Tuesday, November 21, 2006

 

Executive Coaching For Lawyers

If you've been cynical about the benefits a lawyer can gain from working with a Coach... read on!

Marie noticed that Diane seemed to be sailing through her career and receiving nods from the firm's partners. According to Marie, Diane was extremely successful in handling her cases, developing strong relationships with her clients and seemed to be building a successful career on all fronts. As a third year associate, Diane was viewed as a rising star in the firm and was getting several choice assignments many of which Marie had hoped to get. After inviting her to lunch, Marie learned that Diane had been working with an Executive Coach. During lunch, Diane credited her Coach with helping her develop and implement a strategic action plan to help her: 1) improve weak areas in her performance, 2) enhance and strengthen her professional image and 3) get on the fast track to partnership. According to Diane, "Hiring my Coach was the wisest career move I could have made She provided me with the direction I needed to take my career to the next level."

One week later, Marie hired her own Coach.



Professional Coaching is for lawyers who are ready to excel, enjoy a better quality of life and gain an edge on the competition. In fact, Professional Coaching is popular throughout the business world. Organizations like Kodak, IBM and Wachovia have Professional and Executive Coaches on staff as part of their professional development programming.

Why coaching for lawyers?

Because we need it.

The practice of law is demanding, and it takes a toll on our personal and professional lives. In April 2004, The California Bar Journal reported that the rate of depression among attorneys is four times higher that of the other professionals and the general population. Nationwide, Lawyers Assistance Programs are working with lawyers who are coping with stress-related emotional and substance abuse issues. Many of these programs have recently seen sharp increases in the numbers of lawyers seeking help.

Fact: Lawyers need someone to talk to. Not a partner in the firm, significant other, colleague or a friend, but someone whose only job is to help you plan your career, manage your life, and set goals to keep you on track. Someone who can help you balance the professional and personal demands, and keep you focused on what is really important. That is the job of a Professional Coach.

Coaches are trained to help clients achieve powerful results. Like lawyers Coaches are trained to achieve successful results for their clients. To that end, there are systems of accountability incorporated into the coaching process to move clients forward and deepen insights.

What types of things can a Coach help with?

Lawyers can use a coach to work on any issue impacting them personally or professionally.
Some attorneys choose to work on improving their professional performance, while others are looking for ways to better manage stress, burnout or to achieve work/life balance. Other lawyers want to improve their managerial skills. While others hire a Professional Coach because they need help leaving the practice of law or finding a more fulfilling position within the law. Although clients report that they find coaching to be therapeutic, coaching is not Therapy. Coaching is present and future focused, and unlike therapy, coaching does not address mental health issues or past traumas and experiences.

According to a 2001 article published in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly:

"Lawyers are good subjects for coaching because they are results-oriented professionals. But like most busy professionals,it is hard for lawyers to consistently focus on things that are important,but not urgent. In addition, while attorneys may get good training in "lawyering" in the early years of practice, they are less likely to get any consistent and focusedtraining on how to develop their professional and personal lives. A law degree can still open up a lot of doors for you, but real career satisfaction takes both hard work and planning. Having the degree, and working in a good law firm, are not enough."


Coaching is a collaborative process that is focused and results oriented. A Professional Coach can help lawyers overcome challenges, increase strategic thinking and improve communication skills. In addition, many lawyers hire Coaches to help them develop a savvy professional image, cultivate ongoing career and personal goals and to achieve greater work-life balance. Unlike a consultant, a Coach doesn't come in and solve the problem for you. Instead, a Coach partners with you to assess how best to resolve issues and achieve your goals.

How does Coaching work?
Most Coaches meet with their clients via telephone on a weekly basis. Sessions usually last 30-40 minutes. Coaches are governed by the International Coaches Federation which requires that all client/coach communications be held strictly confidential.

So in a nutshell...an Executive Coach can provide the insight, accountability, resources and strategic planning that a lawyer needs in order to build a successful career and fulfilling personal life
.


Would you like to learn more?


The best way to learn about Coaching is to experience it. Set up a Complimentary Coaching session, and receive help with a personal or professional development issue. No strings. To schedule an appointment send an e-mail to
Info@EsqDevelopmentInstitute.com. Write "Complimentary Coaching Session" in the subject line and our lawyer coach will contact you shortly.

Comments:
Jatrine,

Excellent article. I do agree that lawyers can certainly benefit from working with an executive coach. Lawyers and especially female lawyers, have unique challenges such as transitioning into partnership positions as well as maintaining work & life balance. I enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to more.

Lena Claxton
 
Interesting stuff here.

Sincerely,

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Our Executive Coaching Program for Lawyers is designed for lawyers who
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Lawyer coaches usually have a better grasp and understanding of the unique stresses of practicing law. They also tend to be more pragmatic than nonlawyer coaches, which many clients prefer.

Executive coaching Toronto

 
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