Why Get Involved in the Coach and Advisor Network (CAN)
By John A. Cyr, C.S.
John is a Certified Specialist in Corporate and Commercial Law and is trained in Mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is a panelist on CAN’s FAQs For Coaches and Advisors workshop on March 27.
I began helping out in the CAN system 5 months ago. In that time I have given practice advice as a CAN Advisor to three different Participants wanting issue-specific Advisory help. Collaterally, I have offered general practice coaching as a CAN Coach to one, and soon apparently a second recently assigned, other Participant wanting to find legs in developing their own law practice.
I find involvement in the CAN process very rewarding.
In each interaction with a Participant the help I am able to offer has been greeted with a very real gratitude. More than just thanks, however, the Participants express a palpable sense of relief that there is actually a workable way forward on the problem that has brought them to CAN.
The reason I am attentive to those reactions is that they are exactly what I felt in the countless instances where I prevailed on other, usually senior, lawyers looking for help, insight, a remedy, a procedure – something that I had not thought of – that would let me find the remedy the client needed, something that I was just not experienced enough to find, or perhaps, in some instances, not confident in my own abilities to pursue.
I cannot begin to count the number of times, especially in the early years some 35 years ago now, when the practice of law threw up a set of facts, a procedural issue, a legal issue, or sometimes an interpersonal issue with opposite counsel, or even with those who should be colleagues, that would confound me. Those were times when I had no clear idea as to how to proceed. And it was those many, many times when I would be able to tap into the knowledge and insight that someone, more experienced than I, would be able to apply to the challenge I was facing on a file or with a client or a colleague. I can remember that I too felt that same palpable sense of relief – relief that indeed the law did make sense, that there was a remedy, that I could help the client, or that there was an ethical way I could get through an awkward or unpalatable confrontation. There was comfort in knowing that I was not alone.
It is a pleasure to be able to give some help and encouragement back. Involvement with CAN as an Advisor or as a Coach is a venue for doing just that.