Investing time and energy to provide feedback and coach junior attorneys and staff
WHAT IS IT?
Developing others is the practice of seeing the capabilities of others and investing time and energy to help them realize that potential.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
The future of any organization is tied to the development of its people. Thus, one of the main responsibilities of every senior-level employee is to train the next generation of leaders. It not only helps the organization, it gives more experienced attorneys the opportunity to pass on their wisdom and experience and to help other people.
- Give Regular Feedback
The quickest way to improve your coaching skills is to give feedback to your team on a regular basis. Research suggests that managers should give concrete feedback to each of their direct reports on a weekly basis. This can come in the form of a passing comment in the hallway, an email recap of the week, or a deliberate meeting in which you offer observations of their performance. Comments such as “I really appreciated you being so thorough in your status report. Your have evidently worked hard and your update was very clear. Nice job.” can go a long way in reinforcing positive behavior and recognizing hard work.
- Help Associates Create a Career Plan
Second, good leaders sit down with other staff members to talk about their career aspirations, dreams, and goals. For example, partners who ask employees where they want to be in five years and then commit to helping employees get there are seen as an important ally. You may be in the right position to help them reach their careers goals, and you will have valuable advice for their advancement.
- Share Your Own Successes and Failures
Finally, team members can learn valuable lessons from their leader’s successes and failures, provided that the leader is willing to share them. Staff need to see their supervisor’s human side and hear about their war stories. Factual anecdotes can be a powerful source of information and guidance. Candid openness about your career path will not only provide practical career advice, it will also strengthen the relationship.