I spent several years on the faculty of the Nottingham Law School teaching a two-year MBA in Legal Practice.
Then I was asked to design an MBA in a day! My consulting colleagues teased me that I hadn’t got it down to 45 minutes by now!
Well I’m getting there, having just designed a two-hour version on the important topic of Leadership aimed at mid-level associates. My interactive workshop covers:
- Delegation/Supervision skills
- Project Management
- Feedback skills
Here are some of the key messages:
- Your firm has hired good people – if they give you poor quality work, might it be because of how you delegated it?
- Prepare by considering what information needs to be given rather than ‘winging it’.
- Try to avoid delegating by email – a conversation is much better.
- Ask for a summary at the end to ensure total understanding of what’s required, by when etc – but avoid being patronising.
- Adapt your style of supervising (Ken Blanchard) given the experience and motivation of the junior and don’t over manage!
- Consider a less directive approach for experienced juniors by asking them what approach they’re thinking of adopting.
- We tend to assume that other people are the same as us when it comes to what motivates and demotivates them – this is unlikely to true.
- So, don’t listen to my Mum (and probably yours!) and treat everyone like you want to be treated! Treat them as they want to be treated!
- Use your antennae to tune into what motivates your juniors.
- Expect Mastery and Autonomy (Dan Pink) to be motivating factors, but there may be others.
- Giving some positive feedback usually goes down well!
- Invest some time in getting to know your juniors.
- Having transitioned from a junior to a mid-level or senior, you now should have a role in supporting your partners in managing matters effectively and efficiently.
- Consider what needs to happen to delight your clients.
- Consider the needs of your firm, such as managing your firm’s reputation and making an appropriate margin.
- Consider the needs of your internal team members, such as interesting, challenging and varied work.
- Try to avoid permanently being in the detail and get into that helicopter to see the big picture.
- Ask your partners what role you can usefully play.
- It’s so important to help others learn, so give feedback!
- You know what works for you: the feedback should be Balanced, Non-judgmental, Specific, Timely.
- In some situations, it can work well to ask them what they think they did well and what they would do differently.
- Be clear about your own feedback and ensure you manage the work product. The reputation of your firm is everything so do not tolerate poor quality!
- Try to be a reflective practitioner.
There you are…MBA level material now in fewer than 500 words!
For more on these topics see: