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: , , |

Identifying Core Values Aids in Making Career Decisions

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are," Roy Disney said. Identifying core values helps individuals and companies make decisions that chart the course for the future. Conversely, lack of attention to values can completely derail your life or your firm because there is no over-arching global positioning system to create a route or destination you can live with. Values were at the core of a controversial New York Times article titled "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace." The piece described a revolving-door management style where employees are winnowed down by an [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:20:42+00:00 October 29, 2015|Categories: Life Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , |

Finding Ways to Maintain Civility With Your Competitors

On Sept. 8, sisters Serena and Venus Williams squared off during the U.S. Open in a match that could have had historical significance for Serena Williams, who was closing in on a Grand Slam, a feat not achieved since 1988. In an article aptly titled "Love Game," Steve Tignor, for Tennis.com, described the charged atmosphere as a sold-out, celebrity-riddled crowd filled Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. "It was more unique, definitely," Venus Williams said of the vibe. "Serena is going for the Grand Slam, and I think everybody is interested because she has to play her sister to get [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:32:25+00:00 September 17, 2015|Categories: Career Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , |

Tips for Developing Self-Confidence So You Can Flourish

Last month, I wrote about the rising recognition of emotional intelligence as a key factor in successful leadership using the new movie "Inside Out" to illustrate points about anger and self-management. Now, I turn to "The Sound of Music" for an assist in addressing another competency of emotional intelligence: self-confidence. In the movie, young novice Maria tentatively begins her journey to be governess to seven children. She has no experience and is forced to leave everything she knows. In the song "I Have Confidence," Maria sets her intention for how to handle the new situation, telling herself that she will [...]

By | 2016-05-28T22:44:01+00:00 August 27, 2015|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , , |

How to Harness Emotional Intelligence to Ensure Success

The new animated movie "Inside Out" takes the audience inside the brain of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, where her responses to situations are governed by five emotions personified. They are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, and they vie for command of the internal control center to influence Riley's behavior. When her family moves to San Francisco from Minnesota, where she was a happy part of a community, hockey team and circle of friends, Joy and Sadness get lost. Difficulties with the move ensue and all of the developments are seen through the lens of Fear, Anger and Disgust. [...]

By | 2016-05-28T22:54:40+00:00 July 30, 2015|Categories: 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 [...]

The Resilience Factor in Building a Network and Marketing

For the last few months, I have been writing about the importance of building a network and marketing. Regardless of whether you are in public service or the private sector, it is important for your career. Your brand is something to define, nurture and protect, whether your work depends upon securing clients or not. If you are in the client business, how do you keep going when you hit a roadblock or obstacle? When prospects don't return calls, clients go away and you're starting to feel like the Maytag repairman, how do you handle it? The way you answer this [...]

By | 2016-05-28T23:24:16+00:00 May 28, 2015|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , |

How to Have a More Successful Career by Knowing Yourself

As Joseph Campbell said, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." It is never too early or late to discern preferences, natural talent and hone in on areas of innate ability. Whether you are a student, young professional or someone who mentors, teaches or coaches, pay attention to essential inclinations. They tell the story of who we are and what we should be doing. It may be very different from what your parents, bosses and intellect say, but since you cannot change your temperament, it is a much better strategy to work with it. Temperament theory has [...]

By | 2016-06-01T16:44:11+00:00 February 19, 2015|Categories: Life Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , |

Identifying and Improving on the Positives in Your Career

When we think about what we want to accomplish in the coming year, we generally focus on how we want to change ourselves, what we didn't like about our behavior last year and maybe even what we did wrong. While I am always in favor of a conscious effort to improve, I am going to suggest that it is extremely worthwhile to devote some time to identifying what worked really well last year, where you excelled and what you're doing that you would like to see more of. The idea of a focused effort to do more of the same, [...]

By | 2016-06-01T16:49:06+00:00 January 29, 2015|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , |