Dear Law Practice Management Committee Members
Happy New Year!
Rich Goldstein and I would like to thank you for your continuing interest in the AIPLA Law Practice Management Committee, and for making our last month's debut Law Practice Management call a success. Using the Maestro teleconferencing platform, we were able to have an interactive and engaging conversation well beyond a typical tele-seminar.
On the December call, we began discussing "The six critical conversations that every successful law firm leader must master."
In particular, we discussed and practiced the first two conversations:
#1: Conversation to establish relatedness and rapport
#2: Conversation for possibility
If you missed this call, detailed are at the bottom of this email.
We are pleased to announce that the second of our monthly calls will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10AM PST / 1PM EST. The duration of the call will be 1 hour. The purpose of this and future monthly calls is to facilitate education, discussion, and support related to law practice management and leadership issues we all face.
On this next call, we will discuss the next two critical conversations:
#3: "Conversation for Opportunity"
#4: "Conversation for Action"
On the call, you will learn:
•. How to move the conversation beyond the mere discussion of ideas, to determine which idea to execute; and
• How to empower people to take action to move the project forward.
• How to make requests, and obtain commitments from others that they actually follow through on!
We are looking forward to having you on the call!
Please note: To participate in the call, you must sign up in advance to obtain your own personal call-in phone number and pin. Please click here to sign up.
If you have any leadership/management questions you would like addressed on the call, however, please email them to Rich (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself in advance. Time permitting, we are happy to discuss them.
For those of you that use Outlook, I have also attached a meeting invite which (I believe) you can simply open and select “add to my calendar.”
Thank you again. We are looking forward to having you on the call!
Notes from December 12, 2012 Call:
- Goal for the call: strengthen relationships with clients, colleagues, and personal lives
- Relationship is the foundation of accomplishment
- Better relationships = better success in your personal and professional lives
- How much of our jobs are communication?
- Writing work product
- Email communications
- Messaging within firm
- Six types of conversations we have and how to be aware of the type of conversation you are having:
- You can’t have a successful conversation if you are conversing in one conversation type, while the other party is conversing in another type.
- Listening is a huge part of all six types of conversations. Reiterating/restating the other person’s position can be helpful in building rapport and establishing a sense of common interest and common view point.
- Understanding the different conversations allows you to notice when you are having a different conversation than others. When you notice this you can redirect the conversation so you are both having the same type of conversation.
- Conversation #1: Conversation to build rapport or establish background of relatedness
- Purpose is simply to establish rapport and relationship: we know each other, we like each other, we have things in common, etc. A successful conversation of this type usually results in discovering some shared interest or shared commitment.
- This type of conversation is typically required to make any of the other types of conversations meaningful/successful.
- People like people that are like them, AND people like people that like them.
- It is critical that you show a genuine interests in the other person. People can tell if you are faking it.
- Conversation #2: Conversation for possibility
- This is almost like a brainstorming session
- The goal of this conversation is not to make a concrete plan, not to figure out what options are best or even feasible, but to discover what is possible.
- At the beginning of the conversation, It is important to establish ground rules:
- There are no bad ideas - don't criticize or play devil's advocate for others' ideas.
- Do not defer to authority (all in the conversation are equals)
- Make sure your ideas are related to the subject at hand
- We are not talking about action or execution until we get all the ideas out there
- Agree on criteria by which we are going to evaluate the ideas
- You may need to reiterate these ground rules multiple times throughout the conversation - especially if you notice people rating or evaluating ideas as they are suggested.
- By indicating that we will later agree on criteria by which to judge, it typically diffuses any resistance/frustration by people whose natural inclination it is to judge
- Group practice of Conversation # 2 regarding possible activities, educational programs, and services the LPM Committee can provide:
- Call participant: – Best practices guide (26 tasks lawyers have to be good at)
- How to train new attorneys
- How to manage a trust account
- How to best document preparation
- Call participant: – Suggested reading list for LPM topic
- Call participant: – Educational content for stated meetings
- Call participant: – How to have a conversation with a difficult client
- Dave Divine – More opportunities to get together as a group outside of the stated meetings
- Leadership summit
- LPMC summit
- Whole group
- Small groups
- Call participant: – short videos on LPCM microsite. Checklists and articles are great, but sometimes a short video snippet may also be useful
- Call participant: – Include managers in conversations
- Rich Goldstein: – Interviews of experts in various aspects of law practice management for call
- Rich Goldstein: – Guest speakers from related organizations (e.g., ABA law practice management, IPO, corporate managers, etc.)
- Next call is scheduled for January 9, 2013 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern