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My latest posts over at Attorney With A Life (AWAL)

December 15, 2017

Here are some of my latest posts on attorneywithalife.com:

Worth considering – the Time Lord Manifesto

Time is fluid. An hour of your time can hold as little as three email messages and a discussion with a colleague or it can provide the space for writing an entire 800 word article from start to finish. There are workdays where we get epic amounts done and others where we spin our wheels.

Need some escapist fiction for the holidays?

My absolutely favourite way to relax is with a good book.  As winter sets in and long dark nights take hold, I savour my evening hours curled up with a good book.  Here is a list of my recommendations for eight excellent books across a range of genres…

Think Again – You don’t need to have all the answers

Have you ever had this worry?

I don’t know the answer.

I should know the answer.

The truth is that you don’t have to have all the answers.  What you do need is to be able to ask the questions that will get you to the answers. And to reach out to the people who can help you learn and develop…

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Small initiatives that have a BIG impact

August 31, 2017

It can be all too easy to forget that law firm cultures are really based on a mostly silent agreement about how things should run, and what can and can’t be done.

Then someone comes along and shows us how a simple change in business as usual can have a big impact on the quality of working life in a law firm.

Picture this — the clock strikes 10 and a small group of lawyers gathers for a quick exercise break, assuming the yoga pose known as the Plank. Holding this pose develops endurance and stamina, and tones the nervous system. It’s also great for strengthening the back.

There is quiet conversation and laughter as the group works to stay in plank position for a minute, moves into side planks, and finishes with wall sits. Then the time is up. Everyone rises, stretches a little, and heads back to their offices until the next break at noon. Lunchtime exercise? A five-minute series of lunges in an athletic congo line around the boardroom.

Truth or Fiction?

Truth! These mini breaks really happen four times a day, every work day at the Vancouver office of MLT Aikins, the recently expanded giant western Canadian law firm. Their Vancouver office is housed high above the blaring horns in the top floors of Vancouver’s beautiful art deco Marine Building.

The instigator of these five minute exercise breaks is litigation partner David Wotherspoon. I caught up with David over lunch this summer where I learned about his strategy to get him and his colleagues moving while developing a collegial firm culture. Says Wotherspoon, “We’re in and out within five minutes – we get a brain break, an exercise hit, and it takes only a little time away from our desks.”

It’s working.

It’s long been proven that short bits of exercise several times a day benefit our fitness levels and mood. How often have we all read about the importance of getting up from our desks and moving around throughout the day, or going outside for five minutes of natural light to refresh and renew — taking a break from the solitude of our screens and devices.

Wotherspoon has taken this notion a step further by making movement and connection a fun, planned, collective everyday occurrence in the workplace. Being active is a great way to unwind stresses and strains from our busy schedules. Increasing heartrates through shared laughter and camaraderie among colleagues can only lead to success for the firm and its team.

One simple routine added to the work day – big impact.

What can you initiate at your office?

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Growth mindset practice – how you measure matters

July 10, 2017

Grit and Growth Mindset Retreat

With Fixed mindset we measure ourselves against others. With growth mindset we are focused on how we are getting better.

To develop your growth mindset try this:

Notice – when do you find yourself comparing yourself to others?

When you catch yourself making this comparison take a moment to pause, and think again.

From a growth mindset consider your own goals, priorities and standards and compare yourself to these. How are you measuring up? What action could you take to improve?

You can get a lot accomplished with a fixed mindset until you hit a wall.

I had fixed mindset about most areas of my life for most of my life and still managed to developed a flourishing professional career but it came at a cost: High levels of stress. A loud inner critic. A striving to be good enough instead of a focus on getting better.

Making the shift to growth mindset has had a significant positive impact on my coaching and my business. I have developed the Grit and Growth Summer Retreat in the City to pass along what I have learned and to help people make this crucial shift from fear to dare. I hope you can join me.

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