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Episode 43

Coaching and Career Planning for Lawyers

In this episode, executive coach Dimity Brown discusses the importance of good coaching and mentorship skills in the legal profession in creating a healthy and constructive professional culture. Dimity also offers her expert advice as a professional coach on how to plan a sustainable career that is consistent with your values.
Professional Skills
17 September 2021
Dimity Brown
1 hour = 1 CPD point
How does it work?
What area(s) of law does this episode consider?Career Coaching, Professional Development

In this episode, executive coach Dimity Brown discusses the importance of good coaching and mentorship skills in the legal profession in creating a healthy and constructive professional culture, and explains how you can use foundational coaching skills when working with your own team.

Why is this topic relevant?If you lead a team of lawyers, coaching is a powerful skill to learn – or bring into your team by engaging a professional coach – because it helps you solve problems in a way that empowers the person experiencing the problem to solve the next one themselves.  If you’re a lawyer in need of some career direction, coaching from a professional coach or from a mentor could be what you need to find out your own professional values, and the career path that matches them.
What are the main points?
  • Professional coaching is a solution-focused, client-based practice all about helping people identify and achieve their goals. Although it is a fast-growing industry, it is not yet a regulated profession. Good coaching involves building a relationship between the coach and client to facilitate a two-way dialogue that will lead to a successful experience.
  • Coaches guide people to think about their issues from another perspective so that they can consider a wide variety of options that are available to solve their problem. Professional coaches are useful in bringing their client’s attention back to their core values and goals so that they are better informed to make decisions.
  • Lawyers often feel ‘lost’ in their career once they lose sight of the reason they first started a career in the law, or that reason no longer serves them. Coaches can help individuals discover their purpose and understand their core values, which empowers clients to make sustainable long-term choices that are in line with their goals.
What are the practical takeaways?
  • Giving specific, constructive feedback through a recognised model such as the SBI or Start, Stop, Continue model, can help an individual’s or team’s professional development in the workplace. Professional coaches can assist clients in learning how to be more receptive to improvement feedback and adopt a growth mindset about feedback.
  • Professional coaching can take place in a variety of settings, such as one-on-one sessions and group seminars, and can cover a range of topics from burnout to career progression, to decision-making skills and more.
  • Coaching methods aren’t just relevant for aspiring professional coaches – they can be adopted by all lawyers and professionals in everyday workplace situations by actively listening to others and being open-minded.
Show notesThe International Coaching Federation’s 2019 article ‘Using a Coaching Approach for Effective Decision-making’

Dimity Brown’s article ‘5 Steps to Building a HERO Mindset’