How Coaching Benefits Attorneys

Better Relationships, Less Stress, Higher Revenues

As an attorney, coaching can help you awaken your emotional intelligence, manage your work and life relationships, and learn to regulate stress.  The end result is a happier, healthier and more effective work and personal life.

Coaching is not mental health therapy.   Traditional therapy focuses on the past and how it affects your behavior today.   We will not do that in coaching.   Instead, we will identify your goals and build a road to success for the future.

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Relate Better to Clients: Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence

…once you have the basic required intelligence to be a lawyer in your field, emotional intelligence skills differentiate the top performers.
Lawyers are just catching up with their corporate clients in recognizing the value of coaching.  Corporations have embraced coaching for key executives because emotional intelligence separates the most effective leaders from all the rest.  To be sure, intelligence and technical skills matter.  But, once you have the basic required intelligence to be a lawyer in your field, emotional intelligence skills differentiate the top performers.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence skills focus on how well we manage our relationships and ourselves.

Research by Daniel Goleman  shows that emotionally intelligent executives are more likely to be promoted than their less gifted colleagues.  Emotional intelligence is cited as the main reason for their effectiveness.

Coaching Hones Emotional Intelligence and Helps Generate Revenues

Coaching is an excellent way to develop your emotional intelligence skills.

In our coaching relationship, we pin point and measure your areas of strength and potential areas of improvement.   You can strengthen areas where you are strong and look for areas where you can enhance your skills.   Corporate executives recognize and appreciate lawyers with emotional intelligence.

Honing your emotional intelligence can help you be a better lawyer, colleague, and manager in many ways, including:

  • better client service,
  • developing closer relationships with clients,
  • enhancing your communication and negotiation skills,
  • greater team productivity, and
  • better relationships with colleagues and co-counsel.

How A Lack of Emotional Intelligence Loses the Job

I have seen lawyers who lack strong emotional intelligence act in ways that have turned off clients when they weren’t even aware.   Many lawyers think that they are giving an impressive performance, when they might actually be insulting the prospective client and coming off as arrogant.

I have gone to pitches with lawyers who do all of the talking to show the client how smart they are, name whom they have represented and what they have accomplished. Those lawyers rarely got the engagement.  Most lawyers are smart, have represented clients and won cases or gave good advice.   That is not a differentiator.

Of course, clients want lawyers to be accomplished and smart.  Those attributes are the minimum qualifications for any lawyer that will be hired.   What will set you apart is showing your interest in the client’s perspective of the issues and their business.   That requires knowing when to talk and knowing when to listen.   In other words, it takes emotional intelligence

Case Study: How Emotional Intelligence Wins the Job
When I was a law firm partner, the chief intellectual property counsel of a large pharmaceutical company hired me as lead counsel for litigation. One of the tasks was to work well with their existing outside counsel at another local law firm who had done much of their litigation work for a long time. I was hired for my knowledge and technical skills for sure, but the chief counsel told me that the reason that I was hired over other counsel pitching for the work was my “personality and ability to work with others.” In a nutshell, my emotional intelligence got me the engagement. With some coaching and training, you too can win the day. To be as effective as possible in your legal career, you need to develop and fine-tune your emotional intelligence.

Coaching Helps Attorneys Manage Stress

Coaching also helps you manage stress in more healthy ways.  Coaching can help you to:

  • figure out how to prioritize your tasks,
  • develop time management skills,
  • delegate tasks to others,
  • manage your team to be on time and within budget,
  • take time to eat well and work out and
  • set goals properly so that you are on focusing on issues that advance your career rather than just working on the task at hand.

 

Case Study: Poor Stress Management
I once knew a partner who could not deal with stress and managed it through excessive alcohol consumption– a form of self-medication. The drinking also led to consuming excessive caffeine during the day to stay motivated and alert. When I spoke to this lawyer, he talked so fast and his words ran so close together that it was difficult to understand what he was saying. He would periodically decompress by going on expensive vacations with his family. This lawyer could have benefited from coaching to help him manage the stress and be more effective on a daily basis rather than medicating himself and buying expensive vacations. Vacations are great and I’m a huge advocate. Vacations are not, however, a good way to deal with daily stress. This is a sad situation because he is a great lawyer and he could have managed himself and others better.

 

To be happy and healthy in your legal career, you need to develop and fine-tune your stress management skills.

We all can improve the way we manage our relationships and ourselves. That’s where coaching can help.  I am in the Washington, DC area.  I can help you develop your emotional intelligence, deal with stress better and increase your client revenues.
Call me to set up an appointment.