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Law People

Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Teamwork

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Stress for Better and Worse

Posted in Books, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Center for Creative Leadership’s 2013 White Paper on “The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience” lists stress and burnout as the top two issues leaders worldwide wrestle with. “Burnout” is a syndrome caused by excessive stress which can produce physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.  Burnout is the end game… Continue Reading

Muir to Speak at ABA Webinar on Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
On Friday, February 13th, at 1 to 2 ET, Muir and psychologist Rob Durr will be presenting a program on EQ: What it is and Why it Matters in an American Bar Association Career Advice webinar.  They will be discussing how high emotional intelligence can transform a good lawyer into a great one. Learn: What emotional intelligence is… 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

Tips for Starting Off the New Year Right

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Teamwork
Shake off that New Year’s hangover–a whole new year lies ahead for making progress in your career! To help you start out right, former President of the College of Law Practice Management Merrilyn Astin Tarlton has put together 49-Tips-for-the-New-Lawyer, which are good advice for the not-so-new lawyer, as well.  Print them out, hang them on your… Continue Reading

Challenged by Ethics

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
Stephen Glass, the infamous journalist whose writing career collapsed under an avalanche of lies, is not being allowed to practice law in California. The California Supreme Court concluded early this year that Glass, then a law clerk for a Beverly Hills plaintiffs firm, had failed to meet “his heavy burden of demonstrating rehabilitation.” Glass admitted to fabricating parts of… Continue Reading

The Intersection of Law and Psychology

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
On February 21-22 of this year, the Boyd School of Law and Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas held a very interesting conference on Psychology and Lawyering.  Attendance and enthusiasm were high and organizers anticipate future conferences well-fueled with the expanding research on these related areas. Here are some… Continue Reading

Telling it Straight

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Jennifer Alvey “is a recovering lawyer who was once one of the 20% of Feelers in law firms.”  Now she coaches other lawyers in the Nashville area, many of whom are miserable practicing law. In her post “Why Are There So Many Asshole Lawyers?”, she tells it straight about her and her clients’ experiences in “dysfunctional”… Continue Reading

Diversity in Personal Style

Posted in Announcements, Conflict, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Muir spoke at the Center for Legal Inclusiveness Summit  in Denver, Colorado on Monday, May 12, a well-run event drawing people from all directions, despite a spring snowstorm.  Muir’s topic was “Achieving the Advantages of Diversity in Personal Style,” a review of the narrow personal style profile that prevails in many legal organizations, the hazards… 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

What About Just Being Nice?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Compensation, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
So you’re not really feeling the love?  Or even the compassion?  How about being nice–can you at least get into being nice? Fitting nicely into our recent blog posts about the more heartful arts, the November/December 2013 issue of the ABA Law Practice Magazine is entitled “The Business of Giving,” and features a story entitled “Being Nice.”… Continue Reading

The Law: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Posted in Books, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Mindful of Rev. King’s exhortation to leaven power with love, remember the Doonesbury character Woodrow proclaiming “By God, I love the law!”  Well, there’s a perspective afoot in the legal industry that may take that sentiment and turn it on its head.  It sounds something like “the law is all about love!” According to an… Continue Reading

Leaders: Warm or Strong? Giving or Taking?

Posted in Books, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Teamwork, Uncategorized
“It is much safer to be feared than loved,” Machiavelli wrote in “The Prince,” a 16th-century treatise advocating manipulation and even cruelty as the means to power. For effective leadership in the 21st century, is that still true?  Is it better to be feared or loved? The Machiavellian approach is still being vigorously advocated today–in,… Continue Reading

Muir Webinar on Emotions in the Office

Posted in Announcements, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Risk Management, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Muir presented a Webinar September 12, 2013 to members of the Organization of Legal Professionals on “Crying Happens: Managing Emotions in the Office” tailored to recognizing and managing the emotional challenges in a legal office.  Comments included “wonderful” and “good stuff!”… Continue Reading

Collaborative Culture and Office Geography

Posted in Communication, Conflict, Culture, Law Departments, Management, Productivity, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Emergence of the C-Suite Today’s law firm looking to achieve a more business-like operation is often replicating many of the senior officers that businesses have, setting up or bulking up a C-Suite.  In addition to a Managing Partner or CEO, there may well be a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer,… 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

What the White Coats May Be Missing

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Teamwork
Speaking of doctors in white coats, one has identified an attribute that may not rub off onto you when you don your own white coat.  According to Peter Ubel, a physician and behavioral scientist at Duke University, Starbucks employees have better training and are more effective in acting emotionally intelligent than doctors are. In his book Critical… Continue Reading

Notes from the Futures Conference: Part 3

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Culture, Innovation, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management, Teamwork
Here is the third and final installment on some of the highlights from this year’s Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management held at Georgetown Law School at the end of last month: What General Counsel Want From Their Outside Law Firms The panel’s top considerations reflected the same ones outlined in the ACC’s GC Value Insights, prepared in cooperation with a number of… 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

What’s Ethics Got to Do With It? Part 1

Posted in Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Recent reporting happened to recount within days of each other three instances of fraud in the legal world that bear some reflection.  In New York in late July, after a short deliberation by the jury, two attorneys were convicted of 10 felony counts of perpetuating for over almost a decade mortgage fraud, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud… 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

Bringing the Hospitality Mind-Set to the Law

Posted in Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of hospitality, during the 6th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo in San Francisco last month,Chip Conley, the founder of the hotel chain Joie de Vivre, said that most leaders have strong IQs, but far fewer have EQs—emotional intelligence—to match, and that can be detrimental to business. Why? 1) Emotions are more contagious than viruses, so… 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