Ok, I’ve completed three days of Spanish classes with my five other classmates. We love our teachers and we’ve bonded together like many coaching groups with whom I have worked.
So, I can answer my title question in one sentence:
Start your own coaching group because it is more likely you will make client development efforts you are not making now and it is more likely the efforts you make will over time produce results.
Client development coaching is about getting lawyers to make changes and create new habits. Making changes is more likely to occur when the lawyers are part of a group. Plus, it is more fun to make those changes with a group.
A couple of years ago I studied why making changes is so difficult. I found a very interesting article by David Rock titled: A Brain-Based Approach to Coaching. If you are interested in the science and research, you will find it in this article. Rock talks about why coaching is needed:
In the last few years, neuroscientists have been confirming what many of us know all too well: change is much harder than we think. You can take this statement literally: change requires more than just scant thought; it requires ongoing attention and a significant effort of the will.
A few years ago I worked with a group of 5 highly motivated lawyers. I knew they were motivated because they were paying for the group coaching out of their own pocket.
They were from different firms and different practices and did not know each other before we started. Each month I conducted a one hour group telephone coaching session. I purposely limited the number in the group so there was a distinct individual coaching component and a group coaching component. During our sessions I asked each lawyer what they had worked on the last month.
Each month we also focused on a topic and I did short presentation. One month I focused on Motivation and Accountability. One lawyer described my role as similar to a fitness trainer because I helped each member in the group take action and be accountable.
When I worked with fitness trainers, I always did more than when I was by myself. If you have a client development coach you will do more and do what is more valuable.
If your firm is not willing to have me come and help you do more and do what is more valuable, create your own group, meet regularly and hold each other accountable.
While I favor creating your own coaching group, having sat through three days of classes I can say the teachers (coaches) drive us to push ourselves further than we would on our own.
I took this photo on Monday, near the Jardin. I believe the young boy’s parents were taking his photo at the same time.
For my lunch Monday and yesterday I went to the mercado. On Monday, I ate steak in a salsa rice, beans and homemade tortillas for 40 pesos. Yesterday I ate corn in a cup (street corn) and a large glass filled with fruit for 30 pesos. I’ve learned that when the vendor tells me cuánto cuesta (how much) in Spanish, I have to rack my brain to remember the numbers.
I came back to my room to do my homework. One assignment was to write what we like or dislike about each of the four seasons in our home state. The other was to write sentences that included a fruit or vegetable and a number.
Last night a group of five of us ate dinner nearby. All five ordered a meal. Two of us ordered beer and a third ordered Sangria. The other two ordered coke. Out total bill was 316 pesos. I’ll let you find the exchange rate and do the math.
P.S. We each needed a tablet of paper for notes. I found a place, and took a classmate. The gentleman who owns the little store offered to have each of us tutor the other in our new languages. I’ll talk to him in Spanish and he’ll talk to me in English and we’ll help each other. His English puts my Spanish to shame so…I may be getting the better end of our bargain.