Cutting through fears of criticism and failure

  Fear of criticism and fear of failure are common concerns of early career lawyers. The sources of these fears are divergent, but there are common threads. Graduates will often have been the brightest and the best at school, where failure was a rare experience. Also, university learning style is structured and predictable, compared with

Extracting value from the first hour

  I think I’m OK at the whole productivity/behaviour game. But just recently a client spoke to me so passionately about value lost at early morning log-on that I thought I’d pass the story on. It goes like this… The lawyer arrives, logs on and opens Outlook. He starts scanning his email inbox. In the

How about some New Year’s resolutions?

Make 2017 the year you actively improve the areas you aren’t naturally good at  So we’re all back from the beach and ready to go hard again… which is great. It’s a good time to reprioritise efforts… not just going harder, but identifying areas for personal improvement. For this issue, we’ve considered the major parts

It’s nearly Christmas, so think mid-year reviews

Mid-year performance reviews can be really beneficial, provided you go about them the right way. Theory and practice regarding performance management is constantly evolving and reshaping. There are, though, some enduring boxes to be ticked. They are: ·       Do we review? ·       When do we review? ·       How do we go about it? ·       What

The new mobility – opportunity and threat

For some 20 years, delegates in the QLS Practice Management Course (PMC) have been asked what is driving them to be owners or co-owners in law firms. And for 20 years two themes have dominated without exception – money and control. In large practices money typically is first, but control (or related concept) a close

The matter and the money

Talking confidently and concurrently about matter and money In the Proctor July edition, we reproduced a piece called Getting paid: Start with file opening. This is a reprint from the same journal 10 years earlier. Some things just stay important. The essence of that article was that responsibility for slow or poor payment by clients

Bonus Systems – what to measure?

This is the second in this series. (Read Part 1 and Part 3) In this part, we look at bonus structures. We recommend four core principles… simplicity, clarity, consistency and fairness. Simple is best. Complex mixes of qualitative and quantitative can be unhelpful. Indeed, contestable qualitative measures can actually demotivate. Qualitative feedback is fine for

Staff Retention – Think the Three Hats

Maintaining a productive relationship with employed lawyers involves wearing three hats – a boss, a professional colleague, and a friend. Over time, every work relationship will only be as good as the poorest fitting hat. Lawyers are usually independently minded – so if you just wear the ‘boss’ hat, eventually you will drive them away