Skills Development

Seven Steps to Mitigating a Misstep

If you are a partner or senior manager, you have likely had the experience of finding an associate standing in your doorway with that sheepish look suggestive of an impending admission. Unfortunately, something has gone terribly wrong.

How To Ask For Feedback (And What Not To Do When You Get It)

Let’s face it. We all need feedback. Otherwise we have no choice but to guess and make assumptions about how we are seen by our colleagues, and about whether we are meeting their expectations. It’s unwise to adopt the mantra of “No news is good news”! If you have one of those managers who takes the view that they will only say something if they have to (perhaps electing not to say anything until the annual performance review), you’re unlucky. But a lack of explicit focus by others on your development does not give you a free pass in the context of feedback. 

How To Give Effective Feedback When You Don't Want To

It is part of the human condition to assess and evaluate others. As a result, in working with colleagues, we often have an internal dialogue monologue in which our thoughts and comments on their performance surface. And yet, that’s more often than not how we leave things – internal and unspoken. Our inside voice may be loud. But our colleagues can’t hear us.

Forget The Elevator (Pitch) - Networking Is About Taking The Stairs

I don’t know who came up with the expression “elevator pitch” but I have come to the conclusion that its (over)use is a turn-off for many of the lawyers we coach. This set me thinking. Undoubtedly, “elevator pitch” is a cliché but there’s another problem with it: An undue emphasis on the concept and its readiness for use with new contacts distracts from the reality that our networks are as much about the people we already know (or with whom we have a link) as they are about strangers.

When Is "Time Management" Not About Time?

In short, the answer is when it’s about communication.

As we made ourselves coffee in our new office near Wall Street, Diane Costigan was sharing some coaching advice she had been giving about managing expectations (of colleagues and clients). Diane is working up some new material around goal setting and how, inadvertently, lawyers sometimes set themselves up to fail.