorces. This may be surprising, given the interpersonal conflict the pandemic has caused, but it makes sense in other ways. Over the past year, both marriage and divorce rates have dropped largely because of inconvenience. Barring serious dangers like domestic violence, couples are contending with the reality that divorce is expensive and involves life transitions that are too hard to make right now.
Of course, the current depression in divorce rates is sure to be short lived, and may actually increase post-pandemic, a trend that was seen in China after their initial national shutdowns. Indeed, as divorce lawyer Rowdy Williams observes, “Divorce lawyers should expect to see a steady flow of clients in the months after the pandemic, especially once the economy begins to rebound.” People aren’t going to get divorced until they feel they have the financial resources to take care of things properly, and while Williams suggests we aren’t there yet, the spike could be coming soon.
Healthcare providers have played an important role in our national survival throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, working on the frontlines of what has felt like a never-ending war, but they haven’t done it alone. Rather, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers like personal care assistants have operated in conjunction with insurance companies, who have changed numerous policies to accommodate new needs. Still, despite everyone’s hard work and most groups’ best efforts, not everything has gone as planned and the result is that insurers and nursing homes have been on the receiving end of numerous lawsuits.
Perhaps more than any other type of healthcare facility, nursing homes have been charged with a failure to protect their patients and staff, including through a failure to provide appropriate PPE and to test and isolate vulnerable patients. Even as the national death toll climbs above 400,000, more than a quarter of those can be linked to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Families are grieving and they are holding those facilities accountable for these untimely deaths.
We’re unlikely to be able to discern the full patterns underlying COVID-related lawsuits for some time, but already some trends are clear – and current demand, while different, can certainly keep lawyers busy. There are a lot of complaints to contend with at present as every industry deals with unprecedented conditions, but they all exist within the bounds of the law.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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