Managing Self Monday Morning Practice

Monday Morning Practice – Ask for help

Written by Allison Wolf

The practice this week is simple, and really comes down to one question:

“Am I struggling with something right now that I could use help with?”

Help can mean a lot of things.

It can mean advice on a file. I have had conversations with numerous lawyers over the years who have made the mistake of trying to problem solve their way through a legal question that is out of their area of experience only to realize a little late in the game that turning to another lawyer for guidance would be the best course of action. This happens with lawyers in big firms – where help is around the corner, and with solo lawyers who are trying to do it all on their own.

Help can mean forming a relationship with a senior lawyer in your practice area for support and guidance. I recently connected a junior lawyer seeking to develop a new practice area with a senior lawyer from a small firm. They are writing articles together now and the senior lawyer is providing some valuable mentorship.

Help can mean getting some coaching support on a practice challenge.  It might be that you want to improve work efficiency, or you want to get better at business development, or you are wondering if it is time to make a transition to a different firm or practice. Whatever the challenge, getting confidential support can help you to actually progress vs. getting mired down in just thinking about it.

Here’s something most people don’t know. The best coaches have coaches. Why? Because good coaches know that coaching accelerates progress.

And on that note, I am currently working with a money coach, Sheila Walkington, who writes for this blog. This year I identified some challenges and decided to invest in some coaching to help me get a plan together and make some changes. Sheila is helping with that.

And throughout North America the various Lawyers Assistance Programs are there to offer confidential support to the profession on a wide variety of challenges. Derek LaCroix, QC, who contributes to this blog, has served as Executive Director LAPBC since 1996. Prior to that he was a trial lawyer for almost 20 years. Derek knows most everyone in the LAP community across North America and so can serve as a first point of contact for any lawyer seeking to access LAP resources in their region. Derek’s contact information can be found in the contributor section of the site.

Don’t go it alone. Whether it is simple advice on how to get your dog to stop chewing the furniture, or a complex legal practice challenge, don’t take too long to get assistance. I frequently hear – I wish I had contacted you sooner – and I never hear I wish I hadn’t asked for help.

Photo credit: torbakhopper / Creative Commons

Reposted from February 15, 2016

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and a lawyer coach with over a decade of experience helping clients overcome challenges and achieve success however they define it. In practice this can be many things from helping a law firm partner get more “dad time” with his young family, to coaching a lawyer on the business development strategy, skills, and implementation to grow her legal practice. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at allison@shiftworks.ca or visit my website thelawyercoach.com.

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