How to Inspire Meeting Participants Into Energetic Engagement

Are you tired of struggling to engage meeting participants? No one talks. Participants (using that term loosely, because of course there isn’t any participation!) look around whenever you ask for input? You are frustrated and tired of being the only one with ideas or even talking.
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Can You Get All of Your Needs Met?

We all want our needs to be met. Consider this: when we feel stressed, anxious, or annoyed, it’s because of an unmet need, not because of another person who happens to be caught up in the drama. And, importantly, analyzing negative feelings in the context of a “met v. unmet needs” paradigm supports you in: Continue Reading

The Hard Way Ends Hard

The hard way ends hard, you know. Have you ever considered adopting a knowledge strategy approach to help you and your firm more easily produce great results, cost effectively (meaning competitively!) in a shorter period of time?

Let’s say your firm has not taken time to organize its institutional learning in ways its lawyers can easily access. Or, there is not much of a formal system or training program. Your more junior associates, who might be working on a type of project for the first time, have no other choice but to take their best shot at what you and the client need, which you, as the lawyer responsible, find unsatisfactory.

Now imagine how much better off everyone would be if the firm’s knowledge management system made it possible for a more junior/lower-cost lawyer to produce work equivalent to that of a more senior lawyer. The firm’s fees would be lower, making it more competitive. The more senior lawyers would have more time to develop business and focus their attention where it really counts,  increasing the firm’s overall revenues and individual career satisfaction. Profits would be higher, too, because the firm wouldn’t have to hire additional junior lawyers or wait as long for them to become profitable. And, a robust knowledge strategy is the confident response to clients’ concerns that more junior lawyers don’t have enough experience to justify their billing rate.

Keep in mind that knowledge strategy is not about technology.  It’s about culture. Culture is the one-word descriptor for “how we will do it.” Importantly, and distinct from a mere information management system, the firm’s leadership designs the system with the desired result  – lawyers working more effectively – in mind and supports the adoption and use of the system through training and setting clear expectations.

Actually changing the ways in which lawyers work is simple but not easy. The very reason that lawyers are attracted to law is because they possess a unique set of personality traits, which include skepticism, autonomy, reluctance to change, and low sociability. Therein lies the challenge! Be on the lookout for a post on successfully managing change.

To learn more about how knowledge strategy can improve your client service and the economics of your practice regardless of a firm size, please join the upcoming FREE 30-minute webinar,How to Compete with IBM Watson JD:  Future-proof your practice by improving efficiency now – Part 1, to be broadcast on January 28, 2016 at 12:00 Noon, Eastern time. The webinar is sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division.

New Year, New Approach?

The end of the year is a good time to rethink your goals and needs in the light of the past year’s New Year resolutions.  Even if you didn’t make a formal resolution, I bet you planned or hoped to change or improve certain aspects of your life. And, upon reflection, perhaps you aren’t fully satisfied with your progress toward your resolution. While any number of obstacles could have impeded progress, perhaps you fell into the ubiquitous trap of treating a resolution as if it were an actual goal. Hmmm, you ponder, “why would this matter?” It matters because often resolutions are not sufficiently specific to embolden the actions necessary to achieve the desired result.

What about making resolutions that serve your goals but are not your goals per se? The resolutions can be specific actionable approaches that will help you in the long-term or, if you’re lucky, even in the short-term, to achieve your goals. For example, if your goal is to be promoted to a senior manager this upcoming year, your resolution could be to write an article, take an online course to boost your skills, or even to attend more networking events. Half the challenge in achieving goals is delineating the necessary steps.

Here is something else to consider: can a resolution serve multiple needs and goals? If so, great! You only have so much time to consider which strategy works best for your life as a whole.  For example, would a resolution to attend a night class interfere with your need to see your friends? On the other hand, if you’re new in town and find yourself in a similar situation, perhaps this resolution would serve your need to make new friends!

As you consider resolutions for 2016, think of not only your goals but the actionable approaches that help you reach those goals and that serve your other needs as well! Good luck in the New Year!!

You’ll Get What You Want In The New Year!

How we create the world around us

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” In other words, your mindset governs how you see the world, the strategies you will consider, and ultimately what you do. And what you do creates the world around you.

For example, if you don’t believe you can move on to a better job, you will probably stop looking. Or if you don’t believe that it’s possible for you to affect whether your group becomes a highly effective team, then you most likely won’t consider or take actions necessary to do so.

It’s quite simple: the result you get, in turn, influences your worldview. And, rather than a mere linear progression of cause and effect, worldview, mindset, actions and results each influence and reinforce each other!

So if you’re looking for great results, you must first believe they are possible and second prioritize achieving them. This often means being open to new ideas and strategies, taking personal initiative, while also being willing to rely on others for their support. The New Year starts new initiatives and new beginnings. Get what you wish for in the New Year by believing you can!