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Category Archives: Coaching

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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

Muir to Present Webinar on Emotional Intelligence and Lawyering

Posted in Announcements, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, 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

Women Leaders and What Sabotages Them

Posted in Coaching, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Succession
Are women really worth a damn as leaders? Or is the diversification effort–from those cozy women’s initiatives to the hard-headed firm strategies to avoid sexual harassment suits–simply political correctness writ large? There’s been a lot said from both sides of the aisle recently. And from some surprising corners. The Hay Group recently announced that, from a  series of in-depth interviews… 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 Tips to Beating Back the Depression Demon

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Conflict, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Lawyers suffer from a high rate of depression–the highest of all professions–and the peak time for depression to hit is around the holidays.  Add to that the stress that many are feeling now over the economy and whether they will have a job come the first of the year, and you have a recipe for poor… Continue Reading

Practical Practice Management Skills: The Delegating Dilemma

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Decision-Making, Management, Productivity, Professional Development
One of the more challenging skills lawyers need to master is the ability to delegate–to younger partners, associates, and non-lawyer staff, and in this marketplace, to third party providers, like document reviewers and e-discovery firms.  And even to clients.  But there is a lot of internal resistance in many lawyers to mastering that skill.  Perfectionism, wanting to stay in control and… 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

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

Learning Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Even the original researchers in the emotional intelligence field–Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey–have taken different sides in the controversy as to whether EI can be learned.  That uncertainty has put law firm professional development managers in a difficult spot, second-guessing the usefulness of providing lawyers with EI training programs. The most recent research suggests that, instead of EI being an attribute you… Continue Reading

The Lawsuit Whose Name We Dare Not Speak Part 1

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Leadership, Management, Risk Management, Wellness
One can’t review the data showing the magnitude of mental illness, substance abuse and other indices of distress in lawyers without thinking of the lawsuit that, with apologies to Lord Alfred Douglas, no one dares speak about but is certain to come.  There are all sorts of scenarios that could prompt it.  An associate will commit suicide or a partner… Continue Reading

The Lateral Lottery

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment
Back when we were all focused on raising our retention rate of associates, I also waved the flag about the poor retention rate we have with the lateral partners we hire–a musical chair game that has been in full swing for a number of years and seems to have survived or at least is being revived after the downturn. … Continue Reading

Judging Good Lawyering

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Risk Management
There are only two bases on which most legal services are ultimately judged: 1) outcome and 2) interpersonal interaction.  Of course, price is important but a wide range in price is tolerated as a function of 1 and 2. It can be very difficult for a client to judge outcome — what part of the results in a… Continue Reading

Muir Discusses Leadership at WLA Conference

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Leadership, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Work/Life Balance
Muir participated in a panel discussion last week at the Women Lawyers Alliance first Annual Conference, held in Chicago.  Muir and fellow panelists author Shaunti Feldhahn, eminent psychologist Dr. Florence Denmark and psychologist/coach Karen Kahn identified some of the challenges and facilities women have in making their mark as leaders in law firms, and also addressed specific questions on… Continue Reading

Muir to Lead Discussion on Lateral HIring and Integration

Posted in Announcements, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
From 2:00 pm to 3:15 EST on Thursday April 29, 2010 Muir will lead an audio conference discussion hosted by the Center for Ccompetitive Management (CCM) entitled "Lateral Partner Hires: Selecting and Integrating the Best Fit for the Firm," centering on the issues associated with hiring and integrating lateral partners. A record number of lateral partner… Continue Reading

Georgetown Law School Center for the Study of the Legal Profession’s Conference — “Law Firm Evolution: Brave New World or Business as Usual?”

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
It was my great pleasure–something I don’t often say about a conference– to attend this invitation-only gathering last week, March 21-23, of both august and up-and-coming law industry professionals as they prognosticated the future of our practice and what that might in fact look like up close for a broad array of providers and clients.  While I will digest and relay over the… Continue Reading

Can Introverts Lead?

Posted in Assessments, Books, Coaching, Communication, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Risk Management, Succession
Firms are placing their futures at risk if they cannot identify, develop and empower the next generation of leaders.  So it is no surprise that more law firms are investing in leadership development.  For example, according to PaLAW 2009’s 14th annual Managing Partners Survey, cited in the November 23, 2009 issue of The Legal Intelligencer, the number of… Continue Reading

Muir Leads APLF Roundtable on Leadership

Posted in Announcements, Business Development, Coaching, Compensation, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Retention, Risk Management
Muir led an inter-active limited-attendance roundtable on Law Practice Management for Current and Prospective Law Firm Leaders at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Association of Patent Law Firms (APLF) in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, September 17, 2009.  Topics discussed included the distinction between managers and leaders, the importance of values-driven firm identity, the role of practice group leaders in moving… Continue Reading

Spotting and Repairing Critical Talent Breakdowns

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Wellness
In the current stressful marketplace, the rate of lawyers’ incidence of impairment has been ratcheting up from high (see, for example, our September 5, 2008 entry "The Depression Demon Coming Out of the Legal Closet") to even higher.  See "Employment Woes Fuel Uptick in Lawyer Depression."  Firms suffer losses in productivity, morale and recruitment because of impaired lawyers, and… Continue Reading

Are You Kind or Competent?

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development
An article by psychologist Amy J.C.Cuddy in the February 2009 issue of the Harvard Business Review reports that we make fast assessments of people on two bases:  their intentions and their competence.  And more importantly, we assume one is related to the other.  This response is evolutionarily linked, she argues, to the advantage of quickly determining whether an unknown person 1) is friendly or hostile… Continue Reading

Narcissists Abound–And Need A Coach

Posted in Announcements, Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Succession
What do you know? Narcissists–big personalities with big egos who like to exert control and reject collaborative decision-making–are the ones leading many law firms through these perilous times.  "Narcissistic leaders are distinguished by their big ideas…and general indifference to the opinions of others,” according to Douglas Richardson of Altman Weil. “They resolutely reject the status quo, thus… Continue Reading

Girl Power at Work

Posted in Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Culture, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention
In a recent article in The New York Times entitled “Girl Power at School, But Not at the Office,” Hannah Seligson gives some good advice to all working women, even those of the “post women’s right movement” generation in which she grew up.  After feeling self-assured and equal to men in academia, Hannah found the workplace… Continue Reading

Working with Introversion

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Mentoring, Professional Development, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Lawyers are introverts, big time.  According to Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) results, almost 3/4th of lawyers, compared to only 1/4th of the general public, are introverts.  That means they go inward to charge their batteries– preferring internal introspection to external interaction.  On the Caliper Profile personality test, lawyers also rank astonishingly low in the sociability trait–which measures how comfortable a… Continue Reading

Historic Hillary–and Hesitation

Posted in Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Mentoring, Professional Development
Regardless of your politics, the last year has been a fabulous display of woman-power in the political arena. For the first time in American history, a woman was a major contender for her party’s presidential nomination, and came damned close to winning it. Without Monday morning quarterbacking her entire campaign, there are some interesting nuggets… Continue Reading

Testing for Law

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
The use of assessments worldwide is rapidly expanding and lawyers are still lagging at the back of the pack–way back.  An article by Lisa Belkin in yesterday’s New York Times notes that there are 2,500 "profiling instruments" that companies rely on more every year when deciding whom to hire or promote. Sixty-five percent of companies surveyed reported using… Continue Reading