Networking: Why Is It So Important and Can You Get Better at It?

Networking has been defined as "a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest." That doesn't sound so bad, does it? Support? Sharing? Interests in common? Why then, do so many professionals shudder at the very mention of the word? And is networking that important? Are there ways to get better at it? To get answers to these burning questions, I turned to attorney Jennifer Lynn Robinson, CEO and founder of "Purposeful Networking," a speaker and networking trainer who presented at a recent event hosted by Women Owned Law at Post & Schell [...]

Cycling Through Life’s Career Highs, Lows and Uncertain Times

You know the feeling—you just got a new job, client or case and you're all charged up. Ignited by the challenge, you are optimistic, goal oriented, focused and excited. During a phase like this, you are unstoppable and always looking for what's next. But, what happens when that feeling abates? When the opportunity is no longer new and the exiting aspects have given way to feelings of disenchantment? It turns out that all through our lives we are always moving through a cycle of renewal, according to Frederic M. Hudson, an author and thought leader in the field of managing [...]

Secret to Success: Your Business Needs a Purpose and a Plan

Are you looking for ways to simplify decision-making for your business or your life? Instead of agonizing endlessly, would you prefer having standards that automatically and organically eliminate some options while highlighting the efficacy and appeal of others? Do you know where your business is headed or are you focused on making the next payroll? The secret to success in this arena is having a purpose and a plan. Your decisions will become easier when you have a mission statement and strategy for your business and your life. In "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," Stephen Covey wrote about [...]

Stress Is On the Rise: Take Steps to Manage It

The other day, I began typing the word "coping" into a Google search and before I could even finish, Google began to populate search results which included coping with Hurricane Harvey, coping with the mass shooting in Las Vegas, with sexual harassment, with grief, with panic, with the death of Tom Petty and coping with a loss by your favorite sports team, just to name a few. For people I know and those I coach, the world now feels like an especially scary place. Many things that were once considered bedrocks of our society and political system are changing and [...]

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 [...]