If you do not live in Dallas, you may not know that the parade for the NBA champion Mavericks is in just a few hours. After the Mavericks miraculous comeback in the second game of the series, there was a segment about Dirk Nowitzki and his coach, Holger Geschwindner. If you watched it, you got a sense of why Nowitzki has confidence in himself when the game is on the line. He practices, perhaps harder and more deliberate than any player in the NBA, and he constantly gets feedback from his coach.

To me it is interesting that the same way a pro basketball player gains confidence applies to lawyers. I have written many times that to be successful at client development you have to believe in yourself and project self confidence. In January of 2010 I wrote what turned out to be one of my most read posts: If You Want to be a Rainmaker, “You Gotta Believe”. If you have a moment go back and read that post again.

I have worked with lawyers throughout my career that lacked self-confidence, not in their legal skills, but rather in their ability to generate business. For many lawyers I coach when they realize they can actually be successful, their business generation takes off.

Too many lawyers believe you either have self-confidence or you don’t. I believe self-confidence can be developed. I believe I developed it. 

How do you develop it? Take a look at this Harvard Business Review article: How to Build Confidence. I believe that it is important to practice, practice, practice. I also believe it is important to get feedback. I owe my own development of self confidence to those two efforts.

I am a confident public speaker today, in part because I practiced in front of a mirror, and videotaped myself speaking and got feedback from friends, including my wife Nancy. What are the things you can practice and get feedback? How about:

  • Public Speaking
  • Writing articles
  • Writing blog posts
  • Client interviews
  • Client pitches
  • Networking

Does your firm provide opportunities for lawyers to practice these kind of things and get feedbacK? I know the firms for whom I am doing coaching provide it because it is part of the client development coaching program. Your firm can provide these opportunities internally if you actually create practice opportunities and have senior lawyers willing to provide the feedback.

If by chance you missed the segment about Dirk and Coach Holger Geschwindner, you can watch it here.