Sadly, our lives have drastically changed, even since my post last Thursday. I’m trying to catch up with the “new normal.” I think it will take me some time.
In this time of “social distancing” you are not likely to attend an in-person client development program. As a result, I want to once again make my video coaching program available at no cost to lawyers and law firms.
Let’s move on to my post today. Several years ago a friend sent me a link to a fascinating New Yorker article titled: Personal Best: Top athletes and singers have coaches. Should you? written by surgeon, Atul Gawande. The article was aimed at surgeons, but many points also apply to lawyers. In the article, Gawande discusses when a person peaks in a given profession.
Even if you are not an athlete, you know that many athletes peak early in their life.
I’m sure most of you watched the Super Bowl. Did you know that Patrick Mahomes is only 24 years old? I recently read: Patrick Mahomes’ high school classmate predicted Super Bowl win in yearbook entry
So even back in high school, Patrick Mahomes projected something that caused a class mate to predict he would play in the NFL and win a Super Bowl.
Unless you are a tennis fan, you may not know of CoCo Gauff. She is a 15 year old star. In the Australian Open she beat title holder Naomi Osaka. Check out: Oh My Gauff: Serena Williams Loses Match at Australian Open, 15-Year-Old Coco Gauff Beats Naomi Osaka.
Young athletes are taking their place in their sports. Surgeons, on the other hand peak much later in their career. The doctor writer suggests it is at about 45 years old. He then states:
Jobs that involve the complexities of people or nature seem to take the longest to master.
When do lawyers peak?
I often say rainmakers peak between 50 and 60. That 10 year period is when they have the greatest success. I know that was certainly true of my career.
If you get a chance to read the New Yorker article you will certainly get a better idea of what coaching is and why it works. I will leave you with a paragraph from the article about coaching teachers. It most definitely applies to client development coaching for lawyers:
California researchers in the early nineteen-eighties conducted a five-year study of teacher-skill development in eighty schools, and noticed something interesting.
Workshops led teachers to use new skills in the classroom only ten per cent of the time. Even when a practice session with demonstrations and personal feedback was added, fewer than twenty per cent made the change.
But when coaching was introduced—when a colleague watched them try the new skills in their own classroom and provided suggestions—adoption rates passed ninety per cent. A spate of small randomized trials confirmed the effect. Coached teachers were more effective, and their students did better on tests.
Have you made any changes in your client development efforts during this year?