Job Standards A Key To Avoiding Conflict
by Ed Poll
Published on 6/25/07
Lawyers, like managers everywhere, must connect with their staff. Creating an effective team is perhaps your number one practice responsibility.
Your staff must share your work ethic, values and belief in the work done for clients. Failure to do so will cause inefficiencies, create disharmony within the firm and result in poor client relations the stuff of malpractice actions and bar association disciplinary complaints.
A sure way to create conflict with your staff is to allow the impression that people are being treated unfairly. Some lawyer-managers do this intentionally.
Do you say things you don't believe to your law firm members and staff? Do you think you can pull "the wool over their eyes," by asking for achievements you won't do yourself or won't provide the resources for others to do?
If so, you are playing with fire.
Abraham Lincoln, a very shrewd lawyer, observed that you can't fool all of the people all of the time. When people realize they are being fooled, their reaction is often anger. And an angry law firm is one doomed to failure.
It's far better to be open and honest about what your firm needs to achieve, and to work as a team with shared resources and goals.
More often, however, the perception of unfairness is created inadvertently in one of two ways:
© Copyright 2011. Edward Poll. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Edward Poll.
Ed Poll, principal of LawBiz Management Company, is a nationally recognized coach, law firm management consultant, and author who has coached and consulted with lawyers and law firms in strategic planning, profitability analysis, and practice development. Mr. Poll has practiced law on all sides of the table for 25 years-- as a corporate general counsel, government prosecutor, sole practitioner, partner, and law firm chief operating officer and been a consultant to small and large law firms for 20 years.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.