Multitasking Is Not an Effective Way to Work

I distinctly recall the first time I heard the word multitasking. It was in the late 1990s and I was in a colleague's office for a meeting. She was sitting behind her desk and I was in a chair facing her. As we talked, she began to straighten up, ­picking up papers and glancing at them before ­assembling them in neat stacks. I asked if she would prefer I come back to which she replied, "No, no, I'm just multitasking." Given the context, I was able to deduce the essence of the word, if not the precise definition. Setting aside [...]

Do Not Underestimate Your Own Power in Your Career

Do Not Underestimate Your Own Power in Your Career What do you do when you need a little inspiration? A nudge to get you going? Reassurance that you can make it work? Affirmation that you are enough? Arianna Huffington said at the 2012 Pennsylvania Conference for Women that "if anybody here thinks that maybe they are too small to be effective, all I have to say is that you have not spent a night in bed with a mosquito. Nobody is too small to be effective." I was in the audience and have since listened to that speech [...]

How to Handle Professional Setbacks and Move Forward

How to Handle Professional Setbacks and Move Forward It feels like 1994 all over again as the world revisits the O.J. Simpson criminal trial in the television series "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." The often poignant series chronicles the case focusing primarily on the lawyers who tried it. I was a litigation attorney during this period and vividly remember flash points from the news of the murders on June 12, 1994, to the Ford Bronco low-speed car chase, to the verdict on Oct. 3, 1995, when all of the employees at my firm gathered in [...]

Transform Your Leadership Skills Through ‘Crucial Conversations’

Do you dread and procrastinate initiating discussions when you think others will respond negatively to what you have to say? Are you hesitant to voice an opinion because you presume negative consequences? Practicing law, by its very nature, requires a facility for difficult conversations with clients, witnesses, supervisors, direct-reports and judges where outcomes can be greatly influenced by developing skills in handling conflict. This is at the heart of "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High," by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. The methods described in this book are invaluable in any profession [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:27:22+00:00 February 18, 2016|Categories: Career Coaching, Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Young Lawyers Can Benefit From a Good Mentor Relationship

During this country's infancy, lawyers were educated and trained for the profession not by attending law school, but through an apprenticeship with a practicing attorney. At the start of the 19th century, a college degree was not required for bar admission and 68 percent of Philadelphia lawyers were college graduates at that time, according to A. Christopher Bryant in an article for the Nevada Law Journal titled, "Reading the Law in the Office of Calvin Fletcher: The Apprenticeship System and the Practice of Law in Frontier Indiana," which explores the apprenticeship system. By the end of that century, university law [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:11:05+00:00 December 2, 2015|Categories: Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Cultivate Optimism to Grow Your Practice and Your Life

Are you a natural optimist? When adversity strikes, do you tell yourself it's temporary and not your fault and consider all of the things in your life that are going well despite the one setback? Or do you chalk it up to inherent personal failings and give up? Evidence shows that if you tend to the former, you have a greater chance at being happier and more successful in business. If you tend toward the latter, it's not too late to change that habit. For me, optimism is not a default setting. Raised in a deeply cynical home by a [...]

Effective Niche Marketing for Lawyers

Niche marketing describes a firm narrowing down its focus to stand out from a marketing perspective. There are many advantages to carving out a niche legal practice. Marketing to a specific area is more cost effective, separates you from the pack, emphasizes your uniqueness, conveys a concentration on a particular area rather than a general practice, and can foster a belief that, by limiting yourself to a chosen field, you will be up-to-date on the latest precedents and well-versed in nuances that could elude a generalist. However, marketing to a niche is vastly different from marketing against a niche, particularly [...]

How to Communicate With Intention

Global law firm Clifford Chance was in the news recently because of a memo it circulated called "Presentation Tips for Women," which contained 163 nuggets of practical advice for its female lawyers. Some of the guidance included: Don't giggle; don't squirm; don't tilt your head. Practice hard words. Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe. Wear a suit, not your party outfit. Your friends will still like you afterwards, even if you adopt a formal tone. The memo was leaked to AbovetheLaw.com by one of the recipients who said in an email, "Female associates are very upset by not only the [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:12:47+00:00 December 2, 2013|Categories: Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |