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Ed Poll
  Week of January 27, 2009

Do You Feel Inferior?

I recently attended a self-esteem conference conducted by my colleague and mentor, Alan Weiss. Lack of self-esteem is one of the most debilitating psychological factors affecting even very educated and successful people. I see the symptoms regularly in the coaching that I do with lawyers. Too many people who can benefit from coaching shy away from it because they fear that it shows them to be "inadequate" or that they will be unable to stand up to a coach's "bullying." In actuality, a coach offers leadership that inspires you to be better, and accepting coaching means you have enough self-confidence to accept resources that will help you succeed.
Certainly, I have my own experience with feelings of inadequacy. For many years, I thought "success" was how much money one earned each year. Then, as a practicing lawyer handling divorces, I wondered how my clients could earn more than I, be perceived as "successful," yet have a net worth less than mine. Then, as a coach and consultant to lawyers and law firms, I thought that lawyers in large firms, especially equity partners, were more "successful" than I who, as a sole practitioner, both earned less than they and didn't have the power of a large organization to help achieve my goals.
Eventually, I got beyond these feelings by recognizing and accepting the success that I had built in my life and career, success that met my own definitions. Participants in Alan's conference gave suggestions on how to achieve this recognition and acceptance for oneself. Consider these for a moment:

  • Efficacy and self-worth are separate. You can be excellent at a given pursuit, but not feel good about yourself, and vice versa. This may be one of the most difficult challenges facing people in our materialistic and "hard-charging" society.
  • Personal relationships are a key foundation of self-worth. If you can positively and constructively engage in your personal relationships, your self-worth improves. Those fortunate to be in close, loving families are truly blessed.
  • You can look at self-esteem as a "verb," an action, leading to a condition, or "noun" - self-confidence.
  • Positive self-talk is one of the most powerful tools to build self-worth. Stop apologizing and be honest about your own talent and abilities. Don't generalize from a specific: Just because you didn't understand a play doesn't mean you're ignorant about art.
  • It's not about what life deals you, it's how you deal with life. This is the key to success!

A famous assertion by Eleanor Roosevelt says it all: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Ed Poll

Ed's Coaching will:
• Put your professional development on the fast track so you are moving up to the next level of success
• Provide you with a confidential sounding board
• Open your eyes to solutions to your challenges that have a proven record of effectiveness
• Partner you with a peer who has walked in your shoes before and acquired the insight and judgment to mentor and guide you
• Have no other agenda than your success
Clients include attorneys, managing partners, executive directors and financial directors at small, mid-size, and large law firms. We have seen many of our clients increase their revenue by five or six figures-that's $50,000 to $400,000 based on reports thus far.
Many of my clients have experienced:
• Increased revenue with long-term strategies for sustainability
• Attainment of partnership level
• Enhanced performance resulting from focused energy and reduced stress
• Feelings of increased control over professional life
• Heightened productivity due to being held accountable and being questioned and challenged
• Objective, situational assistance from one of the country's top coaches and consultants
If you want to be more successful tomorrow, call Ed now!

Ed Poll
Ed Poll

Personal Commentary
In my own coaching world, I have been successful with lawyers because they see me as an ally, someone they can trust to lead in the right direction. One's partner generally has his own career to be concerned with, his own billable time to input for his increased compensation desires. A colleague, too, has his own career to be concerned with and, thus, can give you only passing time and comment.
A spouse or significant other is like a passenger in a car... little or no control and yet a witness to perceived impending disaster. Sharing with a spouse is important but can also put pressures or challenges on the relationship that are difficult to cope with. Other people in your life can be helpful, but again have their own lives to live... An outside coach, however, has no hidden agenda. He/she has been hired specifically to collaborate with you to travel through the minefields of your practice and career. As in athletics, the really great leaders in our profession have their own "coach."
Best wishes,
Ed Poll
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Ed Poll
Ed Poll

What Readers Are Saying...
"I look at Ed as my business partner now—my once-a-week essential business meeting to take the pulse of my practice. During our one-hour phone conversations, we hash out the larger and smaller business challenges of my law firm. I always come away from those conversations enlarged, challenged, and sometimes even quite shaken, but with the tools necessary to move forward down the path he and I are constantly redefining for me and my firm."
-AL, Northern California

Ed Poll
Ed Poll

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