I was recently complimented by two opposing counsel because they each like working with me. I had to pause and consider the deeper ramifications of being complimented by opposing counsel: did it mean I was a pushover? Since, in both cases, I kept moving forward for favorable outcomes and stayed on top of outstanding issues, I do not believe it was implied that I was too easy. Instead, I believe the difference was my willingness to bring in, and to entertain from them, creative resolutions.
It is so easy to lock onto one outcome or set of results to the exclusion of creative ideas. This tends to promote dug in heels and escalating rhetoric. When an impasse is reached, I do two things: prepare for the fight that may be inevitable and generate new options. I believe this has allowed for the deescalation of some fights and more outcomes that my clients can be happy with. I have no monopoly on creativity so I do not see this as bragging. I do believe, though, that when creative approaches are embraced, the likelihood of justice being achieved is maximized.