Areas of Focus
My coaching work with clients generally falls into four general areas: Business Development, Practice Management, Career Transition, and Leadership. Client’s rarely wish to focus on just one of these areas. Most often our work together will touch on two or more of these at one time. My strength as a coach is the decade plus of experience and training that allows me to meet my clients where they are – working on stress reduction one day, and a business plan the next.
Business Development Coaching:
Business development coaching is of value to lawyers at all stages of practice from new associates to senior partners.
Business development coaching supports lawyers in:
- Developing and implementing strategic rainmaking skills.
- Learning advanced methods for preparing for business meetings, targeting new clients, cross-selling and closing more effectively.
- Coaching may also be used to support existing training programs and help lawyers put into action what is learned in the class room.
Results: Lawyers learn advanced rainmaking skills. They become better business developers. They set goals for their practice, expand their client base and introduce new clients to their firms.
There are many good lawyers who fail to become great because of a lack of organizational skills. They are kept on track by able support staff but ultimately their fire-fighting mode of practice can lead to mismanaged client relationships, burned out juniors and a practice that leaves no room for taking part in other activities. Their relationships with family and friends suffer and other personal priorities such as fitness are abandoned.
Practice management coaching provides:
- Private and confidential training and support when a lawyer has a need and a desire to be better organized and more self-managing.
Results: Improved organization and time-management skills. The lawyer has time to effectively manage his/her files, take part in firm activities and support client relationships.
Outplacement Coaching and Career Transition:
I provide confidential and experience support to lawyers facing job transitions. I am hired both by law firms and by individual lawyers.
My outplacement coaching program works through seven steps and includes the following:
- The initial conversation includes a debrief of the situation and plans and timeline for departure.
- Periods of transition are often stressful for individuals so outplacement coaching often starts with attention to such matters as grief, anger, and stress management.
Strengths and opportunities
- Coaching swiftly turns towards conducting a thorough analysis of the transitioning lawyer’s strengths, skills, and interests.
- I include two assessment tools in my outplacement coaching packages as a lens for further exploring strengths and values.
- Planning includes research of opportunities in the legal market in Vancouver and elsewhere, a discussion of opportunities in private practice, in-house, government, or setting up a solo practice; and when applicable a discussion of alternate careers to law.
- I help the client with developing a simple strategic career plan to guide their job search.
- I work together with the client on the preparation of resume, and covering letters. As opportunities emerge I support my clients with revising these documents appropriately.
- I advise on how and when to best make use of search companies.
- We work together on developing a list of supporting references.
- I assist updating the client’s LinkedIn profile.
- My experience as a business development coach is valuable to my transitioning clients as we begin to work on implementing their action plan.
- I help my clients to develop and refine their key messages to contacts about the transition so that they are able to communicate this effectively.
- I support transitioning lawyers with honing their networking skills, so that they are able to effectively connect with their contacts, and make use of social media and other networking resources.
- I help my clients both prepare for interviews, and debrief interviews.
Evaluating, negotiating, and embarking
- I support my clients in making career decisions that are in alignment with their overall career goals.
- I work with my clients on negotiating favorable contract terms.
- As my client embarks in their new role I provide additional support by helping them to develop a “first thirty days” action plan for implementation.
Leadership coaching is designed to provide lawyers with the skills and knowledge to become effective leaders. Too often law firms assign lawyers to leadership positions without providing them with support or training. In most cases leadership does not come naturally but needs to be studied and mastered through practice.
Leadership coaching supports lawyers in:
- Enhancing leadership abilities and performance.
- Assisting a new client team or practice group leader with goal setting, planning, motivating a group and encouraging follow-through.
- Supporting lawyers in becoming effective mentors.
- Supporting lawyers in becoming better delegators.
- Helping lawyers to improve their ability to provide in-the moment feedback to associates and to conduct annual reviews.
Results: Lawyers learn to effectively lead teams, facilitate planning, and obtain follow-through on action items. They also become effective mentors to junior lawyers.