If you are regular reader you know that I have recently made several presentations at LMA City Groups on client development coaching. As I shared with the Marketing professionals who attended, when I suggested that my old firm start a client development coaching program for new partners, our leaders were skeptical. I advised them that most of our rainmakers were close to retirement and that I had discovered that not one of our new partners had a written business plan with goals.

If you want to get an overview of the program I presented, click on my How to Set Up a Client Development Coaching Program podcast. You can also take a look at my Practical Lawyer article Practical Advice For Setting Up A Business Development Coaching Program

In the podcast and article I emphasized:

  • Many young partners and senior associates do not know where to start.
  • Client development coaching is a partnership among your lawyers being coached, your firm and the coach.
  • The most important decision is to select the right lawyers for coaching. Select your most motivated lawyers, not the lawyers who “need” coaching.
  • Coaches should push and encourage the lawyers being coached to achieve more than they dreamed possible.
  • The team component of a coaching program will build accountability.

If your firm is considering starting a client development coaching program and you might become the coach, consider this difference between teaching and coaching:

Great teachers share the best answers. Great coaches ask the best questions.

You will need to be prepared to do both.