The Law Firm Benefits of Coaching

WebWhen partners are crunching the numbers, calculating just how much the law firm brought in the past fiscal year, it is apparent there is always room for improvement. When in this situation, they find themselves dwelling on the negative instead of the positive, looking for things to change or remove rather than enhancing the already existing assets. This is where attorney coaching comes into play.

Most partners will find themselves asking, “Why coaching?” when the correct question is “Why not coaching?”

Attorney coaching has statistically and consistently been proven to increase a firm’s ROI. A Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 100 executives found that coaching resulted in an ROI averaging $100,000, equal to 5.7 times the investment. Through coaching initiatives from business growth, diversity, and leadership, to wellness, coaching is the tool most vital to take your firm to the next level.

Why invest the majority of your time in C and D list clients?

Why remain frustrated with associates who are falling short of your expectations?

Why settle for less than what you envision for your law firm?

Attorney coaching can help your associates develop the skills necessary to be rainmakers.  It is up to you to take the next steps in deciding to invest in your associates, cultivate their skills, and ultimately boost the image of your law firm.

Not only are you investing in your lawyers, but you are also helping to retain them. Losing a first year associate can cost a firm upwards of $15,000. Coaching associates gives them a reason to stay, and a reason to reinvest themselves in your firm as a result of their growth. The same Manchester Consulting Group study found that coaching led to improved relationships experienced by 77% of participants, improved teamwork experienced by 67% of participants, and even improved job satisfaction experienced by 61% of participants.

Who wouldn’t want to work in an environment with healthy work relationships, improved teamwork, and an increased level of job satisfaction?

Aside from an increased ROI and retaining associates, coaching has been proven to lead to a plethora of benefits in a law firm setting. A study conducted by Manzo Coaching and Consulting revealed that 90% of law firm’s saw a positive impact in the business development of lawyers after coaching. In addition, 60% experienced a sense of leadership development and 24% felt more confident tackling conflict management. These are all instrumental assets your firm could use to skyrocket to the top, using coaching as a strategic business and leadership development resource to get you there.

To add to the booming benefits of attorney coaching, a study conducted by Manchester Inc., the global leader in executive coaching programs, found that 53% of companies that completed coaching programs saw an increased level of productivity. 48% of companies reported improved organizational strength and 61% reported increased job satisfaction. The facts and figures say it all. The bottom line is coaching leads to an increased bottom line. The option for success is yours; you just have to decide whether or not you’re going to decide to take it.

For more on what coaching can do for you and your firm, visit our website at www.EsquireCoaching.com and click on the “Services” tab or email us at info@EsquireCoaching.com to set up a complimentary consultation. We strive to empower lawyers to happily succeed in the business of law.

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Focusing on Strengths = Success

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by Ann Jenrette-Thomas, Esq. and Kathleen Ashwill

Are you aware that focusing on the strengths of your associates, other employees, and interns strengthens your firm?

It seems obvious, but there can be a tendency to get hung up on how employees are falling behind and ways they need to improve. However, what you give attention to grows, so your firm will benefit from a more powerful focus on associates’ strengths, and on your own. You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll see, not only externally but also within yourself and others.

According to Gallup research, those who utilize their strengths every day in their jobs are six times more likely to be actively engaged as they work. It makes sense – when we’re working on what we’re good at, we feel good about ourselves and want to keep doing what showcases our strong points.

‘What are your strengths?’ is a common question you pose when interviewing potential candidates for your firm. Often, people aren’t even aware of the range of strengths they possess, having been taught primarily to improve their weaknesses. Getting to know oneself is key. Once someone determines how they think, feel, behave, as well as what their “triggers” are, they can identify their natural talents. Building upon those talents is the key to developing strengths which will result in consistent positive performance at work.

It’s likely that as strengths are built, weaknesses will be naturally improved but without the level of stress and resistance that can come when the primary focus is on the weaknesses.

You’ve probably noticed that most businesses don’t focus on strength building; however, the strength-building approach not only raises employee enthusiasm, work ethic, and commitment but is financially beneficial to the business as well. So it’s a win-win for everyone and for all levels of your firm.

A recent Gallup study shows that if a supervisor focuses on strengths, the chances of an employee being actively disengaged are 1/100. However if the supervisor focuses on the weaknesses, the chance of active disengagement rises to 22/100 and if the supervisor ignores the employee, that number comes up to 40/100. So, certainly, negative attention is preferable to no attention, but positive attention makes a dramatic difference.

As you can imagine, focusing on the strengths of your colleagues and using this focus to inform how you delegate tasks improves a sense well-being within your firm. The more we use our strengths, the less likely we are to feel doubt, low self-esteem, worry, stress, or anger. Positive feelings of being energized, fulfilled, rewarded, respected, and at ease are maximized. As you’re boosting productivity and positive feelings, you’ll also be cutting down on sick days, chronic disease, and health-related costs. Talk about a Happy Law Practice!

Take a moment to imagine the relief, ease, connectivity, and productivity that is possible in your firm when you employ this technique more.

Many people do not know their strengths or minimize their usefulness. Assessments such as Strength Finders, Lumina, Myers Briggs, DISC, etc. can help each person in your firm identify their unique strengths. Once understood, it’s important to determine how to maximize those strengths. For example, an individual who is a stronger relationship builder should maximize business development efforts through more in-person meetings; whereas, an introverted person who is an excellent writer should incorporate more writing as a business development tool.

Need direction on integrating this approach within your firm? We can help.

Esquire Coaching features a team of coaches (with a variety of strengths!) who will assist you in administering the foregoing assessments, enhancing your employees’ strengths, as well as fostering a strong strengths-based climate throughout your firm. Please contact us at info@esquirecoaching.com to let us know how we can support you.

When you adopt a strengths-based standpoint, you will be opening your firm up to great opportunities for success.

Associates: Don’t Stay Trapped Behind Your Desk!

By Brittany Amendt

When first starting out as a lawyer, the path to becoming a partner in a law firm can seem scary and at times overwhelming. This path has changed in recent years making the road to partner even more frightening. Instead of the traditional method of rewarding those with the most dedication and longevity, it seems today’s associates also need to be rainmakers.

As an associate, it is important to be your own best advocate. Rather than just focusing on doing your billable work, take the time to start building your network. Getting to know your colleagues helps to build relationships and form bonds. These can be important connections down the road and may serve as mentors.

It’s also important to get involved in activities outside the law firm. Start looking for opportunities to stand out as a leader.  See if you can start speaking at bar associations, trade associations, or places relevant to your area of law.  Take the time to take on leadership positions both within the firm and in the community.  Perhaps there is a charity that you can get involved with.  Also, make sure to include networking activities on a monthly basis.

Although trying to find time to engage in these activities may seem daunting, stay focused on your long-term goals. Whether you want to make partner, move to a different firm, or start your own business, your ability to succeed requires that you take time to consistently build your network. You don’t have to go overboard.  Simply make an effort to find 1-2 networking groups you can attend a month.  Then leverage those groups as the first place where you offer to speak.  The most important thing is to step away from your desk and realize your career will flourish only if you take the time to cultivate your reputation and your relationships for the future.

What tips do you have to build your reputation and reduce the path to partnership? Leave a comment below.