What’s Next – Moving Forward After Your Coaching Engagement
Written by Michael Bury, LL.M., Certified Executive Coach at Blue Pond Coaching and volunteer coach for the Law Society’s Coach and Advisor Network (CAN).
At the recent November CANFest celebrating the anniversary of the Coach and Advisor Network, several guests approached me and asked what happens after the coaching engagement, “What will I get from it?”
While everyone’s experience is different, those who complete their coaching engagement can expect to “graduate” with new skills they can use both in their legal practice and personal lives.
1. Clear Thinking
When you first see a coach, it’s common to be unsure about you want to get from the process. That’s where the coach comes in. Effective goal setting results in having clarity about what you want, knowing what options are available to you, and deciding what you can realistically achieve. With a busy legal practice, it’s easy to get lost in the daily grind. Getting coached creates a “quiet place” where you can re-focus on things that matter most to you and learn better decision-making techniques that will continue after your coaching engagement.
2. Option Mapping
Feeling “stuck” is a reality we all experience. A coach will help you get out of your own way by working with you to develop multiple options to reach your goals. I compare the process to Google Maps. You pick the destination, the coach helps you get there after suggesting different routes. Something that previously felt impossible, suddenly becomes doable. Having a set of fresh options, together with a strategy to implement them, makes it easier to figure out what’s been holding you back.
3. Confidence Building
The coaching experience will also help you boost your confidence. An effective coach will focus on your strengths and make any weaknesses irrelevant. This process will also help eliminate self-criticism which is common in the legal profession, especially with newer calls, due to our high standards. Once you learn to leverage your past successes with your current strengths, self-doubt will become less of an obstacle.
4. Momentum Maintenance
Coaching is also about regaining control and taking action. Every coaching session ends with an action plan. Learning to implement your goals once you have your roadmap is a key part of the CAN coaching engagement. Almost anyone can come up with great goals, but seeing them through to their completion is the tough part. Having the encouragement of a coach helps build a momentum which will last long after your last coaching session.
Procrastination is a dangerous thing. We’ve all done it. The coaching experience will help you improve personal accountability for the goals you have set. During your coaching sessions, you will be directly accountable to your coach who will expect follow-through on your actions. This
one-on-one accountability will strengthen a skill most legal professionals already use on a daily basis with their clients. But using this skill at the personal level is something we often forget. Being accountable to your coach will help you achieve your goals and create a habit of personal accountability which will become invaluable once you finish your coaching engagement.
Bottom line? The legal market is a tough place. With increased competition and constant client challenges, lawyers and paralegals cannot afford to be “stuck”. The CAN coaching process and our experienced group of coaches will give you the necessary tools for success.