A friend read my blog Tuesday: 7 Questions to Answer to Develop a Successful Client Development Coaching Program and asked me to answer the questions I posed. She said she wanted my “Client Development Coaching for Dummies” answers. She finally convinced me to answer the seven questions.
- Setting a group goal creates a team. One lawyer I coached said his group felt like a firm within the firm. The hope is that no one will want to let the team down.
- Agreeing on 25 action items makes the goal more focused. Goals without actions are like New Years Resolutions that never get done. It also provides a talking point for each group meeting. “How are you doing on those 25 action items?”
- Creating a plan forces the lawyer to start thinking strategically and how best to use his/her time. I want the lawyers to have something to aim at and know when they are off course.
- We break down the yearly plan into 90 days actions because it is more likely the participants will do the activities if they are in smaller chunks. It also provides for accountability when I have the telephone coaching sessions with them between the in person sessions. My beginning agenda item is a report on how they are doing on their 90 days action plans.
- When they share their plans with me, I have “nagging” rights. Again, my goal is to find ways for each participant to be accountable.
- Reporting monthly is one more way to be accountable. When the reporting is on a portal page or in an email that is shared with the group and with a firm leader, no one wants to have nothing to report. It also enables me to keep up with what each lawyer is doing, which makes the coaching sessions more focused.
- I have to build a personal relationship to better understand the lawyer’s unique talents, opportunities and challenges. I also must earn their trust to be able to help them find the path that will work best for them.
I hope this is helpful.