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Category Archives: Assessments

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The Key to Greater Profitability in the 21st Century

Posted in Announcements, Assessments, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness
Muir’s article published this month in Law Practice Today, entitled “The Key to More Profitable Practices in the 21st Century,” reviews some of the important reasons that raising emotional intelligence can improve the productivity and profitability of our legal workplaces.   The Key to More Profitable Practices in the 21st Century… Continue Reading

Outsmarting Artificial Intelligence Part 3

Posted in Assessments, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
So we realize the depth and breadth of the competition that artificially intelligent technology can pose to our traditional legal practices. We are, after all, not able to access as many sources and certainly not as fast and perhaps not as sophisticated in our analysis logarithms as some machines are. Then again, we have our… Continue Reading

The Psychology of Malpractice

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Does low emotional intelligence (EI) put lawyers at higher risk for malpractice liability? Lawyers test at low emotional intelligence compared to the general population and other professions. They are particularly low in a critical component of emotional intelligence: emotional perception, or awareness of their own and others’ emotions. Being out of touch with one’s emotions has been… Continue Reading

Building Your Emotional Vocabulary

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Retention, Wellness
One of the ways to improve our emotional intelligence, and therefore improve our decision-making, our productivity. our personal interactions and our well-being, is to expand our vocabulary with respect to emotions. We experience hundreds of shades of emotion every day. While five to seven emotions are considered basic, combinations of those emotions blend together to… Continue Reading

Making Teams Smarter

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Teamwork, Uncategorized
On January 18th, The New York Times  published  an article entitled “Why Some Teams are Smarter than Others” that has some lessons for all of us who have the occasion to work in groups.  That means, essentially, all of us. These days almost every decision of consequence is made by a group. And what we’ve all… Continue Reading

How Was Your Mental Health Day?

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
World Mental Health Day was Friday, October 10th.  How did yours go? Did your firm or department remind you not to work such long hours that you lose your critical thinking edge or alienate the personal ties that keep you grounded and productive?  Did you get a refresher on how to deal with stress and its… Continue Reading

The Thing About Blind Spots

Posted in Assessments, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork
Discrimination comes in all forms. In our 2011 entry on the dismissal of an EEOC suit against Bloomberg, we noted that Karen Lockwood, a senior female partner in Howrey, a Washington D.C. firm and then president of the D.C. Women’s Bar Association, made a distinction between discrimination and unconscious bias: “Law firms are way beyond discrimination…… Continue Reading

Sharpening Our Prediction Skills

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
The Lawyer’s Global Litigation Top 50 2013 annual survey of senior in-house UK lawyers has found that projected litigation costs provided by counsel to their corporate clients were off by as much as 100%, with the average being 40%. “[E]ven experienced law firms are often woefully inept at accurately forecasting litigation costs,” the report concluded. That mis-forecasting… Continue Reading

The Caring Angle

Posted in Assessments, Culture, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
Law firm and law department managers who are using “caring” management strategies in response to the economic downturn are examples of playing nicely in the legal sandbox.  And research demonstrates that, again, being nice pays off. According to a recent study by Grdinovac and Yancey entitled “How organizational adaptations to recession relate to organizational commitment,” published… Continue Reading

Clueless at the Top?

Posted in Assessments, Books, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Innovation, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
While workers with high emotional intelligence are consistently the best performers on all steps of the corporate ladder, interestingly enough it is those at the top level of management who have the lowest overall average emotional intelligence (EI or EQ)  in organizations. Prompting one journalist to contend that “Your Boss Probably Wouldn’t Pass Yale’s Emotional Intelligence… Continue Reading

Those Gorilla Signatures–Size Does Matter

Posted in Assessments, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Risk Management, Uncategorized
In the May 2013 Harvard Business Review, researchers reported on companies led by CEOs who have large signatures–an indicator, the authors of the study contend, of narcissism, usually characterized as being dominating, vain and self-centered.  The trait is named after the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image. According to Wikipedia, “persons… Continue Reading

Communist Leadership and Pornography

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Innovation, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of China, while touring a  job fair in Tianjin last week, China’s President Xi Jiping  answered his own question to a local official as to what the critical ingredients of  good Communist leaders are. “Intelligence quotient and emotional quotient – which is more important?” the president evidently asked.  When the official answered “both,” it was reported that… Continue Reading

Lawyer Personalities at Above the Law

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, White Papers, Work Satisfaction
Above the Law columnist Susan Moon, an in-house lawyer at Wyndham Worldwide, gave our The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers a nice plug last week, just hours after much of the data in it was discussed at a presentation at Yale Law School.  An older article (since updated) and a “bit on the dry side,”… Continue Reading

Muir to Present at Yale Law School

Posted in Announcements, Assessments, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Retention, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir, Esq., will present a seminar at Yale Law School on March 13, 2013 on "The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers–Strategies for a Successful and Satisfying Career."  She will review data from research with respect to personality assessments, positive psychology, conflict management, the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and emotional intelligence showing the particular characteristics of lawyers that… Continue Reading

Muir to Speak on Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir of Law People Management LLC, Randall Kiser of DecisionSet, and Daniel S. Bowling III of Duke Law School will be co-presenting a Center for Competitive Management audio presentation on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2pm EDT entitled "Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence." The presentation will cover the relatively new science of emotional intelligence, its relationship to… Continue Reading

The Challenges of Lateral Hiring

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The American Lawyer has just issued its Report on Laterals 2012, in which it found that in the 12 months ending September 30, 2011, 2,454 partners left or joined Am Law 200 firms, for a 22% increase over 2010, when there was the lowest number of moves since 2000. "This year’s figure was consistent with the annual average of 2,458 partner moves… Continue Reading

Practical Practice Management Skills:A Case Study of Time Management Conflicts

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Management
One of the more interesting client assignments we have had involved a small practice group in a middle-sized firm on the West Coast.  The firm charged us to find out what was "wrong" with the group and "fix"it or, if it couldn’t be fixed, the firm was going to dump the whole group. When we arrived… Continue Reading

Emotional Intelligence At Work–The Crux of Hiring and Promotion

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Risk Management
In a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2600 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide, 71% said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ and 34% said they are placing even greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring and promoting employees post-recession.  And 59% said they would not hire someone who has a high IQ… Continue Reading

The Advantages of Depression

Posted in Assessments, Decision-Making, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Recruitment, Risk Management, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
The rate of depression among lawyers is widely recognized as a multiple–in some studies a double-digit multiple–of the rate of depression in the general population and also in other professions.  This rate is high by the second semester of law school and only escalates over time. There has been speculation as to whether depression in lawyers is a condition… Continue Reading

Feeling Less and Knowing Less

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management
One of the more interesting findings in emotional intelligence research is that people who read emotional cues in others are generally good at reading their own emotional states and vice-verse—those who read themselves well are likely to read others well also. Conversely, an inability to read either oneself or others signals the corresponding inability. These findings are… Continue Reading

Beauty Is As Beauty Does? Cashing In On Beauty

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Diversity, Profitability, Recruitment, Work Satisfaction
Perhaps your mother’s adage about what makes for beautiful is not entirely correct.  It was recently announced that economists at the University of Texas-Austin analyzed data from five large surveys of more than 25,000 people conducted between 1971 and 2009 in the US, Canada, Germany and Britain and came up with what may or may not… Continue Reading

The Value Advisory

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork
The Value Advisory issued a press release today announcing the formation of a veteran group of advisors to provide law firms with strategies and resources that align firm offerings and operations with their clients’ objectives.  At a time of increasing client demands for value at a reduced cost, The Value Advisory works with firms to assess their clients’… Continue Reading

The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Risk Management, Teamwork, White Papers
Muir’s “The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers” explores the ways in which the personal style of lawyers differs from that of the majority of Americans and how it effects both what lawyers perceive and how they are perceived.… Continue Reading

Emotional Intelligence for Lawyers

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, White Papers, Work Satisfaction
Muir’s “Emotional Intelligence for Lawyers” reviews the history of the development of emotional intelligence and how it applies to lawyers. Muir’s “The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Making Partners” was awarded the Edge International Law Practice Magazine Award for excellence in writing.… Continue Reading