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Ed Poll
  Week of May 12, 2009

Legal Coaching – It's Not Just for Lawyers Anymore

As a board-certified legal coach, I primarily show attorneys how to dramatically increase their profits and reduce their stress based on my years of practicing law and consulting with lawyers. However, I have seen first-hand that administrators can also benefit from this experience-based legal coaching to manage lawyers' everyday expectations.
Coaches who work with lawyers understand the lawyer personality traits that create challenges for administrators, staff, and paralegals. Lawyers primarily focus on the task at hand and getting results, leaving little room for camaraderie and support. Inclusiveness will produce more harmony for all, increase productivity and therefore profitability of the firm. But studies have shown that inclusiveness is difficult for lawyers, who tend to be more skeptical, impatient and intense, and less interactive and able to take criticism than people in general.
Realizing these potential barriers can enable coaches to help administrators and others within law firms better connect with lawyers. Lawyers, like managers everywhere, are most effective when their communication connections are real and reinforced. This creates a shared work ethic, values structure and belief that what is done for clients is worthwhile. Failure to do so will cause inefficiencies, create disharmony within the firm and result in poor client relations.
Coaching can provide recognition of the importance of creating a team spirit in the law firm, one that embraces lawyers and staff with common perspectives and objectives. Without that kind of unity, there will be less than a satisfactory work environment, less than a satisfactory result for the clients and less personal satisfaction for all concerned. Everyone in a law firm - lawyers, staff and support personnel - should be committed to a team effort for providing the best possible client service.
None of this is easy for staff persons to accomplish alone. That's where the coach is most valuable. Coaching provides instant support and feedback through regular meetings that often can be conducted by phone - either one on one, or in a group session. It's not that the coach will have all the answers; but the coaching session will be a sounding board for problems, questions and ideas. The coaching experience provides the kind of honest feedback and support that helps people do great things - even change the law firm dynamic so that the lawyer/employer recognizes that everyone in the firm is a colleague.
What is the normal state of affairs in your law office? Piled on top of the anxiety of clients and the pressures of seeking the best results, how does your team fare? Do you have a peaceful workplace where everyone likes and respects one another, as in a healthy family? Or is there something missing? If the answer is yes, coaching can change the picture.

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
This week, I've launched a new online forum for lawyers, LawBiz® Forum. This service is an online destination for lawyers to discuss management strategies, marketing techniques, finance tips, etc. in order to help improve their personal and professional lives. To find out more about it, visit
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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