Creating Innovation that Serves Your Success

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When you hear the word innovation what comes to mind?
What do you picture?

Usually when we think of innovation people immediately assume that we are talking about technology. There is good reason for that, of course, technology is rapidly changing the practice of law and our everyday lives. Beware to the law firm or practitioner who does not keep pace.

The word innovation, though, is much broader than simply technology. To innovate is to change how something is done through the introduction of a new method, idea, process or product.

Thinking Outside the Innovation Box

One of the most innovative approaches to take in law (or any business) is to strengthen your team’s soft skills. I know, just the mention of “soft skills” make many roll their eyes. Yet, in my experience, when provided an opportunity to learn and understand the power behind such a concept and tools, most are eager to learn and implement these practices. Most of us simply do not know what we do not know.

Check your attitude and fear of the unknown at the door. Open your mind to the possibility that developing soft skills for you and your team is a game changer.

It begins with you as a leader understanding how you communicate and how you are perceived. What sort of culture and climate are you promoting in your firm? Does it fully support your strategic goals? If you have a higher turnover than optimal perhaps not.

Start to think outside the box about how you can elevate your practice simply by implementing leadership and influence building strategies. Teach your team through example how to communicate and listen more effectively so that clients know and understand the value you bring to the engagement. Help your talent engage and contribute. Streamline project management through enhanced communication. New technology will only support your vision so far. The biggest obstacles to improved functionality and sustainable success lie in the human component of your practice.

People Drive Business

Soft skills are people management skills. People are what drive business. Emotions drive people. So learn to influence how people interact and relate to you and your practice. Invest in building these skillsets and you will move your practice forward and strengthen your bottom line.

The biggest worries for most individuals whether they are leaders or new attorneys is their ability to relate to and effectively communicate with those they seek to influence and serve. Namely, their clients. Yes, we are advocates and want to influence the judges and opposing parties in a transactional negotiation. However, if we are honest, the people we really want to impress with our skills and get to like us so they keep coming back are our clients. And, of course, those clients are located both inside and outside the firm.

How Developed Is Your EQ?

How strong are your soft skills? Do you know, objectively? What are your strengths? Are you an optimist? Do you understand and know your emotional patterns? How skilled are you at controlling your responses when triggered? All of these and more come under the rubric of soft skills relating to emotional intelligence.

Unless you do not get out much, you know that emotional intelligence has been shown to be a much better indicator of overall success in life than IQ. That is not what we were taught growing up. Right? But it is true. All those years of striving for achievement and the gold star rating.

Yes, you need to be excellent at your craft but that includes and can no longer overlook the skills that assist you to create avenues of influence and strong positive relationships. Relationships that add to your firm’s bottom line as well as your own personal happiness quotient.

Give me a call or click here to get on my schedule and let’s see how I can help you and your team raise your soft skill quotient. It is time to innovate and increase your relational EQ skills.

Success is a team sport. You don’t have to do this alone.

The Kindness Challenge

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Are you kind?

Is it one of your values to be kind to people? For a week, month or even just a day, try having the courage to intentionally be kind. I challenge you to consider the possibility that by being kind you will increase your own happiness, be more productive, ensure better health and create a stronger bottom line for your practice.  Even better, how about if you work to promote a culture of kindness in your law firm or business?

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Are You Selling Yourself Short?

Have you been your own worst enemy? Sitting at your desk, doing your work, not raising your hand and hoping no one really pushes you to grow? Is it time to polish your brilliance and let people see who you are and what you can do? Read more

Want More Satisfaction?

This week marks the anniversary of the largest game changing decision in my life. It is my son’s birthday. He turns 11. I could never have known what the choice to be a parent would mean for my life or profession. All the subsequent changes and decisions it would tee up for us. I know pretty much every parent can relate.

I am a single mom “by choice.” I had my son with an anonymous donor on my own. Making that crazy, brave decision, and then following through with all the actions required to make it so. Read more

Leading Lawyers: Choosing Vulnerability

Here is my recent post for The Lawyers Club of San Diego Leadership Committee reflecting on a personal tragedy and why we need to challenge certain presumptions about kindness and vulnerability.

A paradigm shift starts with individual leaders. Begin to be brave and dare to challenge the idea that vulnerability means weakness and failure.

How have you stepped into and through fear to support others?


READ THE ARTICLE HERE

 

Need Mindset Tools for this Wild Ride?

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Here we are at Thanksgiving once again. I feel as if I have been on Toad’s Wild Ride. The year has flown by so fast. At the same time, I swear it has been a decade in the making! Right? Do you feel that way?

I think everyone can agree that the pace of life and the speed of change have increased exponentially. Both in the legal field itself as well as our world generally. Fast paced change is the norm now. That means increasing levels of on-going stress and anxiety. Time to determine how best to support your resilience and long term success. Read more

Want to De-stress Your Brain? Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

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I get a lot of questions about why someone should bother with developing their emotional intelligence. After all, you have gotten this far in life and done pretty well, and besides who has the energy or time? I understand, if I am anything it is pragmatic. What I can tell you is that there are so many benefits to developing your EQ, it is rather phenomenal. That is why I am now a certified Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessor, and I utilize these tools (among others) to assist my clients in improving their practices and lives.

One Major Benefit: Retraining Your Brain to Reduce Stress.

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Getting Beyond Nice

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I know a lot of people who think being labeled as “nice” is the kiss of death. It means your bland, boring and can be taken advantage of – weak, a push-over. In the dating realm, when someone describes you as “nice”, the fear is you are somehow unattractive. Right?

Think about it for a moment. If your friend sets you up with a guy and all she can say is “He is really nice” even when prompted for more, all your instincts probably will tell you to run. Nice should be a good thing, right? Yes and, well, for leaders and individuals with a backbone, I have to say many or us prefer words like kind, compassionate, empathic, authentic and humble. The language we use matters if we want people to be more open to developing new leadership skills.

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Create Success that Embraces You

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I sometimes wonder if I will ever stop measuring my “success” against that achieved by others. I know what success means to me. I do have a self-definition for my own success that has morphed through the years and base decisions upon it. Yet, our culture, and practically every message in events that I attend or the media glorify outward success (position, money, status, beauty) along with the speed and assumed ease of attainment. In moments of struggle or doubt, I find myself questioning my decisions and my path.   Why am I not like that other person? Why is my journey so convoluted and twisted? Why is it that I am not normal?

Then I think – thank God I am not normal!
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11 Tips to Foster Belonging

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Do you belong at work or in your professional or community organizations? I am asking about your subjective, internal experience of belonging. Feeling as if you are accepted as yourself. Are you accepted? Do you belong? Or, are you merely fitting in?

Effective leadership nurtures belonging and a sense of community. Being able to address indirect or overt behaviors, beliefs or unconscious biases that create separation or the feeling of exclusion is a necessary skill. As an individual faced with disenfranchising behaviors and attitudes, there are coping skills and important mindset practices to develop.

What does it mean to feel like Read more