In Part II, Cynthia Pladziewicz shares the rest of her Love Good Law model.

The next part of my model, which I borrow from one of my mentors, Dr. Jeff Auerbach, is the Good part. This is where you really get down to taking some action to advance your career and life in a direction that is consistent with your values.

G: Goals: Select and clarify the goals that will best achieve your long-term desired outcomes. Many coaches utilize the SMART goal model to assist clients in setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Be sure to write them down! You will be much more likely to achieve them. Also, set goals in positive terms. Talk about what you want; not what you don’t want.

O: Options: For each goal. What are your options for achieving it? What have you tried or thought of trying? Make a list. And when you are finished go back and think of a few more. Be creative.

O: Obstacles: What has kept you from following through up until now? What do you anticipate might get in your way? How will you get past the obstacles?

D: Direct action: What can you do today, this week, and this month to move a step closer to your goals?

Like the legal system, the LAW part of my model is about accountability.

L: Learning: As you reflect on the process above, what did you learn that might apply to other areas of life and career? What did you learn about yourself? Where do you want to explore further? Reflect and make notes.

A: Accountability: How will you hold yourself accountable to complete the actions you committed to? I write them down and check them daily. Others benefit from an accountability partner, someone to meet with or email and share progress.

W: What next? Just as I complete each coaching session by scheduling the next or making arrangements for my client to contact me as needed, you need to ask yourself what next? When will you check back in with yourself to reassess your goals and reflect on your progress?

So that’s the model. I hope you find it helpful and would love to hear your thoughts about coaching in law firms. If you are interested in learning more, check out some of these resources.

Strategic Talent Management for Law Firms scheduled for release by West/Thomson Reuters in Fall 2010. This book includes my chapter on Coaching and Career Development in Law Firms and is packed with great information from some of the best lawyer development professionals across the country.

The Value of Coaching in the Law Firm, whitepaper published by West and available for free download.