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Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Mentoring

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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

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

Nice Guys Finish Last? A Meditation on a Questionable Virtue

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Most of us have very high standards for the work we deliver our clients.  We demand from ourselves and those on our team the best possible product. "Performance at whatever price" might be our mantra, even if it requires nagging and criticizing or even bullying.  Yet confrontational environments feel uncomfortable to most people and over the long run are in fact not conducive… Continue Reading

The Politics of Place: Where’s Your Office?

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
While it’s unlikely that anyone would attribute all of Research in Motion’s troubles to corporate geography, it’s worth noting that RIM’s two chief executives, both now gone, were located over the last few critical years in offices about a 10-minute drive apart. And, according to former RIM executives, meetings with both of them present were rare. In the… 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

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

Invalidating Work/Life Balance?

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
This past August a court dismissed an EEOC discrimination suit against Bloomberg contending that the company had systematically discriminated against pregnant women or those who recently returned to work from maternity leave. The judge, New York district court judge Loretta Preska, saw the EEOC’s essential charge to be that  Bloomberg, as a company policy, did not provide work/life balance for its employees, which… 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 Touchy, Feely Side of Successful Client Service

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Risk Management, Teamwork
The words being thrown around were trust, intimacy, empathy, vulnerability, honesty, transparency, communication, emotional intelligence, teamwork, forgiveness, feedback, collaboration, connectedness, courage, relationship-building.  It would be understandable if you thought that you had walked into a marital counseling conference or some new-age event.   In fact, the setting was Georgetown University Law Center’s March 9th conference entitled "Welcome to the… Continue Reading

The Gay Man’s Perspective on Women’s Work/Life Balance Issues

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Management, Mentoring, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work/Life Balance
Will Meyerhofer is a lawyer who worked at Sullivan & Cromwell before chucking it and getting his MSW to become a therapist. He is also gay. He writes the blog The People’s Therapist and occasionally ties in issues relating to the legal community. His latest entry is about a recent podcast he did with the… 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

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

Will Law Schools Help Build a Healthier Profession?

Posted in Culture, Law Education, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
According to a recent article in the ABA Journal, "Law schools need to do more than teach the legal basics–they also have a moral obligation to produce healthy and satisfied lawyers."  Specifically, Michael Serota, a recent law grad, suggests in his opinion column in the New York Law Journal that law schools "help students identify their… Continue Reading

“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”

Posted in Assessments, Books, Business Development, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
In a recent interview about her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, explained how a person’s mindset can account for success.  She identifies two major mindsets–fixed and growth.  In a fixed mindset, we think we know our strengths and weaknesses, believe that… Continue Reading

Muir Leads Associate Seminar on Business of Law

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork
Muir recently led an Introduction to the Business of Law seminar for junior associates at an AmLaw 100 firm. The presentation is customized to the firm and is gauged to bolster associates’  engagement and loyalty and to improve their productivity.  Topics include a definition of terms, such as utilization, realization and cash management, and a discussion of what… 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