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#58: How to Network (and Create Meaningful Relationships) with Stephanie Hanna, Esq.

Stephanie Hanna is a lawyer and the founder of the Other 85 where she teaches lawyers how to network to create better relationships in their practice.

Whether you're a lawyer or not, you'll want to hear what Stephanie has to say about the best practices in networking. 

Stephanie shares with us how she helps lawyers create meaningful relationships while networking and remove some of the awkwardness from it.

I'm also sharing a recent story about networking at an event that may put your mind at ease when it comes to events.

We talk both internal and external networking in this episode, so you don't want to miss what she shares. (And if you don't know the difference, definitely tune in!)

Once you've listened, tag @StephanietheOther85 and @Dina.Cataldo in your Instastory and let us know your big takeaway.



Dina Cataldo: (00:00)
Hello. Hello. How are you doing today? If you're an attorney, you're going to love this episode. If you're not an attorney, you're going to love this episode. We're talking about creating connections, meaningful ones, through networking and getting past the BS in our heads, keeping us from growing our networks and our clientele and our businesses, and you probably already know that it matters more who you know than what you know. You also probably heard the quote that people may not remember what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. I think that one's from Maya Angelou. So my guest today specializes in helping lawyers make these meaningful connections and no matter what you do, you'll want to add these tools to your tool kit.

Dina Cataldo: (01:26)
She helps us clear up misconceptions we might have around building relationships and start to take action in our lives. Right now.

Dina Cataldo: (01:34)
Before we get into this episode, I want to let you know something new that I'm offering. I started opening up single session coaching. These are 90 minute sessions to clear the cobwebs and get really clear on your goals and get a rocket boost on them. You can learn more and sign up I'm really excited about these new sessions because they really open up coaching for people who don't want to commit to that four to six months for one to one coaching. This is a time for you and me to sit down and get a game plan going for what you want in your life. So head on over to to get all the details.

Dina Cataldo: (02:19)
All right, so Stephanie Hanna is here today and she is a lawyer who is the founder of the Other 85. She's going to explain what that is in a minute. She teaches lawyers how to build relationships in their practice. She's gonna introduce herself, but I want you to stay tuned for after this episode because I share with you a little tidbit about something that happened to me after we recorded this episode. I went to a networking event and I changed my mindset around some things and I think you're gonna love this. It might be something that you've struggled with too and that you might want some clarity on. Stephanie and I would both love it if after you listened to this episode or maybe even during this episode, you took a picture of yourself listening or took a snapshot on your phone and tag us on Instagram. @Stephanietheother85 and @Dina.Cataldo.

Dina Cataldo: (03:22)
Hi Stephanie. How are you doing this morning?

Stephanie Hanna: (03:23)
Hi, I'm good. Thanks for having me.

Dina Cataldo: (03:25)
Oh, thanks for being here. I think what you have to say is really important, especially, well not even especially for new attorneys because I feel like this is a skill that we're going to talk about today, that even people who have been lawyers or any profession for a while have not mastered. Is that your feeling?

Stephanie Hanna: (03:46)
Yes. And you know it's funny, when I started diving into this work, in my mind I was going to focus on attorneys at that three to seven, eight year range and for the most part I do. But I've been pleasantly surprised to find attorneys at all points in their careers telling me how helpful this is and how nice it is to just as a refresher, even just to hear some of these things, you know, in this space.

Dina Cataldo: (04:09)
I like that we're doing this interview right now because right now in my office we have all these new young interns and they're excited and they're all bright and shiny and they're coming in at different ages. So some of them are still in law school. Some of them. Yeah. Or about to take the bar. It's really interesting to watch that energy and to see how they interact with attorneys who've been there a while. So I'm really curious to hear some of the things that you're going to say. Can you just take a moment to introduce yourself to our audience?

Stephanie Hanna: (04:41)
Yes, absolutely. So my name is Stephanie Hanna and I have a company called the other 85 so I've been a lawyer practicing for the last 10 years and last year I made a switch to the other 85 and the idea is that 15% of your job success comes from hard technical skills and I help you master the other 85 so what the other 85 is to me is how you show up, how you introduce yourself, speaking with competence, how you network, how you build relationships, all of the non-substantive non-technical aspects of practicing. And so that's what I help people work on. And I do that through workshops and one on one coaching and we role play, we do all the kind of uncomfortable things that I think stand in the way of people really making progress in the relationship development piece. And in the competence piece and when you pair that with substantive knowledge, you are a rock star lawyer.

Dina Cataldo: (05:35)
I'm glad we're talking about this for all those people who maybe were like me who felt really awkward, didn't want to feel like you were kissing up to somebody who you were just asking for help because you saw so much of that around you. Like I felt very uncomfortable going to ask for help because I also felt not only should I know this, I'm done because I don't know this thing, but also if I go to this person, how will that be perceived by other people in the office? Because I knew, I perceived that it looked like those people who were spending a lot of time joking around in the supervisor's office weren't necessarily there for all the right reasons, the Bachelor's out. So I'm going to say all the right reasons. So what's your take on that? What do you see? What are some problems that come up there?

Stephanie Hanna: (06:22)
So that's a common, I would say conception or misconception. But at the end of the day, people want to be around people that are nice and people that they want to spend time with. And oftentimes we are spending more time with people that we work with than we do people at home and we do with our families. So there are lots of good lawyers who can do the work, but I don't need just that. I want to surround myself with someone who can do the work and who's pleasant to spend in 10, 1214 hours a day with. So I think there's some real value in having the ability to be the person that can go in cold to a partner's office, asked for help, but also ask a question about their kid or a sporting event or some interests or something not work related because that's how people grow and feel connected and build trust. And we want to help people that we trust and feel connected to.

Dina Cataldo: (07:07)
And I think it's really important what you said about just getting uncomfortable because it's uncomfortable. And Stephanie's going to share with us some really great things to start thinking about and implementing and a lot of it tastes just being willing to be uncomfortable and being okay with it, knowing that that's normal. Is that your experience with your clients?

Stephanie Hanna: (07:27)
Yes, and I think that's why my business has had such great success so far is that I provide that safe space out of the office, away from your colleagues where you can practice and stumble and it's not a big deal and it's very low stakes situation so that when you are in a higher stakes situation dealing with, you know, an internal client, your boss or a partner or an external client, you're really able to shine because you've already worked the kinks out. And that's the biggest thing I tell clients is once we do some sessions together, practice it in your car, in the shower, in the bathroom, find all these safe spaces and then jump to strangers. Right? So if I mess up in the lunch line, still not a big deal, but still more practice than in my bathroom alone. And so always looking for these opportunities to practice and getting uncomfortable so that when the stakes are higher and it really matters, you shine.

Dina Cataldo: (08:18)
So a lot of what we're talking about here is internal networking. It's that building connections within your workspace so that you can do better in your career, whatever that looks like for you, whether it's making partner, whether it's getting promoted in some way, whether it is moving forward in some different direction in your career, but it's really about creating those real life connections that you can't make if you're just staying in your office all day and working really hard. It's great. And we all think that everything is merit based and honestly that is a huge component. But another huge component is actually creating those relationships, fostering them. What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks that you see two people creating these kinds of connections to help themselves?


Stephanie Hanna: (09:08)
I think the first one is recognizing the importance of them and really recognizing that you're all for the most part, competent and doing good work or else you probably wouldn't have been hired. And so recognizing that the role of merit and the role of relationships and that, especially in a law firm, I mean we're not talking about entry level positions, we're all professionals with doctorates. And to get there, you're all essentially smart, more or less. And so it's really recognizing that once we get past the merit and the technical piece, the relationship piece is so important in giving it the weight that it deserves. And I would say that's by far the biggest barrier. People kind of know it's important, but it always falls by the wayside to an assignment. So yes, get your work done, but recognize that it's got to carry just as much weight if not more than an assignment.

Stephanie Hanna: (10:06)
Because if you have a strong relationship and connection internally, a flub on an assignment doesn't matter nearly as much as if you spent all your time on the work and none on the relationships when you make a mistake. Because even if you're really good at all the technical stuff, you're still going to make a mistake without the relationships there. You don't have such a soft of a space to land. And it just makes it a more tricky, uncomfortable situation all around. So the first step is really getting people to understand the importance and that it requires work. Just like you had to go to law school for three years to learn the basics and then you probably were trained at your office or your firm for another handful of years to really learn the ropes, you have to be willing to invest that amount of time and take it that seriously to really grow and make progress because it doesn't come natural to a lot of people. And it also requires work. And I will say to the other piece to get around is recognizing that law firms aren't structured in a way to directly reward that kind of work. It's not like I can bill more hours, make more money. So getting over that mindset of, well, they don't care or it doesn't matter because I'm not receiving a direct reward or a direct benefit, but recognizing that it will benefit you in the long run. So I would say those are kind of the two biggest mental barriers to making progress.

Dina Cataldo: (11:31)
How about solo practitioners? I definitely want to speak to them here because I know that I have a lot of solos listening to this and it's tough because you're not in a space where you can just walk down the hallway and I know a lot of my friends, they are busting their butt, you know, trying to create a business and at the same time they're also making time to go to these events feeling totally awkward, not really knowing what to say, you know those kinds of things. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Stephanie Hanna: (11:59)
Yes. And as someone who is also, for all intents and purposes, trying to grow my solo as well, I get it. It is very hard to not have someone to bounce ideas off of, to have someone who can kind of vouch for you, but it makes it even that much more important for going out there. And a couple of tips. One would be to really think quality over quantity. Going to six events a week and then doing nothing with that information is meaningless. It would be much, much better to go to one and follow up with people and add them to your kind of relationship Rolodex. And so a tip that I have is as soon as you meet somebody that you want to build a relationship with, stick them in your calendar for every six months indefinitely and just do a repeating reminder.

Stephanie Hanna: (12:43)
And so if you have like a Google calendar, you could so it doesn't interact with your standing client appointments. You could do a separate calendar that's just a relationship calendar and all it should have is just names on random dates. And as you go along you'll be able to come up with a system that makes sense. Some people like to, you know, once a week I'm going to contact all the people I have on the schedule for this week, once a day I'm going to do everything for this day. But finding a way to make it meaningful and starting really small because especially as a solo, you have so many other things that you're juggling and business development and relationship development is so, so important. But it's one piece of many things. And if it's something that you don't want to do and doesn't come naturally to you, it's going to automatically just fall by the wayside.

Stephanie Hanna: (13:31)
So making it easy and manageable. So thinking quality over quantity and then also scheduling time in your calendar to actually do a couple things a week makes a really big difference. When it's staring you in the face, you're more inclined to at least give it some thought before you disregard it. And over time you end up recognizing that it has value and you want to spend some time on it. And the other component of putting it on your calendar is being realistic with yourself about what makes sense, how long, how often, when do you perform the best? When would it be helpful to do? Maybe not as mentally taxing work cause it's stuff isn't really mentally taxing. Once you get yourself motivated to do it, it's not incredibly difficult. So maybe it's kind of that after lunch lull you want to put 45 minutes on your calendar twice a week.


Stephanie Hanna: (14:21)
Or maybe it's first thing Friday morning cause it's kind of dead at the office and so you want to go, you know, nine to 11 maybe it's in the evening, you know if you're at home and if you have kids after they go to bed, kind of that hour and a half while you're watching TV, you can send some follow up thank you notes and emails. But finding time and making time and making yourself aware of the time is really, really important. And so I think those are two kind of easy tips right off the bat. Small changes that make a very big difference.

Dina Cataldo: (14:49)
There's a couple things that you can also do. So if you're going to these events and you want to remember something about them, like they had a couple kids who were in soccer or something triggered, you like to say, “Oh yeah, we have that in common.” Or I heard they had this great event coming up, like they had their daughter's wedding or something like that. You can jot a few notes on the back of the card so that when you come home you have an idea of what you could talk about in the future. And then another thing is, and you mentioned this is really time blocking this. It's so important because we get pulled in so many different directions and if you don't have a specific time locked for you to do these things, you don't want to be doing this piecemeal like it draws from your energy. We were talking about this before we got started about scheduling and how to make your day smoother and this is something that can just be another component of your schedule rather than just saying, oh yeah, on March 15th I have to call Stephanie or on April 12th I have to make sure that I call Bob. You know, these are things where you could just say, okay, my Friday mornings are the time that I'm allotted for this activity and that's it. And then you'll have all the people that you have for that week that you knew you wanted to contact in that spot.

Stephanie Hanna: (16:04)
Yes, those are great tips. And something that I do too, when I'm starting to feel a little bit overwhelmed, is to just keep a running list and kind of make it mentally be okay with you that you aren't going to do all those things now, even if they're quick, they have to wait until the time blocking time, right? They have to wait until the right time so that you make a great point about energy so that your energy isn't drawn away from your tasks, one email here and there, but to really have focused energy on what you're doing. And so kind of keeping that running networking lists, so to speak, or running relationship list separate from your other to do's. I think it's helpful because it doesn't get muddled in with other things and it doesn't draw your energy from the other things you're working on.

Dina Cataldo: (16:46)
So how do you go about talking to somebody who knows that they need to build this component into their career, but maybe they're getting over the awkwardness because they know they need to practice it? Well, what other kinds of things would you recommend to people who you know, just want to try this on. Maybe just want to take some first steps before they talk to someone like you.

Stephanie Hanna: (17:07)
So I would say really look at people around you that you want to be like, and they may not be in your organization wherever they may be. What about whatever they've got going on is drawing you to that? Most of the time my clients will tell me, well, they can just walk into a room and have a conversation and everybody knows them. They seem to know a lot of people. If anyone ever has a question about who they should ask, they always go to this person because they seem to know everybody or nowhere to go. People like them. Very rarely do I hear. Well, it's only because they're very smart in this one particular area of the law. That's a component of it. They are competent in their work and they do good work. It's never to discount from that cause do think that's very, very important.


Stephanie Hanna: (17:50)
But that's not what people rattle off initially. And so I always try and get clients to really feel invested in the process. Sometimes their employer will bring me in to work with them so they have to kind of warm up to the idea, so to speak. And so I really try and get them to understand what are the qualities in people that you admire and look up to professionally. And a lot of times it's things within the other 85 and so I always try and get to get them to understand that those are skills. Anything is teachable, anything is figureoutable. Those are just skills that you have to work on. And we invest in ourselves very quickly to go take a class or to go to school or to get a law degree or to take an art class or to do something that furthers in interest of ours. And so why are we not investing in ourselves for our own personal and professional development where the payout is tenfold?

Dina Cataldo: (18:42)
It's so acceptable for CEOs and athletes to have coaches and they know they need to seek help because there's no way they're going to reach peak performance. And unless they seek that home and they start to listen and implement. So this is exactly what coaches do for people. Like us. I mean like we're both in this space where we know that coaching is amazing and educating people about what coaches can do to really help them perform at these higher levels and feel good. Cause I think that is something that, at least for me, when I was starting out, I don't think I recognized how incongruent I felt when I was trying to do so many different things. I was trying to make sure I'm making a good impression and making sure I'm not dropping any balls and I'm just getting out of law school trying to figure out this whole law firm type thing.

Stephanie Hanna: (19:36)
So I mean those are all things that are already in the mix. So just finding a way to become more congruent, to feel better and recognizing that that's important and that you're important to focus on in this area. Yes, no, those are all great points.

Stephanie Hanna: (19:51)
And you know, you touched on something great in there as well that there is absolutely, I would say a stigma in our profession to receiving help. Whereas other professions it's very common and normal for rock stars to get help to be even bigger rock stars. And for some reason in our profession, getting help is associated with having a problem or trying to remedy something that's very, very bad instead of taking something that's maybe not a strong suit for you and trying to make you a rock star, you're already great at the legal work and there's typically not a lot of great resources on the relationship building in an easy to digest sort of way. And so you're trying to get better at that, just like any other skill. But there's absolutely a stigma. While I work primarily with lawyers, I've started to do some other professional services industries and it's shocking to me how much of a stigma it is in the legal field, other sort of corporate or financial service industries. It's not that big of a deal. Everybody's trying to get help on things so that they can improve so that we can move forward as an organization and in the legal space. I just think we're getting there, but we're not quite there yet.

Dina Cataldo: (21:00)
What are some of the blocks that you hear from those organizations? Especially like the legal firms that are present, so like things that you'll hear commonly before they can even hear what you have to say.


Stephanie Hanna: (21:13)
They will say, Oh, our associates know those things. We have trainings for them. We did a lunch and learn on that. We have someone in house that can do that. And you know it's not entirely the organization's fall because oftentimes associates or not very honest to say, hey, you're not giving me this on their way out the door. They say, Oh hey, by the way, he didn't give me this training that I wanted and these tools, what I wanted. But you know, I found that my best allies are professionals in law firms who do business development and relationship development because we work hand in hand. They don't have the time to do the handholding that I like to do with my clients. And so they are able to pinpoint to me like, hey, there's some real potential here. I don't have time to meet with them an hour a week.

Stephanie Hanna: (21:57)
But if we can bring you in to do that in a couple months, I know this person is going to soar. So I would say the barriers, big picture, of course, it's hard to invest in something that you don't think you can see a tangible return on. You know, this still seems very soft skills and loosy and fluffy. It's only when I meet leaders at organizations who get it that say, oh no, this is where we need to invest because this actually does have a real return. Um, we want people in our organization that clients want to work with and want to be around because clients can go to any law firm in this town and get the same exact service and the same exact work product, but they can't necessarily get the same relationships and the same connection. And that's what we want to make sure that we're giving our associates.

Dina Cataldo: (22:42)
I think that what we're getting into is important to notice. So we've talked a lot about internal networking, but this is really also combining, you know, those big firms who need to draw in clients will sell those need to do that too. It's not just a reliance on word of mouth, but those big firms might have the funds to come in and say, okay, we don't have enough clients coming in, but they're not necessarily thinking, okay, how do we do this other than advertising? Not necessarily saying, okay, you're an associate. Part of your job is to bring in new clients. How are you going to do that? How are you going to learn the skills to do that? Are there some things that you would recommend to maybe practitioners who need to draw in those clients, whether it's Solos or those associates at a firm, trying to bring in new people? Are there things that you would recommend for that?

Stephanie Hanna: (23:33)
Yeah, so one is get out in the community. What are you passionate and excited about? Is it animals? Is it theater? Is it sports? Is it feeding the hungry? Is it working on shelter solutions? Whatever it is, get out in the community and start building your brand and start just introducing yourself to people and not in a sales pitchy way. People don't even have to know where you work the very first time they meet you. They just have to know that you're a nice person, that they want to know more about and they want to interact with again. And then the other tip is to recognize that the sales cycle of professional services is years. Ears. You're not going to go to an event and pick up a client the next day, you're going to go to an event in, you're gonna go to something else and you're going to see this person three, four or five times, and then someone's going to invite someone to coffee or lunch and then maybe you're going to have a dinner and then they're going to say, Oh hey, by the way, I forgot I have this thing that my company's been struggling with.

Stephanie Hanna: (24:32)
Or Hey, my company just got sued. Or Hey, we're having an issue with this employee. Or Hey, we need someone to review a document. And I remember I've met Joe a couple times before and he seemed like a nice guy. I don't know anything about Joe's ability to do legal work when it doesn't matter because I like Joe and he works at a law firm and he's a lawyer and lawyers are the same. So you know, that's the mindset of a client when they're making a decision, like it's easy to pick up the phone and call Joe, so I want to give him this work. And so those are kind of the two basics, right? Get out in the community, start doing things that you like so that the relationship building part isn't done also in a thing that you don't want to be at, right? Cause if it's already uncomfortable doing it while you're doing something uncomfortable, it's gonna make it flopped. But if you're doing something in the community that you're passionate about, building those relationships should be a little bit easier. And then the other tip is recognizing that it's going to take time.


Dina Cataldo: (25:27)
I think that's a great point. I think we don't necessarily have that perspective when we're doing this by ourselves. We don't recognize that, okay, we're just planting seeds right now. We're not going out and saying, hey, buy my stuff. We're saying understand I'm a human being and you know, I'm interacting with you. So if you go to a yoga studio, maybe you get involved in their workshops where you can have more one on one time with people and just talk about things that you would naturally talk about anyway in that setting. So if that's your thing, you can do that. Or if you, you know, this is why I think golf is so popular amongst so many practitioners is because this is a great opportunity for them to just chit chat and they're doing something that they enjoy anyway. They're just, you know, having a beer, you know, that kind of thing. That's it. They're comfortable. It's fun for them.

Stephanie Hanna: (26:13)
Yes. A lot of times we just want to do business with people. We want to be around and I have a lot of friends now who have transitioned into a client role and my husband is in the client role now and they are seeking legal services. It's always who do we know that does this? Like who's top of mind? It's never who has excellent work product that's typically not what comes up. We want to make sure they have great work product. That's definitely an important part of it. Who do I want to pick up the phone and talk to? Who has been two things that I've seen map, who do I think is out in the community who has a good reputation, who's invested in building their brand? Who do I want to associate myself and my company with? Who do I see out there doing good things in the community? Those are the factors that people go through when they're making a buying decision for professional services.

Dina Cataldo: (26:59)
Oh yeah. And to combine these things going out into the community and also going to these lawyer events is amazing. I mean, I don't go to these events because I'm not in a position where I'm trying to bring in clients. I do that for my business though. So if I'm looking at my particular business, it's non-lawyer unrelated. It's coaching. Yes, I do go out and I attempt to establish relationships with people and this podcast is really part of it. I wouldn't have met you otherwise. But to be able to combine that with talking to lawyers is great because I get so many people who are my friends asking me, hey, do you know a good estate planner? Hey, do you know a person who does this? Hey, do you know person who does that? And so I'm always in a position to say, you know what, by the way, my best friend happens to be an estate planner. Even if that kind of thing, and she wasn't there yet. So if you start to create those relationships, both prongs, then you really going to be able to do some moving and shaking no matter what you're doing, whether you're a solo practitioner or an associate.

Stephanie Hanna: (28:01)
Yes, I think there's absolutely benefits to networking and building relationships within our profession as well as outside. Your lawyer friends can be your best referral source and you know when they get conflicted off things, who do they want to call? So that sort of relationship building is just as important too.

Dina Cataldo: (28:18)
Are there some other things that you would recommend, things that you want us to touch on during this conversation?

Stephanie Hanna: (28:23)
You know, I would say the other mindset shift that I like to work with clients on a lot is stop thinking about networking and relationship building as being a taker, as looking for things that you are trying to gain for yourself as looking for the next client or looking for the next invitation to sit on a board or opportunity or something for yourself and really look at it as how can I help someone else? How can I be a giver? How can I contribute to what they're doing? And a lot of times simple, it's listening, it's offering advice and suggestions. It's sending a helpful article. It's trying to kind of give stuff away for free, which I know sometimes you know, lawyers get very, you know what? If I tell them that then they won't hire me or I'm giving them my knowledge. You're not, you're giving them a part of yourself so that they can kind of get an idea of what it's like to work for you or work with you.


Stephanie Hanna: (29:20)
And you know you're putting an investment in a bank, right? You're making small deposits, small relationship deposits. Every time you are checking in on somebody talking about you know what happened that day and giving them tips and giving them advice. If there's a case that came out that's relevant in your area, just passing it onto not even a client, just someone you met that said, hey, I know you work at this bay. I don't know if you knew that this regulation was coming out or whatever. You might find this article helpful and that's it. All those things you're doing, you're just chipping away or just making small deposits and your being a giver and you're building your brand and who knows? That may turn into a client, it may not, but it really didn't. No harm for you whatsoever because you're making deposits into your brand bank account so to speak, and when you need to make a withdrawal right?

Stephanie Hanna: (30:06)
When you need to ask for help. When you need a favor, when you want to get on a board and you know that this person is currently on the board and might be a person of influence for you, you can go ahead and make a withdrawal because you've been making all these deposits this whole time. And so it goes both ways. You can start recognizing that being a giver is so much more than that one moment and that little article that you're giving or that prize nugget, you can figure everything out on the Internet. So nothing that we're really telling people is that shocking or that genius, right? But it's the fact that we're thinking of you and we're trying to proactively help you and add value to you.

Dina Cataldo: (30:44)
I love that you're talking in terms of business right now because you know, I'm fascinated with marketing and you know this whole entrepreneurship realm, which are solo practitioners are very familiar with, but it's so interesting that you used build your brand as that point where you're saying, okay, I need to just get out there and let people know who I am. And so we talk about brand imaging and we talk about all of these things that we can oftentimes, if you're somebody who didn't grow up with these influencers who we see on Instagram and we think of them as building a brand, but really every single one of us out there is creating a brand image. It's saying, Hey, this is who I am and it's not putting up a facade. I mean we see that out there, but I think the people who are most successful at creating relationships and building businesses are really those people who are able to be the most authentic with people and I think that that shows whether or not it's listening to a podcast or watching a youtube video or talking to somebody at an event or getting an email from somebody at work.

Dina Cataldo: (31:53)
I think that that comes across and part of that is saying, y'know what I am going to give to you because I value this relationship and that's how you create that connection is showing they pay, I value this relationship. This is what I'm doing. So I create this podcast. Yes, it's a little selfish for me because I enjoy talking to people and it's a great way for me to create relationships, which I didn't really think about when I created the bunk. It was a way for me to connect with people that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to do. Like I have a realm, but it's mostly at the office. And then when I'm at home, I have the opportunity to do these great things like communicate with you and other people when this goes out. So there's lots of different ways that you can create those connections and that's the important thing is creating that connection.


Stephanie Hanna: (32:38)
Yes. And you touched on something which I'll bring up here. You mentioned email. That's another really, really great opportunity to build meaningful connections. Um, this doesn't always have to be going out of your office, leaving your kids at night or you know, it doesn't have to be this draining thing. Yes, in person is great. Yes, coffee meetings are great, but zoom calls and phone calls and Skype are really great too. An email. And the trick is you just have to sound like a real person in the email, in whatever correspondence you're using, whether it's face to face. That authenticity piece is so important and it really should also try and come out in your email. I think that's a big mistake people make is we try and get too formal or fancy or something in an email and if you ask them to read it out loud, they would probably laugh because they would never say that in real life. And so trying to just sound like a human in your email. And I think sometimes as attorneys may be, we're conditioned to be very formal, no smiley faces and no exclamation points and you know, let's keep it very rigid and there's probably a time and place for that. But you also want to come across as a real person and trying to make sure that that happens in an email and just being cognizant of it and proofreading everything I think is really, really important as well.

Dina Cataldo: (33:52)
Oh yeah. Lawyers are the worst at sounding like human beings. The worst. I was trained in writing briefs and fortunately I had an English lit background so I knew what a real human being sounded like before. But when I went to law school they really try to beat that out of you so that you're writing a brief. It's very formal. You don't use contractions. It doesn't sound like a human being. You sound very robotic and that's fine for court because that's a very different atmosphere. But when we're communicating internally or when we are communicating with our friends, we don't talk like that or at least I hope we don't talk like that. I'm always self editing. If I see myself not using contractions, I go back and I change it now because I know that it sounds very rigid and I want to come across as a human being. Not Robotic.

Stephanie Hanna: (34:38)
Yeah, that's, I mean you hit it right on the head.

Dina Cataldo: (34:40)
So do you have anything else that you want to share with us about like creating this mindset maybe cause like this mindset I think is really important for all of us to recognize. I know that I'm going to take away something from that is being more intentional about how we interact with people and how we're using our time. Is there anything else that you wanted to add to that?

Stephanie Hanna: (34:59)
I would say recognize that it's a slow process and change does not happen overnight and just kind of give yourself some grace. You know, if you're trying and you are putting yourself out there, don't worry so much about being awkward. Oftentimes that's in our head. I'm starting to do a lot of confidence work now. Um, and we have a program called capture your competence where we're really helping women especially just get more competent in the value that they're adding and what they contribute to a situation. You know, don't be shy, don't feel so you don't have anything to contribute. You do, you know, look at all the people you don't. But I think that they do and are still doing it anyway. Right? I mean you really have value to add. So really just working on the mindset and the things that we talked about, being a giver and thinking longterm. And then just, you know, having some competence and giving yourself some grace while you build it. Um, it's gonna take time. Most of the people that you are looking up to and admiring didn't just wake up that way. They've worked at it a long time and stumbled along the way and you're kind of looking at the finished product. Don't compare your start to someone else's finished product.


Dina Cataldo: (36:08)
That's great advice. And I want to add something on this confidence part. I love this. And you know, we could talk about this too. I remember when I was first starting out, I didn't see it until after the fact, but I saw myself minimize my accomplishments. And can you get a little bit around the mindset of why we do that?

Stephanie Hanna: (36:27)
There's probably a handful of reasons. I mean, I think we do it because we don't want to take up space for some reason or another. Like we don't want to brag or we don't want to seem too forward or too whatever. And then you know, especially from a perspective of a woman, if you look around, I have not met a man who says those same things or who tries to minimize his accomplishments or things. He's taking up too much space, especially for men. It's very factual. It's not emotional. It's, I did this, I got this result, I achieved this verdict for my client. I did A, B, c, and d. They don't even look at it as self promotion there. It's almost in a factual sort of way, but for some reason with a lot of women, I know we just have a hard time doing that and are don't want to take up too much space or be an inconvenience or take up someone's time. And I think a lot of that is just an internal competence piece and recognizing, hey, if someone's not interested, they'll move on. That's completely fine. But that shouldn't deter you from bringing your authentic self and sharing your story and speaking competently.

Dina Cataldo: (37:28)
These are all things that I wish that I had learned along the way. And I do feel that somewhere along the line I was taught not to take up space probably when I was a little kid. And so like, you know what, don't do that because it's bragging war. You know, going into an office and saying I accept that. I did a really great job. I actually remember a time when I walked into one of my leads offices and I had just completed a trial and she had observed it and she was telling me what a great job I had done and what a great opening statement that I had made and the words that I had used and I minimize it. I said, oh, I think I heard somebody else say that are, you know, I did something to say, you know, basically the way the credit. And she said, “Don't do that.”

Stephanie Hanna: (38:13)
Here's a great exercise. Have someone give you a compliment and the only thing you do is say thank you and do that back and forth with your friends. I bet you it's so much harder than you think. Have someone say something Nice about whatever, your appearance, your accomplishments, your work product. And the only thing you're allowed to say is, thank you.

Dina Cataldo: (38:33)
Yes. That is a fabulous advice. Do that. When I see, you know, there's younger people in the office and I'll compliment them on something and it could be as simple as like a dress or like, wow, that's really pretty. And then they will totally say, oh, I bought it from target for $10 and you know, like kind of like, oh I didn't, you know, I can spend, there's no thank you. It's just like, oh, you know, I didn't really do any, it's not nothing special. No. Just say thank you. Yes.

Stephanie Hanna: (38:57)
Yeah. And think about it from the perspective of the person giving you the compliment. You want to make it easy for people to compliment you and you know they're going out of their way to say something positive to you and then when you minimize it or make it uncomfortable or don't just accept it, you're making it tougher on the other person who is trying to give you a compliment or tell you you did a good job. And so allow them to be their authentic self and give you a compliment and just say thank you.

Dina Cataldo: (39:25)
That's so true because I mean we just want to say something nice. Hey, we probably just very much like the dress or whatever it is. Well you have to do is just say thank you and it makes you feel good because you're accepting that you look nice today and then the other person feels good because they had a nice communication with you. Or if you're saying something great about someone's work product like that's so hard to accept sometimes that we did a really good job and that we kicked butt and what we just did and to just say thank you and recognize to yourself, hey, I did a really good job. Good on me.

Stephanie Hanna: (39:58)
Yes, and especially in a profession where we're dying over merit based accomplishments. If someone is trying to tell you your work product is good, by all means, please do not minimize that because all we're trying to do is have strong solid work product and get that notch in our belt in terms of critical thinking and legal writing and all those substantive pieces. That's kind of how we're wired. So if somebody is volunteering that to you, don't make it difficult or uncomfortable for them, just say thanks and recognize that a good job.

Dina Cataldo: (40:28)
I find it so interesting that that's what we're craving and yet we're so quick to push it away, at least as women, I don't know that men are the same way and I, I was this way to push it away and just not even taken the good stuff. We just like work, work, work and not even consider the good stuff. Yeah, so do you have anything you want to add on this confidence area that we talked about today?

Stephanie Hanna: (40:48)
We did a good job going over the basics. I would say that paying attention to your values and trying to make sure that you are operating in alignment with those is really important. When I work with people in the competence space, we do more comprehensive sort of values assessment. And it's kind of the same thing where people are rating themselves about other living currently in accordance to their values. And very rarely do people give themselves tens and you know, sometimes it's because you're not living in accordance, but sometimes it's because like, well there's always room for improvement, let me give myself a nine. And so it's really, you know, it's comical but also kind of sad when you're, you know, in the workshop and you're like, come on guys. Like nobody thinks they're attended. So just being cognizant of it I think is helpful. I know after we go through that exercise, everybody is much more self aware and saying, Oh man, maybe I should cut myself a little slack.

Stephanie Hanna: (41:44)
Maybe I do do this thing really well and people are complimenting me on it and maybe I should just accept and own the fact that I'm good at this thing or I make people feel this way. And that's a strength of mine. And so in addition to the other things that we mentioned, really just kind of starting to be aware of where we knock ourselves down for no good reason. You know the world is going to kind of punch you down enough on its own. Like you know the last person you need to not be your own ally is yourself.

Dina Cataldo: (42:10)
Oh yeah.

Stephanie Hanna: (42:11)
How can we find a way to be self aware and aware of the times when we are knocking ourselves down for no good reason?

Dina Cataldo: (42:18)
I think that's so important. Just taking that inventory. I have a program called the Lawyer's Soul Roadmap. One of the early modules is really taking that inventory, which I don't think we ever do. We don't just say, okay, what's going on in my life? How do I feel about what's going on in my life? Where am I in this area of my life, in this area of my life, in this area of my life? And I think that's such a key component to understanding where do you go from here? I mean most of the people who are doing work on themselves understand that there's always somewhere to go. But if you're not constantly working on yourself, if this is like your entry point where you're just knowing that there's something more out there, what am I going to learn? Just starting with that inventory and recognizing like how do I feel on a scale from one to 10 in each area of my life and why do I feel that way? What's going on in that area of my life where I don't feel as fulfilled or what's going on in this area of my life where I rated it at as a 10 what am I doing in this area of my life that maybe I can bring into another area of my life that doesn't feel as fulfilling?

Stephanie Hanna: (43:24)
Yeah, and to piggy back on that concept is you can change the stuff that you don't like. You know, don't ever feel like your engine holds into something more. It's not changeable or fixable. Everything is, you might need a coach and you might need some other resources and there may be hurdles that you have to overcome to make those changes. But if you're looking at a two and you're unfulfilled and you don't feel like, well there's nothing I can do about it, there's always something you can do about it.

Dina Cataldo: (43:51)
Right. I think that is huge. Okay. I think we touched on some really great, can you tell our listeners where they can learn more about you? Cause I've been to your website, you have some great articles there. So I think that people can learn a lot from just going to your website.

Stephanie Hanna: (44:07)
Thank you. Yeah, so I'm at and it's eight five just the digits. So and I try and be active on Instagram and Twitter and linkedin. So linkedin, I'm Stephanie Hanna, and on the other two it's @Stephanietheother85

Dina Cataldo: (44:23)
with a Ph.

Stephanie Hanna: (44:24)
Yes. And I think it would be great if people listening to this could tag us, if they're listening to this, take a picture, go into their Instagram stories. You can tag us on Instagram. I'm @dina.cataldo, and you're @Stephanietheother85

Dina Cataldo: (44:42)
Okay. Yeah. Tag us. It'll be fun put us in your stories so we can learn about you and your that you're listening to us.

Stephanie Hanna: (44:49)
Yes. We would love to meet you virtually!

Dina Cataldo: (44:52)
Well thank you Stephanie for joining us today. I feel like we got a lot of great stuff for people to start implementing right away, so thank you very much.

Stephanie Hanna: (44:59)
Yeah, I'm so happy. You're so welcome. It was great to be here. Thanks for having me.



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Dina Cataldo: (45:03)
Hey, it's Dina here. So after I recorded this episode, I went to a networking event with a friend and I felt really uncomfortable. It was great having her there, but I, you know, gave her her space and I walked off because I definitely didn't want to be with her the entire night. Let her do her own thing. But I wanted to share with you some thoughts I had after this event because there were mindset shifts that I could make and that I am making through this process of going to more of these networking events. And I asked myself, where does this networking, where does this community building come more naturally to me? And I came up with a couple of answers for myself. I feel more comfortable when I'm at conferences. It's as if I'm in a space where everybody has something similar. So I already know what that similarity is.

Dina Cataldo: (45:56)
I can just build on that, I can ask them questions. And there's something about being in this space of being at a conference and all of that energy, this large group of people that makes me more comfortable going up to people and talking to them. And I also noticed that I feel more comfortable doing this networking when I'm a speaker at events, and when I go to these events, it's very natural for me to start speaking with people and we already have something to build on because I'm talking there, I have a subject that I'm specializing in and I'm talking to them about what that subject is and what interests them about it. And it's very easy for me to be approachable because they're coming up to me asking me about this particular event. So those are two areas where I feel really comfortable talking to New People.

Dina Cataldo: (46:40)
And of course it always comes natural to me in court because I have to talk to new people all the time. It is something that is second nature. I go up to people I know things about them already. You know, because I've read a police report or because we have a shared interest in resolving a case. So there's all these different ways that I already network without even really thinking about it. And it all came from that question, where does this come more naturally to me? So what I did was think about, “okay, well what in these situations, these networking situations do I already know about these people?” Because that seems to be the commonality between me feeling more comfort in a situation than less. And I know that these people are interested in building their clientele too. They're interested in getting to know people too in a very easy relaxed setting.

Dina Cataldo: (47:29)
So if that is something that you've struggled with in the past, then I want you to know it's okay. It's okay. Just start thinking about where it comes easy for you and where you might be able to incorporate this into your life a little bit easier and if it takes bringing a friend or tagging along with a friend to a networking event or two just to get warmed up. I definitely suggest doing that. One thing that Stephanie mentioned and my friend mentioned to me also was to approach each person in a more inquisitive way, right? Like you're going to ask them things. You're going to be asking them things constantly, like “why are you here? What are you up to? What do you do for a living?” These are all really easy things to start asking people right off of the bat and just listen.

Dina Cataldo: (48:13)
That's all you have to do. You're not there to sell anything. You're not there to talk about yourself. You're really there to listen and see what you can do to help them in any way and this is a long term impact creating these connections and these relationships. If you are interested in learning more about how to create these more meaningful relationships, I highly suggest going to Stephanie's website because she has tons of resources there. You could go to and that will give you the link to her website. Everything is going to be there. Again, go to and she has some fabulous resources on that site. Thank you so much for listening and I will talk to you next week.

Dina Cataldo: (49:02)
Hi lawyers if you love Soul Roadmap Podcast, I want to tell you about a couple of things that will jump start your life. The first is the 10 DayLawyer Life Detox. We clear out stress and overwhelm in this self study online coaching program. You can learn more The second is my signature online group coaching program. I do a couple of times a year. While the 10 Day Lawyer Life Detox is like a quick refresher, the Lawyer's Soul Roadmap is a deep dive in this 10 week online program. I teach you how your brain works, why you do what you do, and how to reach your goals while creating ease in your life. If you're ready for more, join me I'll see you there.

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