Everyone can benefit from a coach

In his article, Restoring Optimism, Law Practice Today (Nov. 08), David Maister suggests that law firm managers are coaches, but that they “edge away from the coach role” during tough economic times. I would concur that the really great managers are primarily coaches to their minions even while they understand and have a firm handle on the economics of the firm.  I suspect, however, that there are very few managers or firm leaders who have this attribute.

Maister suggests that coaching is  “… offering suggestions, being supportive, being a source of creative ideas, helping people think through their roles and helping them make the best use of their time.” I concur. This and much more.

In my own coaching world, I have been successful with lawyers because they see me as an ally, someone they can trust to lead in the right direction. One’s partner generally has his own career to be concerned with, his own billable time to input for his increased compensation desires. A colleague, too, has his own career to be concerned with and, thus, can give you only passing time and comment.

A spouse or significant other is like a passenger in a car … little or no control and yet a witness to perceived impending disaster. Sharing with a spouse is important but can also put pressures or challenges on the relationship that are difficult to cope with. Other people in your life can be helpful, but again have their own lives to live … An outside coach, however, has no hidden agenda. He/she has been hired specifically to collaborate with you to travel through the minefields of your practice and career. As in athletics, the really great leaders in our profession have their own "coach."


Categorized in: