Why Should Lawyers Hire Coaches?

Why and When Should a Lawyer Hire a Coach?

Today, instead of writing my own blog, I am giving you excerpts from an ABA article in GPSolo, the magazine for sole practitioners. If you have ever wondered what the benefit of professional coaching is for lawyers, this is an excellent article on that topic.

The article is called, “Professional Coaching for Lawyers,” by Andrea Goldman and Stephen E. Seckler. Below are excerpts and at the end is a link to the entire article. Enjoy.
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GP Solo

“Well-run corporations understand this. In the past 20 years, the field of executive coaching has grown substantially. Companies have realized that senior managers are more likely to achieve peak performance if they are coached by an experienced outside professional who acts as a sounding board and a reality check.

What Is Coaching?

“Professional coaching is for individuals who want to elevate their performance, increase their personal and professional happiness, and acquire missing skills that are necessary for success. It is similar in many ways to personal training. You might hire a personal trainer to help you develop and follow a fitness plan. Although you may already know how to get in shape, you may be uncertain about how much time you should spend on each machine at the gym or how to use these machines properly.

What Issues Are Suitable for Attorney Coaching?

“Attorneys can use a coach to work on a broad mix of professional issues at any stage of their career. Many attorneys choose to work on business development because selling is not a skill that comes naturally to many attorneys, and it is not a skill that is taught in law school. Other lawyers hire a coach because they need help with time management. Still others want to run their practice more efficiently or manage their support staff more effectively.

Why Attorney Coaching?

“Attorneys are good candidates for coaching because they are results-oriented. As busy professionals, attorneys have difficulty focusing consistently on things that are important but not urgent. Billable work often becomes the only priority in a lawyer’s day. Important activities such as administrative tasks and marketing frequently get put off. In addition, although attorneys may get good training in lawyering in the early years of practice, they are less likely to get career guidance or guidance in developing a book of business.

Isn’t It Time?

“Real career satisfaction takes both hard work and planning. At times working as a lawyer can become a vicious cycle of constantly trying to bill more hours and attract more clients. Many lawyers do not take the time to reflect on what they really want. Some do not know what steps to take to achieve their goals. Others know the steps but cannot get themselves to take action. Still others have trouble balancing work, family, and leisure. A coach can help provide solutions to these issues.”

http://www.americanbar.org/publications/gp_solo/2011/january_february/professional_coachingforlawyers.html