- Unser Blog
I have been puzzled by this question for years. Reasons for thinking about it pop up in my life on a regular basis. For example: A number of years ago, I participated in a leadership training for partners and counsel at the large law firm I was working for. At the end of the four-day training, I saw one of the senior partners almost crushing the trainer´s hand, complementing ...
If you are interested in professional development, you probably have asked yourself that question a couple of times. Of course you want to have a return on the investment of your valuable time. If you are responsible for professional development in your organization or if you make your living by helping others develop in their professions (as do I), this is the most critical question of all.
Many lawyers ask themselves, and also me: What, actually, is a “project” in the field of law? Quite many of them seem to think that legal projects require a multitude of lawyers and, as a rule, happen only in the field of M & A. Hence the statement I hear from some lawyers “I don´t work in projects”.
Recently I have been talking a lot with coaching clients about the difficulties of giving instructions clearly. The topic also pops up regularly in my Legal Project Management workshops, since communicating clearly with your project team is absolutely vital for project managers. The critical issue often is that what sounded clear as day in our own head still can be misunderst ...
This year I have been helping a lot of people draft their goals and supported them in achieving those goals. As coach to several dozen lawyers, I worked with them to make their goals SMART (specific, measurable, attractive, realistic and time-bound), which is the first dimension of goals. But that is not enough: goals need to be three-dimensional.
Lawyers in law firms and law departments are starting to accept that The New Normal in the legal business environment requires them to change. The New Normal means, among many other things, coping with shrinking budgets for legal spend and demands for transparent pricing. This requires a change of law firm or law department culture – “culture” just being another word for “the ...
Do you recognize yourself in the statement that lawyers are mostly pessimists? Several social scientists have studied this peculiar phenomenon. It´s peculiar because pessimism not only makes you unhappy, it also keeps you from being successful in most professions. Unless you are a lawyer. The famous Martin Seligman (one of the founding fathers of the positive psychology movem ...
I have spent most of my professional life among lawyers and it has always puzzled me how little we listen. This might be an occupational hazard, but, than again, quite some doctors and people working at hardware stores or banks seem to have the same problem. Now that I am dedicated to training lawyers and other consultants to become better at what they do, this question looms even bigger.
Feeling distracted and unfocused? This summer I´d like to invite you to (re-)train your focus by doing familiar things differently. Among the benefits are the ability to concentrate better and an increased awareness of the information all around you. And you might even improve your work processes in the bargain. Our ability to focus, to pay attention seems to be declining.
When talking to lawyers and law firms, I often hear ”We understand The New Normal and know that we need to change our way of working, but where on earth should we begin??” Charles Duhigg´s very informative and enjoyable book The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do and how to change offers some advice: he recommends organisations to identify and focus on keystone habits, i.e.
I have seen Domination Techniques used in the legal world on all kinds of occasions: Quite often in negotiations where lawyers try to dominate their counterparts (might be a winning strategy, but maybe less often than we think); much too frequently in internal discussions at both clients and law firms (please, let´s just stop playing this game); by (rare!) clients enjoying to push around young.
This week I spoke at one of the best conferences I ever attended and it was mainly two things that made the Women Leaders in EU Life Sciences Law conference great: A mix of substantive legal developments, such as pharmaceutical regulatory developments and new compliance rules, on one hand and legal leadership topics, such as building relationships, communicating with your legal team, managing .
I had called a colleague to ask a few clarifying questions and give her feedback on the part of the due diligence report she had written for a project I was leading. It was getting a bit late and I said “I saved your part of the report for last because I knew that you are good and that I could more or less paste it directly into my master report with a minimum of adjustments and questions.
As a boss, project leader or client responsible, you sometimes have to make tough decisions that disappoint the people you work with. Let´s look at some everyday examples: You might need more resources for a project on short notice and one of your project team members needs to cancel her weekend trip to London.
I have written the below DOs and DON´Ts many years ago as a set of standards which I will apply, to the best of my abilities, to the projects I lead and which I expect project members to apply to their work. Upon inspection today, I find that most of them still hold true, possibly with one exception.
A team of researchers at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology has studied how much time leaders spend on actually giving feedback as compared to how much time they think they are giving feedback. The researchers followed about 100 managers at various work places in Sweden from different industry sectors to ensure a wide spread of data.
I met one of my former trainees for lunch the other day. She is a very bright young lawyer whom I had worked with for several months, so I have observed her talent and skills up close. Recently she has joined a law firm as an associate. She told me how the partner who supervises her work introduces her to new assignments: He tells her what the desired outcome of her work shou ...
I have recently studied what behavioural science has to say about legal compliance. Scientists have studied questions such as “Why do people follow rules?” and “What do we need to do to make more people follow certain rules?” The body of research seems to me to be somewhat straggly and abstract and the results quite context-based.
Use pictures and other visuals to illustrate your points This spring I listened to Prof. Knut Kaasen of the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law speak about construction contracts for the oil industry. Since these are the basis for huge offshore and onshore development projects, they need to regulate how to handle necessary changes in a project. Such mechanisms are called variation orders.
I frequently browse the TED-website www.ted.com for presentations. I find them perfect for giving my brain a break from whatever I have been working on or during a quick lunch at my desk. And I often find them very inspiring as regards presentation technique. So instead of reading an article, today I invite you to have a look at the following presentations.